The Miami Marlins are open for business. After paying an insane $1.2B to buy the Miami Marlins, the new ownership group came in and started trying to find ways to immediately cut payroll as well as find more investors in the team. Over On Friday night and Saturday morning they made their first big move, trading Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees. They reportedly still need to cut some payroll.

The Cincinnati Reds have more than a few needs. They need a shortstop, and they need a center fielder. They need pitching. The Marlins don’t exactly have much pitching. The Marlins don’t seem to have a shortstop worth looking into. What the Marlins do have is more outfielders. Both Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna are All-Star caliber players.

Marcell Ozuna may be the better player of the two right now. He’s a year older and is coming off of a year where he hit .312/.376/.548 with a 145 OPS+. After playing center field in 2016 the team shifted him to left in favor of Yelich. However, in a year in which the baseball was massively juiced, the 2017 season was not like the rest of the career for Ozuna. He had never previously posted an OPS over .773. From a contract standpoint, he has two years remaining on his deal and is due for a raise from his $3.5M salary that he got in 2017. After the year he had, arbitration will likely award him a big raise.

Christian Yelich is a year younger than Ozuna, he’ll be 26-years-old in 2018. Last season he wasn’t as good at the plate as Ozuna was, posting a .282/.369/.439 line with 16 steals in 18 attempts. After seeing some time in center the previous few seasons the Marlins moved him there full time in 2017. For his career he’s been a far more consistent player than Ozuna has been with a career OPS+ of 120, and it’s never been lower than 112. What really separates Ozuna and Yelich though, is their contracts. Yelich is under control for the next five seasons and is only owed $58M in that span (though you could cut $13.75M off and a year if you wanted to buy out his deal after 2021).

Both players would be a significant upgrade to the Cincinnati Reds, especially if you could play either of them in center field. Yelich has the much better contract, is a year younger, and at least in recent terms, plays the position that is of more need. The cost acquisition for the two players would vary quite a bit given their contracts, but both would likely require a strong package of players.

What could the Cincinnati Reds offer?

While I don’t have an exact idea of what it would take to make a trade for either player, I do believe the Reds could use their surplus at several spots in the organization to make an offer that could get the deal done. Starting pitching is a need for the Reds, but it’s also an area where the team has a lot of options to work with, too. Could they move one quality pitching prospect/young pitcher in the deal and likely not be completely barren? Yes, they could. While the team would be looking to acquire an outfielder in this deal, it’s also an area where they have depth that they could look to move in a deal. The same could be said among infielders.

Pitchers Outfielders Infielders
Sal Romano Jesse Winker Scooter Gennett
Robert Stephenson Adam Duvall Dilson Herrera
Tyler Mahle Scott Schebler Shed Long
Amir Garrett Billy Hamilton Alex Blandino
Cody Reed Taylor Trammell Jeter Downs
Jackson Stephens Jose Siri Miguel Hernandez
Jose Lopez Aristides Aquino Gavin LaValley
Vladimir Gutierrez Miles Gordon
Tony Santillan Stuart Fairchild
Jesus Reyes
Jimmy Herget

If the Reds were to pick one of those top three starting pitchers, and added in a few other players from the rest of the list, I believe that the offer would be strong enough to bring back Christian Yelich. For example, Tyler Mahle, Billy Hamilton, Taylor Trammell and Vladimir Gutierrez – I’d be surprised if that weren’t enough to bring him back. And in that scenario, while it’s a lot to give up, the Reds are likely better on the field for at least the next 3-4 years, and they don’t have the risk involved that the prospects don’t develop.

Is now the time to go for it?

The Reds are in a situation right now, I believe, like they were when they made the Mat Latos trade. They have enough depth in some areas that they could “overpay” to bring in an All-Star caliber player with team control and not have it crush the future. Is right now the time to make that kind of deal? I’m not sure, but you can’t always pick when a player like that is available on the market, either. When they are, you need to explore your options. The Winter Meetings kick off today. The Reds should be meeting with the Marlins before the sun goes down tonight. They have parts that the Reds desperately need and the Reds seem to have the pieces to make it work.

57 Responses

  1. Bryce

    Am I crazy for wanting to throw Finnegan in? A 4 era when healthy, young, controllable, but walk rate at 4.5. Thrown in with Billy, and whichever minor leaguers you want, in my opinion, brings back Yelich

  2. Dan McSurley

    Doug, I would offer a package of Vladmir Guittierrez, Alfredo Rodriguez, Jose Peraza,and Keury Mella, offering the future but not the near future, and their outfielders would be a definitive upgrade over ours in terms of age and overall potential.

    • Doug Gray

      Well, they’d tell you thanks but no thanks. There’s not a single player on that list that would even start the conversation.

  3. Blake Shell

    To say they are in the same spot as the latos trade is very misguided. The latos trade happened to help push the reds from central division contender to for sure favorite and World Series contender. Not saying that I don’t think they should trade for yelich but it’s a much different situation. I also think Billy, 1 top 10 in our system, Garrett or Reed, and 1 non top 30 prospect gets it done.

    • wes

      I use to think like that, but reality is you just got to get in and you have a shot! Favorites rarely win it all…teams go from last to first all the time. Minnesota did it last year and they were in dead last. Who really scares you in the NL central? Very, very competitive yes, but Cubs aren’t that good. Their bullpen and rotation should take a step back next year. Reds gotta shot. Pitching stay healthy and pitch close to potential and their rotation is right up there with any team in the central.

    • Doug Gray

      The team isn’t in the same spot in terms of “competitiveness”. They are in the same spot in terms of having a ton of depth in areas that they could use to acquire an All-Star caliber player. That latter point is what I was trying to say.

    • Michael W.

      I would definitely like to see Yelich come to the reds. However, I hate seeing Tyler Mahle mentioned in possible trades. I know I’ve read his secondary stuff may be nothing more than average, but everything I have read has implied he has solidly succeeded every step of the way. Would like the chance to see if he can continue that solidness with the Reds. Maybe offer a different arm with “higher upside talent”. I am far from a baseball expert I maybe my thoughts are in complete ignorance. But can he continue his success the bigs? Would like to read others thoughts on this.

  4. Dan McSurley

    Doug, we have CORE pieces in place, some on the way, a future #5 pick, I like SS Nander De Sedas, I saw him at both the San Diego and Chicago showcases, and I’ve never seen a kid with easier power than this kid has, way more than Gorman

    • donny

      I really like Nander De Sedas to because of his bat. The problem with a guy like him based on reports is that he is a below average runner that will never stick at ss and this is another disadvantage the national league has when it comes to drafting players. Unless your drafting a guy just based on his bat with intentions of trading him down the road to a American league team. Unless a national league team think he can play 3b .

      Example; A guy like Brice Turang can play multiple positions. Who has a above average run and a above average arm. The guy is athletic enough to play ss,3b,2b, and corner outfield .

      Question is who is the better player. If Nander De Sedes is the better player because he is going to be a better hitter with power and a potential all star. The question is, does he make the the all star team as a player who is a dh in the american league.

      The philosophy of most teams is to draft the player who they feel is the best player. Is it so wrong to draft a player who might be the 7th best player in the draft who gives and has good value . Who can for sure play in the National league and a player who can give teams more flexibility.

      • donny

        Can make that case for a guy like Jeremy Eierman as well. When it comes to a sure thing national league player . Who i feel will move up in the draft down the road. As things will change like they always do down the road.

  5. wes

    Be tough to “overpay” for a guy when it comes to trading after yesterday….

    But if they want young guys to base a rebuild around while shedding salary- then if I’m reds I’d take either Zieglar or Tazawa. Both are on the books for 7 and 9 million. Then trade for Yelich and possibly Straily while we are there….

    And either T Stephenson or S Long- whoever they prefer.

    If I’m Miami, I jump all over that! Gives you another starter for the future, potential all star outfielder, and you shed over 20 million more of payroll.

    For Reds you get a huge upgrade at center, backend piece with experience, and a rotation piece that solidifies rotation. Then gives you flexability to deal another starter or two if you can find a good partner.

    Really, really hate to see trammell go though! Not sure they can work anything out with Miami without loosing him though. He’s best youngest player in system.

  6. Fish

    I’d trade for ozuna, not yelich. Yankees gave up a pile of garbage to eat the Stanton deal (and because of the no trade clause). I’d be willing to bet if they took ozuna & Ziegler, they could give up something like Romano/Garrett/Stephenson one of their non premium minor league position players & someone like mella.

  7. LeRoy

    As much as I would like to have Yelich, personally I would leave Trammel and Mahle out of the conversation. Mahle has excelled at every level he’s been and done well in his short stint with the Reds last season. I would like to see how Trammel does next year. He’s an excellent prospect that may out perform Yelich over his career. The Reds are at least another year away from serious contention, maybe two. These two players have a very good chance to be long term good to excellent major leaguers.

    • Stock

      Agree LeRoy!!!

      I would rather give up Senzel than Mahle and Trammell. I am not sure you can say the Reds have depth at SP as Romano, Stephenson, Garrett and Reed have yet to perform over a full year.

      Not sure why Mahle lost his control in his stint in the majors but he did continue his history of limiting runs.

      I also wouldn’t give up Gutierrez.

      If you want to trade from your excess Winker, Trammell and Santillian seems fair and no negative impact on the Reds in 2018.

      I am not sure there is much value difference between Winker/Duvall/Schebler on the corners. So losing Winker doesn’t hurt for the next several years.

      I would think 4 years of Yelich and 6 years of Siri > 6 years of Trammell.

      Santillian has major control problems and think Gutierrez has a better chance of starting in the majors.

      Why trade them Hamilton. They don’t want the salary and he would be an awesome 4th OF. He was fantastic in that role at the end of 2013. Only 19 AB but 13 SB. Plus, it seems like many clubs are interested in Hamilton and the Reds could possibly get a solid prospect for him to replace Trammell.

      • RDriesen

        I wouldn’t trade Senzel straight up for either of them. Talent, age and contract makes him more valuable to me, especially with where we are in the process. Now is absolutely not the time to trade young players away.

  8. Kap

    Gotta give to receive….


    That’s if they are inclined to get yelich

  9. paul nyhart

    We know how the prospect rankings line up, but from the perspective of the Red’s Front Office, do they value Trammel more than Siri?

    I assume the answer is yes, but is by a wide margin?

    • Doug Gray

      I think the scouts would say it’s a little closer than the stats guys would.

  10. Shamrock

    Eugenio for Yelchin?
    (i would’ve much rather sent them a garbage package for Stanton though)

    • Cguy

      Maybe not a straight up 1 for 1 deal, but very intriguing baseline for a mutually beneficial trade.

    • Doug Gray

      Yelich is slightly better today, and he’s got a better contract/more time before free agency. Don’t think that would be enough.

  11. Piggy Wiggly

    I’d make the trade for Yelich in a heartbeat. But I also want their Catcher, Realmuto.
    I would happily part with Robert Stephenson, Amir Garrett, Vladimir Gutierrez, Jesus Reyes, Shed Long, Jose Siri, Jeter Downs, and Stuart Turner.
    That will help Miami’s ML team, AAA team, AA team, and A+ team.

  12. Tampa Red

    Doug, even though I think SS is actually a bigger position of need, I’d make that trade in a second. Trammell and Vlad are at least a couple of years away, and Mahle and Hamilton are dealing from strength. If the Reds have the opportunity to make that trade and don’t, then heads need to roll.

  13. DanD

    If unable to make a trade with Miami how would a trade with Boston be with Duvall straight up for Jackie Bradley Jr? How is Bradley in CF compared to Ozuna or Yelich?

    Read on Reds Reporter that Boston might be interested in Duvall. If not for Bradley then who might the Reds be interested in?

    Bradley would be a great second choice behind Yelich.

    • Clammy

      The Boston player that intrigues me is Tzu Wei Lin; he’s a versatile defender who can play SS. Might have to start in AAA; but would be useful this year and seems to fit the bill for a utility player. #22 on Boston’s top 30.

      Duvall for Lin and one of their arms (5 are listed 11 – 16 on their top 30); that we can use to cushion the blow of talent traded for Yelich (hopefully).

      My offer for Yelich: Billy, Guiterrez, Jeter Downs and Mahle. We might have to throw one more prospect (Santillian or Siri) in there. Guiterrez (Cuban) and Jeter Downs being a Miami kid would certainly appeal to the Marilins above and beyond their talent.

      • Bill

        How about Duvall and Gennett for Jackie Bradley, Jr and Lin. I think that would help both sides and be fair from a contract standpoint.

  14. Shawn

    I would be willing to give up just about any prospect they wanted for Yellich as long as the Reds are committed to winning now. Resign Cozart or go out and get somebody else. Also need to be willing to upgrade pitching if needed at all star break. I read somewhere, probably twitter, that Miami was looking for prospects that were still a few years away. If true that would fit into the strength of our minor leagues

  15. HavaKlu

    I really can’t see the Marlins trading Yelich if they want to retain any fan base at all. His contract is equally as favorable for the Marlins as it is for the Reds.

    But if I were to propose a trade it would be Hamilton, Santillan, Stephenson and Long.

    • Doug Gray

      Not that it matters which Stephenson you are offering, because it’s not enough, but which Stephenson are you offering there?

      And depending on what the Marlins get back, the fanbase will be fine. What’s left of them, anyways.

    • Wes

      I think they think they don’t have a fan base. I think they want to trade all their guys away for 19 and 20 year olds and invest in signing and drafting. Crazy to me. They were easily good enough to contend. Guess they bought team w not enough funds to pay their players

  16. MK

    According to his mom the Marlins were the first team to make an offer to T.J. Friedl. Maybe they would be enticed with a deal he was involved in

    • Doug Gray

      Why is it an easy no to try and acquire players that are significantly better than every player the Reds have not named Votto or Suarez (and let’s note, both were better than Suarez in 2017)?

      • RDriesenUD

        Because they aren’t worth the price it will take to acquire them, especially with where we are in the process.

      • Doug Gray

        Yelich is under control for five years. It’s like trading for a prospect, but you know he’s already an All-Star caliber player. Today.

  17. Hanawi

    Wow. Some of you guys have a much higher opinion of Yelich than I do. Or maybe a lower opinion of Trammell and Mahle. I wouldn’t give up either one of those guys, much less both of them. Siri and two of Garrett/Romano/Stephenson/Reed would be the most I would do.

    Doubt the Marlins care about full value. They want cap relief. If the Reds take Ziegler, they may be able to give them an even worse set of prospects.

    • Doug Gray

      The Marlins don’t get much cap relief for 3+ years on Yelich. They want players in return.

      And I think you drastically underrate how good Yelich is and how insanely cheap his contract is compared to what his performance is. On a general aging scale, he’s worth roughly $170M over the next five seasons before he hits free agency. He’ll be paid $58M in that time.

      • Hanawi

        Yelich is very good, don’t get me wrong. However, from what I’ve read, the Marlins are looking to go to the bare bones, so any contracts are too much for them. And that’s why I don’t think they would take Billy back in a trade. And Yelich is not Mike Trout. He’s a borderline All-Star. The Reds should be able to get him without giving up their top shelf guys.

        I know you don’t think Mahle’s ceiling is as high as some of the other pitchers, but he has dominated every level he has been on, which no one else can say. Only Castillo and maybe Greene are above him on my list of untradeable pitchers.

  18. SErebel11

    Yelich for Greene, Siri and Hernandez was my original thoughts a few weeks ago. Gonna stick with that for now.

  19. Brad

    1) I would prefer to stay away from including Senzel, Grene, Trammell or Downs. Would add quantity to save quality.

    2) I would take on Brad Ziegler and a portion of his 9M salary for 2018 commensurate to lower prospect cost.

    Yelich and Ziegler (4.5M of salary paid by each side) to Reds for Bob Stephenson, Long, Siri, Santillan and Lavalley

  20. Bill

    As intriguing as Yelich is, it’s really hard seeing how to make a deal for Yelich that accounts for his super team friendly contract. My approach would be to take on a couple of contracts such as Tazawa ($7M and below replacement value last year) and Volquez ($13M and out for the year following TJS). If those contracts a package of Romano, Siri and Schebler were worked for the Marlins (saves them $26M this year) then I’m very tempted. If not, I would look for a CF elsewhere. I think if you go prospects alone, Yelich is not a great value for a team that will only thrive with a deep farm system.

  21. Patrick

    I would trade Winker, Duvall, Gutierez for Yelich, Ziegler.
    This would put Yelich as our left fielder because he is not a CF

    • Alex

      I agree that yelich probably isn’t a true cf. I think he would be comparable to when we had shin soo choo and can get the job done in Gabp though. Yelich would actually perform better than shoo on d I bet.

  22. Steve

    R. Stephenson, Garrett, Gutierrez, Santillan, T. Stephenson, B Ham, Aquino and Herrera for both Ozuna and Yelich.

    • Doug Gray

      Aside from the fact that would require the Marlins to take on five 40-man roster spots for two players, I can’t imagine that is remotely enough for those two players.

  23. Moses

    I think that the only way that this deal gets done, assuming Greene, Senzel, and Castillo are untouchables, is us giving up:

    Siri, Trammell, or Winker AND
    Romano or Mahle AND
    An infield prospect, perhaps a Cuban one
    Another decent pitching prospect, perhaps a Cuban one

    I don’t think that they’re interested in Hamilton, nor that he has much value, sadly. Perhaps, as some have suggested, the best way to reduce the prospect haul to the Marlins would be to eat a bad contract or two (Tazawa, Prado), and I’d seriously consider that if I’m spending Bob’s money.

    • Hanawi

      Well, I would do that deal only if it didn’t involve Trammell from the first list or Mahle from the 2nd. I’m fine giving up anyone else in the minors, though T. Stephenson would be a tough decision due to the utter lack of any other depth at C. If it is Siri, Romano, and Guiterrez, sign me up. I’d give them Long as well, or take back a bad contract instead.

  24. David

    What if the Reds promised to remove the Marlins’ hideous home run machine? That might give them the edge in any trade for Yelich.

  25. Hingle McCringleberry

    Christian Yelich. The difference maker for sure. All this Lineup needs is a good leadoff hitter. For 5 years of control. Jeter, Take Two guys. Any two.

  26. kevin z

    Think should keep our Prospects, Yelich to me is just a faster version of Winker.
    Trade our Prospects only for a TOR arm or SS. Rather hoard our prospects to keep the system strong. Trade Duvall scooter schebler Billy or Suarez

    • Doug Gray

      A faster version of Winker with more power is an incredibly valuable player. I don’t understand why you don’t want to acquire a cheap All-Star caliber center fielder for the next five seasons….

  27. kevin z

    for sure is a valuable player admit that. would not give up the farm for him though.

    • kevin z

      If got him would root for him though, he a good player good person.