Well, the Cincinnati Reds made a big trade on Sunday afternoon as they sent starting pitcher Sonny Gray and minor league pitching prospect Francis Peguero to the Minnesota Twins for right-handed pitching prospect Chase Petty.

For Cincinnati’s big league club it’s another big blow to the starting rotation which now has to replace both Sonny Gray and Wade Miley from last year’s club. Those two combined to throw 298.1 innings with a 3.74 ERA last year. While the Reds have more than a few seemingly good options to step in from the farm system, replacing that production in 2022 is going to be a huge ask.

From the perspective of what’s coming back in the deal, Cincinnati is certainly improving their farm system. Chase Petty was the 26th overall selection in the 2021 Major League Baseball draft. He didn’t pitch much after being picked, throwing just 5.0 innings over one start and one relief appearance for the Twins complex level team in Florida.

On one hand, Cincinnati saved money by not having to pay the signing bonus for Petty. And they also saved a bunch of money (just over $10M) by trading away Sonny Gray and what was remaining on his contract. For a team that used the phrase “aligning payroll to resources”, well it seems that they are at least trying to get payroll down. That could change if they spend the money they were going to pay Gray on big leaguers this year, but that’s a wait-and-see situation right now.

On the other hand, though, if you are going to dream on a prospect with a huge upside, Chase Petty is exactly the kind of guy you envision. His fastball has reached 102 MPH. His slider is nearly as good as the fastball. And while he hasn’t used his change up much – and why would he given that all that does in high school is give overmatched kids a chance – it’s a pitch that scouts see promise in that could be an above-average offering in the future.

There’s also plenty of risk that is involved with Chase Petty. It’s not his fault that he’s just 18-years-old, but with his age and being a pitcher there are plenty of hurdles that he’s going to have to clear moving forward. Unfortunately pitchers get hurt often enough, and ones that throw harder are at a slightly higher risk for injury, too. Petty, while noted for his athleticism, is also noted to have some effort in his delivery. As Baseball America noted in their write up of Petty in the 2022 Prospect Handbook, “Petty’s upside is significant, but his specific player demographic is inherently risky and he’ll need plenty of time to develop.”

Petty could eventually be a great fit for Cincinnati. The best pitchers that have come through Great American Ball Park have been guys that had both good ground ball rates and missed some bats. While we don’t know yet how Petty’s numbers will be, the profile is there for both of those things. He’s got elite velocity with his fastball, and unlike many others who throw in the upper 90’s+, his fastball is a sinker. Toss in a plus slider and you are also looking at a guy who projects to miss bats.

Between now and that potential future is going to be plenty of pitching for the 18-year-old right-hander. And there’s going to be plenty of development, too. Petty has been on the radar for the club for a while. One of the Reds scouts had done a lot of work on him prior to the draft last season and the club thought he could have been there in the comp round for them to select. He wasn’t and the Reds wound up selecting outfielder Jay Allen with that pick instead.

Where does Chase Petty rank?

While I’m not ready just yet to toss Chase Petty into the Reds farm system rankings – I’d like to talk to more people, watch more video, etc. With that said, we can talk about where Chase Petty ranked at the various other publications within the Twins farm system.

  • Baseball America – 7th
  • Fangraphs – 14th
  • Baseball Prospectus – 4th
  • The Athletic – 9th

As you can see, there’s a pretty wide variety of opinions with where Chase Petty ranked. Most of the reports are similar despite the ranking. It seems that the ranking is more about just how much risk the publication places on Petty’s mechanics and what they may mean for his future as a starting pitcher.

32 Responses

  1. AMDG

    He hit 102 mph in high school?

    Sounds like the Reds just grabbed Hunter Greene Jr.

    In a salary dump, I’m assuming most fans would happy to acquire the future value of Greene, since Gray was going to be moved.

    Interestingly, both Greene and Petty had a 6:1 K:BB ration in the few innings they pitched in rookie ball.

    • AC

      Hunter Greene would have been selected 24 times by the 26th pick of the draft. Let’s not get carried away with our comparisons.

  2. kevinz

    Thanks Sunny fun watching you compete like crazy.
    Salary Dump while adding Talent.
    All about Youth and Devlp imo.
    For the Big Club along with trades down the Line.
    While Gray tough to lose nice got some value for him.
    Back was an issue last season.
    So move to me makes sense.

  3. Tom

    Good write up Doug. This does all come down to whether Petty can stay healthy. They went upside rather than proximity to MLB this time. Good sign for Front Office decision making?

    • Tom

      OTOH, Krall used the word “reliever” as a possible outcome.

      Critics are rightly calling this a salary dump since the prospect value isn’t “aligned” with Gray’s actual value. Boooo. This is 2015 all over again.

  4. MBS

    I’m happy with the return for Gray. Only complaint is, I feel like they could have got a aaaa OF thrown in. We might have a hard time filling the OF in 22. Too many injury prone guys.

    • MK

      Gray is on the way down and has been last two years. Need to move before he has absolutely no value. Another year of injury and diminishing stats and he could be there.

      • Tom

        Very true. Better than nothing I guess. I thought Petty would be in play in the 15 to 20 range last year. This will be a big old wait and see.

  5. RedsGettingBetter

    I feel like the Reds should have received another player to accept this trade, at least a average minor league position player , understanding the FO doesn´t want any big league player that could consume dollars in the payroll, but as it was agreed I think they did not get the best in the trade at this moment.

    • Marxter

      It seems the Reds get fleeced or the short end of the stick a lot!
      Another Season over before it starts!

  6. Jonathan Linn

    Good return; but this was a salary dump. Grays salary was only $10 million. Somehow this feels worse than it did in 2015….

    • AMDG

      If letting Miley (who was due $10M) go to the Cubs for nothing was a salary dump, then Gray’s salary of $10M is also a salary dump? No?

  7. jim m

    Competing with the Pirates for more losing seasons… maybe 2030 will be when the Reds ownership stops hating thier fans?? Bob lied to the fans when he bought the team… he can not do what he promised.. zero World Series and zero playoff series wins… wish he would sell to someone who HATES losing!!!

  8. MK

    Sanmartin, the other guy we got along with Gray from the Yankees, is the happiest guy about this trade.

    • Billy

      I like the trade. I want to see them get rid of Moose and Shogo too. They shouldn’t be taking AB’s from others. If they trade any more starters they should get multiple prospects.

  9. Tom

    The pandemic really really hurt the Reds. Even still the Reds are a lower revenue team. This will be life as a Reds fan until that changes. The biggest variable at this point is the skill and intelligence of the front office while they execute a Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics approach.

  10. Kindell

    I know people think the Reds should have at least received another player in this trade, but I am glad they went high upside over two mid-level prospects. Obviously, ownership is not going to spend money, so we need to hope to get lucky the next few years and develop some star talent out of the minor leagues.

    It will be interesting to see who makes this rotation now because if they care at all about baseball, the optimistic view here is that they feel Sonny is declining, and they feel good about getting that value from one of the young guys this year.

  11. Jonathan Linn

    I would have liked to see if we could have gotten Byron Buxton for Sonny Gray….Would that have been too much of a return for Gray?

    • BK

      Yes, I believe it would have been. As a 27-year old coming off a 4.5bWAR season, the Twins extended him just prior to the lockout to a 7-year/$100M contract with a lot of incentive bonuses attached.

      • ClayMC

        There’s no possible way the Twins would move Buxton for Gray. Buxton has MVP potential and he only gets paid at that level if he performs, which I’m sure the Twins would be happy to accommodate. It’s a dream contract for that organization.

        Imagine the Mets setting over in the corner, paying Lindor $35 million a year, thinking “hold on, the Twins don’t have to pay their superstar if he doesn’t perform?!?!”

      • BK

        Sorry, I was trying to make the same point … would Buxton for Gray have been too much to ask? Yes, too much. Besides, Buxton was just extended. I believe that makes him ineligible to trade until well into the 2022 season.

      • ClayMC

        My bad BK, i hit the wrong reply button. I meant to reply to the original Buxton post, haha.

        But just for some additional context on the Buxton contract, since we’re here…

        Buxton’s base 2022 AAV will likely rank somewhere around 45th highest in the AL (maybe around the 13th highest in the AL Central). And this is for a guy who, if you extrapolate last year’s 250 PAs to an entire season, would have finished with 10+ fWAR (Vlad Jr. led the league with 6.6). That’s obviously not a realistic extrapolation, but it still establishes just how insane his potential is. A healthy Buxton (big IF, I know) will produce at 5+ WAR per season. Each of his last 3 seasons have extrapolated out to over 5 WAR for a full season. He’s got to find a way to stay healthy, but given that his base salary is only $14MM, I think that’s a gamble any team outside of Baltimore and Pittsburgh would make.

        For a guy as injury-prone as Buxton, I still think his $100 million contract is one of the best contracts in the Bigs, especially for small-market teams.

  12. Frostgiant80

    I might have missed it on here but I saw today that Alf Rod was released last week. I was hoping to see his bat come around enough to make it but it was not to be.

  13. Jim Delaney

    Trading Gray now was to dump his salary. Keeping him and trading him in June or early July would have gotten a lot better value. Teams contending would be more willing to give up prospects. Very concerned Petty is high effort smaller framed pitcher destined to throw his arm out and never reach the Big Leagues. Have to hope there is a corporation type entity willing to buy Reds franchise and get them out of current ownership group hands that doesn’t care about putting a winning product on the field. Very sad day.. Krall again gets fleeced in a trade to dump salary .. follows the Iglesias, and Barnhardt deals…

    • AMDG

      Maybe the Reds see Gray trending in the wrong direction and thought they could get more value now?

      Over his 3 years in Cincy his WHP and ERA have both trended in the wrong direction, and he’s only logged 163 IP once since the 2013 season.

  14. ClayMC

    I don’t hate the return. In years past, I probably would have been very vocally supportive of this deal.

    However, this offseason is different. It’s impossible not be frustrated that leadership has removed 2 quality arms from the rotation, both of whom were on team-friendly contracts, for what? $30+ million that is going directly into Bob’s pockets? I get that I still have a sour taste in my mouth from CBA negotiations, and that recency bias is shaping my opinion, but this just feels like owners continuing to kick baseball and its fans while they’re still on the ground.

    • ClayMC

      $30+ million and a guy who’s most probable outcome is being a late-inning reliever for a Reds team 5+ years down the road*

  15. MBS

    The last time we traded good pitching, Cueto, Leake, and Chapman we waited too late and got older prospects back. This deal gets us a young good prospect.

  16. Mike in Ottawa

    So the clock (if it hasn’t already) is now officially on for 2024. I think if ownership doesn’t open the wallet once 2024 comes, I am done with the Reds….I have loved them since I was old enough to love the Big Red Machine. But this owner has promised a winner and all we see is selling our good players low. imo

  17. Jim Delaney

    Firesale continues Winker and Suarez gone to Mariners. Reds gave up Winker for nominal return to get rid of Suarez contract. Hopefully this means current ownership is stripping the payroll to sell the franchise. Otherwise don’t know how Reds organization survives. Trust in the Castellini group is gone. He has to sell.. they won’t get 800,000 fans to come to ballpark this season.. and it should be less than that based on ownership effort. Don’t let them enjoy any additional profits..

  18. Mike in Ottawa

    Are we getting Major Leagued? (tongue in cheek, sort of) Is ownership stripping the roster of any talent they can to move the franchise??? Is Castellini (former minor owner of the Cardinals) screwing Cincinnati and laughing with his Cardinal buddies???

    I agree Jim, this team will be unwatchable. Unless a million what ifs happen in their favor. Agree with many who have commented, Joey Votto does not deserve this!

    • BK

      This is a thematic speculation. I don’t think this is prep to sell the team. Castellini doesn’t own the team. He owns a minority share (likely the largest share). I think this is paying off COVID debt. Also a recognition the team coming out of 2021 was mediocre and the team didn’t have the resources to improve it.