2014 did not start off how the Cincinnati Reds had hoped for. Despite having eight players on the disabled list to start the year, many thought that the Reds still had enough of their core players to keep them alive and fighting in the NL Central division.
That indeed proved to be the case the case and in recent weeks the Reds have gotten almost everyone to 100 percent health and things have been turning around for them, including a four game sweep of the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park this weekend. The four-game sweep brings the Reds to within 6.5 games of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.
One of the eight players that started the season on the disabled list for the Reds was left-handed relief pitcher Sean Marshall, who has had injury problems the past few seasons. He was on the DL with shoulder problems, and when he came back he just wasn’t his usual self. Marshall’s ERA has been hovering around 9.00 since he returned from the DL and he has recently gone back on the DL with season-ending shoulder surgery.
When healthy, Marshall has great stuff and is very valuable to any bullpen looking for a left handed set up man. The Reds could trade him to any team, even on a minor league deal, for a few minor league players. The Reds don’t have any glaring needs on their major league club right now so getting some potential talent in the farm system for Marshall would be worth the trade.
Another guy in the Reds bullpen that would be worth trading is LHP Manny Parra. Parra has been up and down between the big leagues and the AAA Louisville Bats for Cincinnati. He has struggled a little bit in 2014, pitching in 33 games and posting a 4.43 ERA. Parra has a better track record than Marshall when it comes to staying healthy, but Marshall when healthy is the better pitcher. If any major league team is in desperate need of a left-handed relief pitcher, Parra would be a good guy to go ahead and trade away.
The Reds have recently seen the debut of two new relief pitchers in Jumbo Diaz and Carlos Contreras. Both are right-handed pitchers who have a lot to offer to a big league team. Out of the two, I see the Reds hanging onto Diaz more than Contreras because Diaz has shown the most potential in 2014 and manager Bryan Price has given Diaz more opportunities to take the mound than Contreras. Contreras is a guy that could be traded for minor league players or another reliever, preferably a left-handed pitcher, who would be ready to go in the majors right away. With the season ending surgery on Marshall, the Reds are short on left-handed relievers.
As the trade deadline lingers, the bullpen is the place where I see the Reds making the most if any moves. This team right now has been on a hot streak and just got up to share second place in the NL Central with the Cardinals after their weekend sweep of the Giants. Reds GM Walt Jocketty would be crazy to trade away any of the chemistry that Cincinnati has going right now.
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