The Reds were busy last night, acquiring Trevor Bauer from Cleveland in a three-team deal that sent their best prospect in Taylor Trammell to the Padres and Yasiel Puig to the Indians. Kenny Kelly did a great job writing about the trade, though I found it to be a puzzling move for the Reds. It was nice to see the Reds actually trying to be competitive this offseason, but at 50-56 and just a 5.7 percent chance to make the playoffs, per FanGraphs, it clearly has not worked out.
Seeing as how Tanner Roark and Scooter Gennett will be free agents this offseason, of course it made perfect sense for the Reds to trade them away. Gennett was traded to the Giants for just cash considerations, and Tanner Roark was sent to the Athletics for Jameson Hannah.
Gennett had a shockingly good season last year, hitting .310/.357/.490 and becoming possibly the most surprising player ever to hit four home runs in one game. He put up a 4.2 WAR season and things were looking pretty good heading into his contract year. Unfortunately, this year has been a disaster for him. He has played in only 20 games this year due to a groin injury, and in those 20 games he hit only .212/.232/.258 while taking only one walk and striking out 29 percent of the time. He has been so bad that he is worth nearly a win below replacement.
It stinks for the Reds, as they probably could have gotten a nice return for Gennett had he been able to stay health and reasonably productive. As for the Giants, he provides a chance, albeit a low one, to be an upgrade over Joe Panik as they sit 2.5 games out of the last Wild Card slot. Hanging on to Madison Bumgarner indicates that the Giants want to make a run at that last playoff spot despite their low chances, and Gennett was basically free.
Roark’s 4.49 RA9 is the same as last year’s with solid but unremarkable peripherals. He will provide some much needed help to the A’s rotation that is currently without Frankie Montas, Marco Estrada, and Sean Manaea, though hopefully Manaea will be back this year. The team is currently in the last Wild Card slot, but they are going to have a hard time holding on to it between the Indians, Rays, and Red Sox. They need every bit of help they can get, and parting with Hannah was a fair price to pay for that. He is a 21-year-old outfielder in High-A who can’t hit for any power, so his future is bleak unless he can fix that.
While these moves make sense for the Reds, it is hard to see what their plan is right now. They paid a high price for a season and a half of Trevor Bauer, who does lead the league in innings pitched but has been rather mediocre this season with a 4.37 RA9 and 4.92 DRA. If the Reds want to go all in for 2020, they have a long way to go.
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Luis Torres is a Featured Writer at Beyond the Box Score. He is a medicinal chemist by day, baseball analyst by night. You can follow him on Twitter at @Chemtorres21.