The Cincinnati Reds were among one of the teams in the headlines during Major League Baseball's trade deadline this past week as they moved multiple players off of the 4th place NL Central club.
The Reds shocked the league on Tuesday night when they traded flamboyant outfielder Yasiel Puig after only four months in Cincinnati to Cleveland and landed stud pitcher Trevor Bauer. The deal also saw the Reds send their No. 1 prospect Taylor Trammell to San Diego as part of what turned out to be a three-team deal.
Cincinnati and continued making noise in the headlines on Wednesday of last week leading up to the 4 p.m. deadline as they made a spot in the rotation for Bauer by trading pending free agent Tanner Roark to the Oakland Athletics for outfield prospect and 2018 2nd round pick Jameson Hannah, which essentially makes up for the loss of Trammell.
Just as it looked like the Reds were done making changes for 2019, news broke shortly after the 4 p.m. deadline had passed that all-star second baseman Scooter Gennett to the San Francisco Giants for a player to be named later. Gennett is also set to be a free agent following the 20129 season.
As of Monday morning when this column was written, the Reds have a 52-58 record and sit 7.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central and 5.5 games back in the NL wildcard. While they are not completely out of the playoff hunt by any means, their chances of making the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
General Manager Dick Williams and the rest of the front office in Cincinnati did not want to throw away their chances at winning in the 2019 season, but they also wanted to set themselves up to be even better in the 2020 season.
The Yasiel Puig for Trevor Bauer flip had essentially everything to do with Puig being a free agent after the 2019 season and potentially not re-signing with the Reds. So instead of losing him for nothing, they decided to move him for Bauer who will be under club control until after the 2020 season. Puig's departure also opened up a spot for outfield prospect Aristedes Aquino who has been hitting bombs in the Minor Leagues this season for Louisville drilling 28 in total.
Bauer mixed in a rotation with opening day starter Luis Castillo and all-star Sonny Gray will make one of the best pitching staffs in the MLB even tougher.
The Roark trade to Oakland made sense because Roark will also be a free agent following the 2019 season and was more than likely going to be signing elsewhere.
Being able to land Hannah in return was key as he boasts a ton of potential and also replenishes the organizations outfield depth after the loss of top prospect Trammell.
I'll admit, as a die-hard Reds fan it hurt seeing Gennett get dealt especially considering the Reds and Giants have yet to release the name of the player to be named later. Scooter had two dream seasons the past two years in his hometown of Cincinnati, but he had struggled mightily this season after severely injuring his groin at the tail end of Spring Training.
Gennett is also set to be a free agent following the 2019 campaign and his departure opens up playing time for youngsters Jose Peraza, Josh VanMeter, and Derek Dietrich who has yet to re-find his groove after a torrid start to begin the season.
One thing is for certain, the Reds are no longer complacent with being the floor mat in the NL Central. For the past calendar year the Reds have made several personnel moves not only affecting the big league club but also setting up depth within the organization for years to come.
With former MVP Joey Votto nearing the end of his long-term contract in the next few seasons, which will also more than likely mark the end of his Hall of Fame career, the Cincinnati Reds are trying to build a World Series contender so they can send Votto out in style with a World Title.
Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.