Cincinnati Reds trade rumors: Will Walt Jocketty pull the trigger?

cincinnati reds

The loss of Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips has really hurt this Reds team.

For about the last month leading up to the All-Star break, the Cincinnati Reds were playing their best baseball of the 2014 season and had pretty much everyone healthy, after starting the season in an injury-filled rut. Their starting rotation was back to health with the return of Mat Latos in early June, Joey Votto was healthy after a stint on the DL earlier in the season, and catcher Devin Mesoraco was having a career year after two trips to the DL to begin the year.

All this good luck and momentum has gone south for the Reds. Brandon Phillips went down with a torn thumb ligament, which he ended up needing surgery to repair and is now expected to miss six weeks, which means he would return mid August to the beginning of September. Joey Votto is expected to be out about the same amount of time as Phillips.

These two injuries to their star players could not have came at a worse time. The Reds were just 1.5 games behind the first place Brewers going into the All-Star break. Since the break, the Reds took a six game road trip to New York to face the Yankees and Milwaukee to see the Brewers. Unfortunately for the Reds, they got swept in both of those series. Not only were their bats quiet, but their defense did not look like one of the best in the Major Leagues like it has been all season. Their stellar starting pitching even has hit a wall and has not been cranking out the quality starts we are used to seeing from them.

So, with all these injuries and recent struggles, will the Reds’ GM Walt Jocketty make a move?

In order to give this team a spark he has to. A front runner to pick up before the trade deadline would be utility player Ben Zobrist from the Tampa Bay Rays. Zobrist doesn’t have striking numbers, but he is consistent. He has been batting between .269 and .275 in the past three seasons. The Reds haven’t been able to find consistency at the plate all season so it would be good for them to grab a guy who can bring that to the table. Zobrist also could fill in in the infield, and that would relieve players like Brayan Peña and Skip Schumaker because he can give them off days when filling in for them at first and second base. Zobrist may cost the Reds a few young prospects, but the Rays tend to like young pitchers and the Reds have a few of those they can offer.

Zobrist is making $7 million this season and has a $7.5 million team option for 2015. If the Reds do pick him up, they could choose to let go of Ryan Ludwick at the end of the year to make room for Zobrist. Ludwick has a mutual $9 million option for next season with a $4.5 million buyout, so if the Reds decide to decline that offer Zobrist could be a longer term utility man than just this season.

The Reds are in desperate need of some bench depth, and Zobrist is not the only option but the one that makes the most sense at this time for Cincinnati.

  • Jayson

    Go for either Byrd, Bastardo, Zobrist, or a player like Mike Aviles. They could all be helpful down the stretch. The Indians do need an outfield bat and the Reds have a guy that can help the Indians: Ryan Ludwick. Then, it would make sense to go after Byrd and/or Bastardo to give them lefty-relief help or a power bat that would blossom in a park like GABP.

  • Steve Bahrani

    One player is not going to help them score 4+ runs per game to get wins.

  • MG

    The Reds should be sellers , just too many injuries to key players. They could trade Ludwick to the AL and are you ready for this one?????? Trade Chapman! I know he is one of the best closers in baseball but the reds will not be able to pay him especially when you consider Cueto and Latos will soon be free agents.

  • metalhead65

    7 million dollars and prospects for a 33 year old utility guy? as a reds fan I want them to win but not at this price. they do not have any good prospects at triple A so that would mean they would have to give up good young ones at the lower levels and I say no way! jocketty is the guy who put the reds in this position by giving fat contracts to his beloved former cardinal ludwick and giving a average to good pitcher in Bailey a 100 million dollars. that left him to sign anyone who had played in the majors like bernidina for bench help. I hate the cardinals but you do not see them panic when they have injuries they just pick up the phone and call somebody up because they do not trade away their best prospects. that is why they are consistent winners. the season is over for the reds now so do not trade away the future so they can finish 10 games out instead of 15.

    • Austin Giwer

      the problem is jocks drafts have been so bad we dont have any prospects to play or trade away.

  • Peter Eichele

    Trade Jay Bruce, but with his errors and batting average who wants him? Good defense is easy to find, but batting and bunting for a decent average does not appear to be good enough to make the playoffs. I just cannot believe that Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Zach Cozart, etc strike out so much at the plate. Why do they even pay a batting coach? Has anyone in the last 2-3 years seen one change in the above mentioned batting stances? Don’t Bruce and Votto understand to move a few inches towards the plate when they have two strikes to maybe get a little contact to stay alive? Outside and low—- EVERY TEAM KNOWS THE STRIKEOUT BALL. I thought spring training was where you are supposed to learn how to hit, bunt, and field. Why waste the money for a nice Arizona vacation as none of them learn a damn thing how to hit the ball, nor do most still swing the same way! It is aggravating to buy season tickets and get such a lousy performance for what is supposed to be a top notch team. Walt Jocketty– do something and get rid of Jay Bruce, Zach Cozart, and maybe Votto with their $20 million salaries.

  • Nicky c

    Trade ludwick!!! Indians need a bat. Get aviles or some prospects. Then go after Kemp!!

    • Mike Nelson

      You see what’s happened the last few years. The deadline comes and goes then nothing happens

      • Tim McWilliams

        That’s right Mike. They think they can win with this group and they aren’t. I’d make more than one move.

        • Hawk

          Trade votto latos Cozart for jays Bautista Reyes delabar boom