The Reds had a fairly quiet deadline, but Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported this week that they pursued at least one outside-the-box upgrade to their lineup: Kris Bryant. Cincinnati viewed Bryant as a possible option in center field, but would only have been able to acquire him in the event that the Cubs paid the remaining $6.8MM on his contract between the deadline and the end of the season. The Reds also at least looked into Nationals shortstop Trea Turner, Rosenthal adds, though those talks never became particularly serious.
It stands to reason that if the Reds would’ve needed the Cubs to cover the remainder of Bryant’s contract, the same would’ve held true with the Nationals in a deal for Turner, who is earning $13MM in 2021 and was owed $4.5MM from July 31 through season’s end. He’ll also be in line for a considerable raise via arbitration this winter, and Turner would have naturally come with a higher cost of acquisition, from a prospect standpoint, due that extra year of control.
In the end, the Reds’ deadline brought them a trio relievers in Mychal Givens, Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson, all of whom were acquired at minimal prospect cost. They’ll deepen a Reds relief corps that ranks 28th in the Majors with a 5.34 ERA and currently has two of its best relievers, Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims, on the injured list.
More out of Cincinnati…
- The Reds could get slugger Nick Castellanos back in the lineup as soon as today, writes Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The 29-year-old Castellanos sustained a microfracture in his wrist when he was hit by a pitch three weeks ago. Initial X-rays didn’t catch the fracture, which led to Castellanos making some pinch-hit appearances while playing through considerable discomfort, but a CT scan eventually revealed the damage. Castellanos said back on July 21 that was unable to swing a bat, but Nightengale notes that Castellanos has taken batting practice three times this week. Manager David Bell said the club’s primary concern is getting Castellanos “back to full strength” so he doesn’t develop any poor mechanics as compensation for a lack of strength in the wrist. Castellanos, who can opt out of the final two years of his contract this offseason, has mashed at a .329/.383/.582 pace and clubbed 18 home runs through 368 plate appearances in 2021.
- Injured righty Lucas Sims is progressing through a rehab assignment and made his fourth appearance with Triple-A Louisville last night. Bell told reporters recently that the plan was to build Sims up to pitch in back-to-back games (link via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com), which he’s yet to do. Still, the fact that he’s progressed through four rehab outings, seemingly without issue, suggests a return sooner than later for the righty, who’d been on a lights-out hot streak before getting clobbered for three runs without recording an out on June 22. Sims was placed on the injured list with an elbow sprain the next day. Sims has had three particularly tough outings in 2021, including that final appearance before going on the injured list, but has generally been solid otherwise. His 5.02 ERA is skewed by that handful of rough outings, but Sims carries vastly more encouraging marks in FIP (3.44), SIERA (3.20) and strikeout percentage (34.9). A healthy Sims would be a major boost to the Reds’ bullpen as they push to close a four-game gap in the Wild Card standings.