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Everyone has been waiting for the Reds to get moving before the trade deadline, and while their team as a whole isn't very good, they have some excellent pieces for other teams to work with. Johnny Cueto, impending free agent and ace, is the obvious one, and Jay Bruce -- who has rebounded over the last two months and has been one of baseball's better bats in that time -- is another. That's not all, either; while they won't trade 2015 Home Run Derby champion Todd Frazier or second-year player Billy Hamilton, closer Aroldis Chapman, another free-agent-to-be starter in Mike Leake and bit parts like Marlon Byrd could also be moved.
This isn't just hypothesizing, either, as Reds owner Bob Castellini has said it's time to start trading, and the names who are not going anywhere have been made clear: it's Frazier, Hamilton, and then expensive pieces like Joey Votto and Homer Bailey that Cincinnati would like to build around, as well as longtime Reds second baseman and fan favorite Brandon Phillips.
Even with those players off the table, Cincy could get a serious haul back for Cueto, Chapman and Bruce, and with the lack of mid-range pitching talent available at the trade deadline, Leake can probably bring back a nifty prospect or two as well. Sure, the Reds are going to look pretty ugly for the last two months of the season, but they need the influx of new, young talent, and trading away these lusted-after pieces is the only way they're going to get it in short order.
SB Nation presents: A Reds' sing-a-long
- It's not just the Reds who could send a whole lot of players packing in the next 13 days. The Padres are reportedly likely to deal both James Shields and Craig Kimbrel as general manager A.J. Preller starts to bring in the prospects and pieces he wants.
- The Astros are one of the teams talking to the Padres about pitching -- besides Shields, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross could also be dealt, as they are still under team control and could bring back a significant return.
- Justin Upton would prefer to stay with the Padres for the rest of 2015 rather than be traded, but he also believes they'll start winning soon. So, he might change his mind by the time July 31 rolls around.
- Which Cardinals have the most trade value? Normally we'd joke and say "some prospect you've never heard of who will be an All-Star in a few years in spite of this" but that's too true to be a joke.
- The Diamondbacks screwed up in the draft, as they didn't spend all of their allotted draft budget. Well, they screwed up if the intention was to get as many quality prospects as they could, anyway: in the D-Backs' eyes, saving money was the primary objective, and in that, they succeeded. Congrats, y'all!
- The Phillies are pushing to finish a trade of Jonathan Papelbon, and hey, maybe they'll even see this one to completion.
- More Padres and more Phillies, except this time in one bullet point! This is how James Shields' presence on the market affects the Cole Hamels' market.
- Even if the Red Sox don't rebound in 2015 -- and consecutive losses to the Angels to kick off the post-break schedule suggest they might not -- their season has been successful. So long as you're talking about the performance and future expectations of the kids on the roster and on the farm, anyway.
- The 2015 Red Sox might suffer another hit soon, as Clay Buchholz is visiting Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his elbow. Before you panic, know that it's Buchholz who wants a second opinion because he's had health troubles before, and doesn't want to just roll with that one opinion. Not when he can ask The Elbow Guy while he's on the DL anyway.