4 Potential Trade Partners for the Reds
The Cincinnati Reds have been publicly shopping for major league caliber catcher for the better part of the young season. To date, no traction seems to have been made in their search, so we here at Studio 108 decided we would take a look at some potential partners for them as we approach May. it would seem based on the teams that have been rumored to be approached by Reds Gm Scott Gessford, that Reds are chasing down a top tier catcher, so here are the teams that make most sense to us. In the order I think would be most interesting, here are the 4 most likely partners for the Reds:
Kansas City Royals:
Gary Sanchez has been one of the leagues best hitting catchers for a few years now. Displaying elite power and a surprising ability to get on base consistently, and playing great defense has endeared the man to the KC faithful that were almost rewarded with their first playoff appearance in franchise history. Sadly, the Royals currently sit at the bottom of their division, staring up at a handful of overachieving teams and some real solid contenders. So now the important part. Why would the Royals move such a cornerstone?
Well, unfortunately, in their pursuit of the post season, the Royals and previous management emptied the cupboard. There is very little on the horizon in the way of reinforcements, and so the Royals may look to retool. Catcher is a premium position in this league, and Gary demands a return worthy of his lofty skillset, but there is another underlying situation here.
The Royals have a projected payroll of 127 million next year, with Sanchez in a less than favorable player option year. I do not expect him to sign it. With so many holes to fill, and a limited budget it makes sense to ship Sanchez off now to a team that can afford to extend him, and reload their system. The question then becomes, can the Reds afford him?
Jose Felix is on the most exciting DEFENSIVE catchers in the league. Normally, his skill level behind the dish and managing a pitching staff would be enough to keep him in a lineup all on its own, but Felix actually holds his weight with the stick as well. While he will never be accused of being a masher, Felix has put up back to back serviceable to above average seasons offensively in Chicago, surrounded by essentially nothing. If you could combine a staff like the Reds have with a catcher like Jose Felix, Cincinnati could pitch their way right into the post season.
Felix is 30 years old, and has a history of injuries, but if the Reds could spell him once a rotation cycle, I believe they could still get 100+ games out of him this year, and that could be a massive boost for an already talented staff (not to mention a young and developing Kolby Allard). Felix has a team friendly contract, and the Cubs are in full rebuild mode, so if they can grab a prospect or two for the future, I am sure they would at least listen.
San Francisco Giants
Buster Posey has stuck it out at catcher longer than most thought he would. The 32 year old backstop still have plenty of life left in his legs, and his bat. With San Francisco locked in the midst of a vicious battle out West that will likely end with at least 2 teams in October, it is rather tough to see them parting ways with a guy like Buster. But, the Giants do have a glaring weakness that the Reds could help with, and that is pitching. The Giants could slide Pardo back behind the dish part time, and give some at bats to a guy like Trey Ford, see if they could turn his bat back on. Can the Reds and Giants agree to assist their national league rivals?
It’s tough to see it happening, but this is a trade that would make sense strength to strength.
Greg Bird is a two way catcher, who hits for power and average, and calls an above average game. While he doesn’t have the strongest arm, he is more than serviceable defensively. The notoriously impulsive Braves are liable to trade anyone at anytime (see half the league for evidence of this, including big names like Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw), but Bird seems like a tricky one to visualize. Without Bird behind the dish, the Braves would have to turn to Mike Zunino and recently claimed Collin Hines as their catchers, and I do not think that is what the fans in Atlanta are looking for.
Still, never rule anything out when it comes to Atlanta. One thing has been constant in souths capital city is that change is inevitable.