11:06am: MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon hears that, to the contrary, the Reds are “not actively looking to trade” Gennett. (Twitter link).
9:54am: The Reds are interested in dealing second baseman Scooter Gennett, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link). Though the hometown hero had previously seemed to profile as an extension candidate, Cincinnati president of baseball operations Dick Williams recently threw cold water on that concept.
Gennett is entering his final season of arbitration control at a projected $10.7MM price point. On the heels of consecutive standout seasons at the plate, the 28-year-old would be among the best second basemen available on the market. But he’s also limited to playing at the keystone defensively and has historically struggled against left-handed pitching, limiting his appeal.
Beyond that, as Rosenthal notes and as we have emphasized repeatedly of late here at MLBTR, it’s hardly an opportune time to be shopping a player at that position with so many others available. It’s not immediately clear what the Reds would be looking for in a trade scenario.
Presumably, the organization would be interested in improving its rotation if at all possible, though doing so directly in a Gennett trade would be challenging. After all, any hypothetical suitor would need to be in a win-now stance. That said, teams such as the Dodgers (Alex Wood), Nationals (Tanner Roark), Pirates (Ivan Nova), and Yankees (Sonny Gray) do have similarly priced rental starters who could theoretically be swapped in some kind of arrangement — though there’s no indication at present that those or any other particular clubs would be interested in trying to work something out.
Moving Gennett for some kind of prospect return would surely also be a consideration, particularly if it’d mean freeing assets (trade chips and salary) for pursuit of other players — with a center fielder and rotation upgrade likely at the top of the wish list. Rosenthal says that the organization is motivated by the desire to open the door to top infield prospect Nick Senzel, who could step right in at second, perhaps in partnership with a veteran utility infielder. Such a reallocation of resources could make sense for a team that is clearly interested in improving its near-term product without sacrificing its vision for the future.