The Reds and Nationals are known to have discussed a possible deal around third baseman Eugenio Suarez, and the failure to complete a deal seems to hinge on the Nats’ unwillingness to part with top pitching prospects Jackson Rutledge and Cade Cavalli, per MLB Insider Jon Heyman (via Twitter). Rutledge and Cavalli were the Nats’ top draft choices in the past two drafts. It’s not a surprise that Washington would hold on tight, as their system isn’t known for tremendous depth, and they traditionally value starting pitching. Besides, ace Max Scherzer will be a free agent after this season, and at some point, the Nats will need to graduate top pitching talent in order to maintain the standard they have set in the rotation. Any deal with the Nats would probably have to center on Carter Kieboom. If the Reds believe in Kieboom’s ability to play shortstop, he would make sense as a starting point for a deal.
The Reds seem more open to the idea of moving Mike Moustakas or Nicholas Castellanos, but neither has generated as much trade interest as Suarez, tweets Heyman. Despite an uninspired 104 wRC+ in 2020, Suarez remains the Reds’ most-compelling bat. A .214 BABIP was down by almost 100 points from his career average, and a shoulder injury might have slowed his production. His 29.0 percent strikeout rate is a touch high, but Suarez still boasts patience (13.0 percent walk rate) and power (.268 isolated power), as well as long-term control on a reasonable contract. The 29-year-old Suarez will make $10.79MM in 2021 before three years at $11.29MM and a $15MM club option in 2025. Relative to Moustakas (three years, $16MM AAV with club option) and Castellanos (three years, $15.3MM AAV with mutual option), Suarez’s deal looks like a bargain, and he’ll be just 33-years-old at the end of the 2024 season.
The most likely place for the Reds to add from outside the organization remains shortstop, as their 2021 starting shortstop doesn’t appear to be on the 40-man roster at present, writes the Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans. The organization clearly does not view Senzel as an option there, and Jose Garcia likely needs more the in the minors after being rushed into action in 2020. That could mean trading for a shortstop, but with so many options still available on the market – Marcus Semien, Andrelton Simmons, Freddy Galvis, Didi Gregorius – free agency remains their likeliest route to add an infielder.