The Cincinnati Reds are lingering on the periphery of contention (at best), so these five players should be on the move heading toward the trade deadline.
Despite having the fourth-best run differential in the National League entering Thursday (+37), the Cincinnati Reds are 30-36 and eight games back in the NL Central. They’re seven games back in the Wild Card race, and closer to being the NL’s worst team than sitting atop that race.
With offseason trades that brought in Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Sonny Gray, the Reds advanced themselves as a sleeper playoff contender. But Kemp struggled, got injured and then was released in early May, and Puig is hardly hitting (.213/.256/.383 slash-line, 11 home runs, 33 RBI). Gray, for what it’s worth, has been pretty good thus far (3.65 ERA, 9.6 K/9).
The Reds have to start dealing in reality regarding 2019, and that means becoming a seller over the next several weeks heading into the July 31 trade deadline. Quite frankly, there should be very few untouchables for general manager Nick Krall if contending teams come calling.
Cincinnati does have some pieces with the perception of value, due to contract status, upside, being a pitcher or some combination of those factors.
With that, the Reds should be listening on these five players in particular.
5. OF Jesse Winker
Jesse Winker can play all three outfield spots well enough to not be a complete detriment defensively, and he has already set a career-high with 10 home runs this season. Only one of those home runs has come in his last 26 games though, with a sub-.600 OPS (.598) over that span.
Winker is essentially a platoon player who may hit a home run once in a while but also hit close .300 overall in both 2017 and 2018. He’s got an .810 OPS against right-handed pitching this season, compared to a .385 OPS against left-handers. For his career, his OPS is .886 against righties and .537 against lefties.
Winker has five years of team control left, pre-arbitration and into arbitration eligibility. But he is what he is right now, and the Reds can probably get a mid-tier prospect from someone for him.