Ken Rosenthal recently wrote that the Reds were open to trading Sonny Gray. While this does not mean that they should or would, it is always fine to at least listen to offers. Considering the amount of money owed to Gray, the years left on his deal and the way he has played, the Reds could get quite the haul back in terms of a deal.
The biggest issue is that they would be losing two of their big three pieces in one offseason. It is possible that the Reds would use this money to re-sign Trevor Bauer but that is a discussion for a different time. This piece will look at the potential deals the Reds would consider if they were to trade Sonny Gray.
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To many this may look like the Reds are giving up a lot and truthfully, they are. This deal would only happen if the Reds could sign Lindor to a multi-year extension. Think something in the Joey Votto range of money. The Reds could afford to do this with Gray’s contract off the table and not having to worry about signing Senzel to a big deal in the future.
Lindor is not only a franchise player but he really is one of the best in a generation. He seems to want out of Cleveland and with the Reds he could flourish in the middle of what should already be an impressive offense (baring what happened in 2020). Don’t forget that he is also one of the best fielding shortstops in the game and can hit from both sides of the plate.
As for the Indians, they are able to get rid of Lindor, strengthen an already very strong rotation, finally get a solid major league outfield piece, an outfield prospect with power and potentially their shortstop to take over for Lindor. It is likely that they receive prospect packages that are way bigger than this. But as always with prospects, they could bust. At least with three of these four players the Indians would know what they are getting and Siani is a well-regarded prospect.
Tampa Bay Rays
If this option is on the table for Nick Krall and company, they need to jump on it now. It is a great deal for both sides and one that helps both teams in major areas of concern. Again the Reds look like maybe they are giving up more, but when looking more in-depth, they are not at all.
For the Rays, they would be getting a cheaper contract than Snell’s by what would end up being at least $6 million and potentially could be more if they don’t bring Gray back on the team option. Gray has pitched in the division and figured out why he struggled with the Yankees so it likely wouldn’t be a repeat of his previous AL East stint.
Along with that Tampa gets back Casali at a position they are greatly needing help with. Cincy are already looking to clear space for top prospect Tyler Stephenson anyway. In addition, he and Gray are a perfect combo and they would be excited to stick together. Gutierrez is thrown in as a solid arm that should be MLB ready and helps even things out a bit.
For the Reds, they should be thrilled. Snell is not far removed from a Cy Young Award and getting him out of the high-powered AL East should only help him. His salary is still pretty manageable and the Reds would have him until 2024. He is only 28 and would be a top of the rotation guy for a team that is trying to compete now.
Willy Adames also has played well and was once a top prospect. He is in arbitration until 2025 so he could be an option of the future or until Garcia is ready and then a backup. More than likely he will continue to get better and the Reds are ecstatic to finally have a solid player at shortstop. Lastly, the Rays have three different highly regarded prospects ready to fill in at shortstop and are likely looking to not only move Adames but apparently are already looking to do so with Snell this offseason.
This would be another one where the Reds would only be doing this if they could sign Trea Turner for a longer-term deal. He wouldn’t cost nearly as much as Lindor. The Reds would be looking closer to maybe $15 million or a little less per year. Which, would not be much more than what Sonny is owed over the next three years.
Trea Turner would end up being the Reds shortstop for at least the next two seasons as he is still arbitration-eligible in 2022 as well. The Reds would probably try to get him for at least two or three more years beyond that. The Nationals have two younger players coming up behind him as well so they may be more inclined to move him. He hit .335 on a last-place team and while he strikes out more than he walks, he can steal bases, hit for power and still hit near .300 just about every season. Truthfully, he is a much less expensive and non-switch-hitting Lindor but he is still an absolute stud.
As for Rutledge and Marte, neither rank in the MLB top 100. They are the first and twenty-first ranked prospects according to mlb.com, respectively. Marte is young and the Reds wouldn’t see him for at least three or four years. Rutledge is young and has a lot of potential. He could be a solid middle of the rotation type player in the future.
The Reds would throw-in Sal Romano and Ryan Hendrix to help a very bad Nationals bullpen. Hendrix could be a backend of the bullpen guy for them and Romano can eat plenty of solid middle innings. With that adding Gray would make the Nationals rotation that much better. A top three of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gray would be lethal. Add in Patrick Corbin behind them and they are stacked.
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