Reds have decisions to make as trade deadline approaches

Published 11:03 pm Friday, July 28, 2023

To deal or not to deal, even Howie Mandel is curious.

The 6 p.m. Tuesday deadline is drawing closer and closer by the second and the Cincinnati Reds figure to be buyers instead of sellers this time around.

Or will they be neither.

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It’s no secret the Reds are looking for starting pitching and wouldn’t mind adding one more quality reliever.

Reds’ general manager Nick Krall made some trades last season during spring training that are paying dividends this season such as the acquisition of Spencer Steer and Brandon Livingston.

The Reds are said to have their sights set on Chicago White Sox right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease now that Lucas Giolita has been traded.

A couple of other arms on the table are former Red and current Detroit Tigers’ Michael Lorenzen.

Or possible San Diego left-hander Blake Snell, Merts lefty Jose Quintana as well as the Cubs’ Marcus Stroman, the Pirates Mitch Keller and the Cardinals’ Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery. But at what cost?

Those who were around to experience The Big Red Machine can remember the infamous trade of Tony Perez.

The Reds figured that Dan Driessen could put up good numbers and fill the offensive and defensive void. In fact, he was good enough that he was elected to the Reds’ Hall of Fame.

But the biggest reason for the trade was to save salary revenue. The front office didn’t take into account what the presence of Perez meant in the clubhouse and on the bench as well as on the playing field.

One of the most mention names in trade talks is second baseman Jonathan India. Again, the Reds have enough talent in the infield to make a deal for India. But, just like Perez, India gives the team something more than just statistics.

India is a leader of this new Red Wave.There no analytics that can measure heart, desire, determination, work ethic and leadership.

If the infield is too crowded, take the Eric Davis clone named Elly De La Cruz and put him in centerfield and move Friedl to right and use Fraley and whomever they decide in left field.

If you want to trade someone, try Will Benson. He’s hit really well but watching him play defense can be painful. While De La Cruz reminds you of Davis, Benson has many similarities to Dr. Strangelove.

Nick Senzel could be traded but his value isn’t very high plus he is injury prone.

And do the Reds really need to trade for a starting pitcher?

Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo are going to come back from the injury list very soon. Graham Ashcroft is pitching really well and Andrew Abbott is the reincarnation of Tom Browning.

The afore mentioned Livingston has pitched well and he appears to be getting better with each outing.

Luke Weaver has had his ups and down — OK, mostly downs but he has been better lately — and there’s still Ben Lively who has shown promise.

Sometimes, the best deals you make are the ones you don’t make. And right now, the Reds are playing with house money. No one expected this team to jump into contention at the beginning of the season.

The Reds have a lot of good, young talent. There’s still some good talent in the minor leagues. Instead of discarding a couple of cards to see what you might get in the draw, it could be a good idea to stand pat.

But all that is up to Nick Krall. It’s the dealer’s choice.

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Jim Walker is sports editor emeritus of The Ironton Tribune.