On Monday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network shared information that the Cincinnati Reds are essentially still listening to offers on just about any of their players. This isn’t the first time, and it’s almost certainly not the last time that he’s relayed that to the public, either.

Trading Eugenio Suárez would certainly be a tough pill to swallow. He’s under contract for at least the next four seasons, and the 2025 season has a $2M buyout or a $15M team option. He’s on an incredibly cheap deal and has long term team control. While trading him in the right kind of deal could make sense, it’s also one that probably signals to the fan base that the team isn’t exactly trying to win a whole lot in the short term.

What is interesting here, though, is the speculation of moving Mike Moustakas back to third base if Eugenio Suárez were to be traded. That would open up second base for Cincinnati. That could lead to several different scenarios playing out.

The first one could be that with a crowded outfield, Nick Senzel would slide back to the infield and take over second base and allow Shogo Akiyama to play center and have both Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos in the outfield and lineup on a near every day basis. From an offensive perspective, that would probably be a good thing (ignoring, of course, the loss of Eugenio Suárez in the lineup, which would be a bad thing).

Another scenario could be that the team turns over the reins at second base to Jonathan India. While much of his time in the minor leagues, and in college at Florida was at third base, India has started seeing more time at second base and saw time there while at the Reds alternate site out at Prasco Park. With no minor league season, we can’t look at stats to see how well (or in other cases, not well) someone played. But all reports coming out of the Reds organization is that India looked very good and took big steps forward this year.

The scenario that seems less likely, at least in the immediacy of April of 2021 is to potentially put Jose Garcia at second base. He hasn’t played there a ton, but he does have some experience there. The Reds are looking for a shortstop this offseason because they concluded that Garcia, while ready defensively, probably needs a bit more time in the minors before he’s ready to hit at the highest level on an everyday basis. The same conclusion would of course apply to second base.

Of course with Garcia this could be a 2-fold situation, too. If the team does indeed land a shortstop this offseason, and it’s one who is going to require multiple years to bring in, then it’s likely that Garcia is going to either be delayed quite a bit in when he arrives, find another position to play, or find himself in trade discussions.

The good news is that there do seem to be quality options available to the Reds if they were to trade Eugenio Suárez. The bad news is that the Cincinnati Reds may be considering trading Eugenio Suárez and that is just a bad sign of where things are in the front office right now due to what seems like a cutting payroll demand from the ownership group.

21 Responses

  1. Matthew O'Neal

    If the Reds are trying to save money, and open up spots, I’d argue they should try and trade Moose for whatever they can get. That opens up 2B for either Senzel or India (talk about cost saving – – – from 16MM to league minimum).

    • Chase Martini

      But who is gonna trade for Moose? He is a good player, but great players cant get that kind of money right now

      • Matthew O'Neal

        Kinda what I meant by “for whatever they can get”. I’m not thinking there’s a market out there for him, but if they can find interest anywhere, they should pull the trigger. I like Moose, but if they can trade him and sign a SS, I think that whoever they sign + India is better than Garcia/Moose at SS/2b.
        I’d put 99% confidence that Moustakas is the opening day second basemen, though.

      • Billy

        According to https://www.baseballtradevalues.com/trade-simulator/, the Moustakas contract is so underwater that you’d have to give away Austin Hendrick in a deal just to get a team to take it. That’s with nothing coming back. The Reds won’t do that of course. And while that site isn’t perfect, it seems to me to be fairly accurate and unbiased (which is particularly difficult for us fans to be).

      • Stock

        Call me crazy but I think Moose has value right now. Projection systems seem to ha ve Moose with stats right in between his 2018 season (2.4 WAR) and 2019 season (2.8 WAR). But those WAR totals were based upon his defense at 3B. Move him to 2B where he is not so good defensively and his WAR is 1.8.

        From 2017 – 2020 a WAR of 1 was worth about $8 million.

        Projection systems have Moustakas hitting between 2018 (2.4 WAR) and 2019 (2.8 WAR) seasons. With his defense it places him with a war of about 2.6 as a 3B but only 1.8 as a 2B.

        Moustakas at 2B (assume meets 1.8 projected WAR in both 2021 and 2022 and has 85% in 2023).

        2021: 1.8 x 8 equals $14.4 million or about his $14 million 2021 salary
        2022: 1.8 x 8.0 equals $14.40 million which is less than his 2022 salary of $16 Million
        2023: 1.5 x 8.0 equals $12.00 million which is less than $18 million in salary.

        Total value is +0.4-1.60-6.00-4(buyout) or about – $11.2 Million

        As a 3B though his WAR jumps to about 2.6

        2021: 8 x 2.6 equals 20.8
        2022: 20.8
        2023: 17.68

        Total 59.28 is about $11 million more than the $48 million we pay him for these 3 years.

        I am not sure how the simulator gets -$19 million in trade value for Moustakas. I would put it at about $5 million. If you trade him to the Nationals he will play 3B and not 2B.

    • Shawn

      Reds would have to eat a lot of the money. He is being paid more than he is worth. I would rather the Reds did that tho than trade one of our pitchers or Suerez.

    • MuddyCleats

      Agree, Moose & Castellanos would b my candidates 4 trade. SP a quality SS or CF prospect would b ideal positions to target.

  2. MBS

    I never wanted Castellanos, but even trading him scares me. It just seems like the Reds are content to be mediocre. I doubt India is ready to come up this year anyway. Maybe next season we will have these problems of where are we going to fit these young players in with all of these older players blocking them

  3. SultanofSwaff

    Trading Geno isn’t optimal from a PR perspective but it would benefit the team in 4 ways:

    1. Opens up a spot for India. Not a stretch to think he could replace 80% of Geno’s production for league minimum.
    2. Saves the teams millions in future commitments that could theoretically be reinvested to fill a need at the trade deadline…..or used to lock up a guy like Castillo long term.
    3. The team would receive a no-doubt prospect or two that could ideally slot into the arrival window of Lodolo/Greene/Garcia, thus solidifying the team core for years.
    4. Positional flexibility. Without Geno, you then could rotate India/Senzel/Moose at both third and second. In doing so, you get Shogo in the lineup more and Votto less (he needs more days off moving forward).

    • MK

      Seems like everyone is willing to give the low offensive output of most players the excuse of the CoVid Season. But for Moose he is just a tradeable slug. Why isn’t Suarez a slug he fell off more than anyone. Senzel is always given a pass and he has never established a positive major league offensive resume. Another sub par season and neither Senzel or Suarez have any trade value. Wall Street and Baseball says sell high and buy low.

  4. Jeff Burger

    Trading Suarez not only allows for players like Moustakas and Sentzel to slot into their normal playing positions but adds Major League prospects to the Reds organization and, most important of all in my opinion, frees up dollars to sign a Major League shortstop like Didi. Any deal for Suarez has to come with an already worked out deal for a major league shortstop.

  5. Hoyce

    Suarez to Dodgers. For a pitcher (hopefully Dustin may). And lux.
    Move moose to 3rd. Lux to 2nd. -unless they believe lux can be a SS
    Dodgers are looking for a RH power bat for 3B. To replace turner. Suarez appeals to LAD mexican fans. Win win

    • TR1

      LOL. You aren’t getting Lux or May straight up for Suarez. Going to have to throw in top 5 prospect too for either one.

  6. Justin

    It’s such a weird year because we have no idea where the organization sees India (and every other minor leaguer) in his development. Maybe they think they have something better on their hands than Suarez? Maybe they just want to save money and think India will be ok. Who knows?

  7. DaveCT

    The subtraction of Geno from the lineup does help undo some of the logjam. But opening up an infield spot for Senzel or India puts some big uncertainties more out in the open. Senzel has yet to prove he can stay on the field, let alone hit consistently. India’s latest scouting reports are encouraging but also question if he is a regular on a good team or ultimately a utility guy. If he can stay at 3B, Rece Hinds is very interesting but is years away and high risk-high gain. Oh and we don’t have a shortstop for 2021.

  8. Tom

    The Nats are in that stage the Reds were in 2014 when they wouldn’t trade Robert Stephenson for anything because their pitching window was ending in sight. They would be wise to go for it full on to acquire enough to compete for a title. Geno does that for them. Rutledge and Cavali and Kieboom could all be relative flops and I’d be suspect of that deal for Geno.

  9. MBS

    Here is my biggest thing about trading away Suarez, Castellanos, Moustakes, Gray, or Castillo. If they are moving 1 of those guys for someone with proved ability to help the 2021 team, like Torres or ready to go prospects like Franco, Lewis, Gore, Pache then I am ok with the moves.

    Yes i know i only talked about the best of the best prospects in baseball. It doesn’t have to be the very best prospect, because Castellanos has a different value than Castillo, and so on. But they have to be ready to compete in the 21 MLB season. I don’t yet trust the Reds ability to bring along players through the minors.

    I know they made sweeping changes to the organizational philosophy, but who knows how good or effective those changes are. I’d rather keep fighting for the playoffs, or retool, rather than do a true rebuild.

  10. BK

    If trading Suarez enables the Reds to resign Bauer, then I’m onboard. This is not a good year to sell off vets for prospects. With most teams smarting from 2020 losses and the real risk of additional losses in 2021, it’s a buyer’s market for veteran players.

  11. Michael E

    While one short season may not be a good reading, the fact is our offense is HR and strikeout heavy…still. Eugenio is the king of that philosophy. I get that we’d miss his HRs, but do we lose THAT much if Moose takes over and we pickup some top prospects? I think we’d be selling high on Suarez. He may prove me wrong, but his career year was 2019 and he wont come close to that again (he also K’d 189 times…yikes). Bank on that while you can.

  12. Jon Ryker

    Stockpiling 3rd basemen indescriminently isn’t trying to win either.

  13. Scott Garrett

    I don’t know why the Reds signed Shogo and Moose last year. I don’t know why they want tear down this year. Unload the pitching,really? Krall doesn’t have a clue. Looks like this team will stay at the bottom of the division,again. Must be learning from the Bengals???