The Rays have acquired left-hander Cody Reed from the Reds for righty Riley O’Brien, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic tweets. To make room for Reed, Tampa Bay placed newly acquired outfielder Brett Phillips on the COVID-19 injured list as he goes through intake protocols, the team announced. Meanwhile, O’Brien is now a member of the Reds’ 60-man player pool, per Rosecrans.
The Reds designated Reed for assignment earlier this week after he started 2020 with 9 1/3 innings of 10-hit, six-earned run ball with 10 strikeouts and eight walks. But the 27-year-old was effective for Cincinnati in 2018-19, and the AL East-leading Rays are in a position where they need to acquire pitching help in the wake of several injuries – including to notable bullpen arms in Nick Anderson, Jose Alvarado, Jalen Beeks, Oliver Drake, Andrew Kittredge, Colin Poche and Chaz Roe.
In the event Reed turns things around in a Rays uniform, he could be a multiyear piece for the club, as he’s not due to reach free agency until after 2024. However, Reed doesn’t have any minor league options remaining, so he’ll have to stick on the Rays’ MLB roster or be subjected to the waiver wire.
The Reds are getting a promising farmhand in O’Brien, a 25-year-old who made his Double-A debut in 2019 and registered a 3.93 ERA/3.49 FIP with 9.44 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 45.7 percent groundball rate in 68 2/3 innings. Prior to the trade, O’Brien ranked as a top 25 Rays prospect at MLB.com (No. 20), Baseball America (24) and FanGraphs (24). MLB.com, the most bullish of those outlets, writes that O’Brien has the potential to amount to a mid-rotation starter or “a late-inning force,” depending on whether he’s able to improve his control.