CINCINNATI -- Nine trades have shaped the Reds roster this year.
Trades, particularly when you're trading for prospects, are best judged well down the road -- four, five, six years.
But there's no fun in that.
So we're going to go ahead and rate them one through nine, knowing full well that the list might be different in four years -- or four weeks for that matter. We're considering the potential of each trade, but mostly we're looking at how it looks right now. So here goes:
1. Todd Frazier for Scott Schebler, Jose Peraza and Brandon Dixon
Dec. 16, 2015
This looks like a slam-dunk winner for the Reds. Schebler is outhitting Frazier by a wide margin, so you'd take the trade just on that alone. Then you've got Peraza's potential. Remember, he's only 22. Plus, this trade gave the Reds great economic flexibility this year. Frazier is making $12 million. Schebler and Peraza are making $540,000 each.
Without the savings, the Reds probably would not have been able to add the veterans they did. Reliever Drew Storen ($3 million), starter Scott Feldman ($2.3 million) and infielder Scooter Gennett ($2.5 million), combined with Schebler and Peraza, make $8.86 million.
2. Alfredo Simon for Eugenio Suarez and Jonathan Crawford
Dec. 11, 2014
Another big winner. Simon was basically done as an effective pitcher when the Reds sent him to Detroit. You can't fault them for bringing him back, however.
Suarez looks like a potential All-Star. Maybe this year. He's currently fifth in the National League in Wins Above Replacement. His bat obviously plays well, but the fact that he's gotten so much better at third base increases his value greatly. He's also a great clubhouse guy -- upbeat, friendly and hardworking.
3. Mike Leake for Adam Duvall and Keury Mella
July 30, 2015
Another winner. When this trade was made, I thought Mella was the key. He was rated higher in the San Francisco Giants system. Duvall had great power, but he didn't have a position and hadn't proven he could hit at the big-league level.
Then the Reds put him in left field. All he did last year was become a Gold Glove finalist. He also hit 31 home runs and drove in 103 runs. He's showing this year that he wasn't a one-hit wonder.
Mella will likely pitch in the majors.
4. Mat Latos for Anthony DeSclafani, Chad Wallach
Dec. 11, 2014
This trade looks really good, considering how Latos' career has been in a continuous nosedive since it happened. I'd have it higher on the list if DeSclafani had been able to stay consistently healthy.
5. Johnny Cueto for Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed and John Lamb
July 26, 2015
This trade will ultimately be judged by how good Reed is. There are people in the Reds organization who see him as a top-of-the-rotation starter. The last season-and-a-half hasn't helped their argument.
If Finnegan gets healthy and back to what he was, the trade would be a solid B anyway. Reed could turn it into an A+.
6. Brandon Phillips for two guys I could not name if you gave me three guesses
Feb. 12, 2017
I'd still rate this trade as a winner for the Reds (and, yes, I know they're paying $13 million of his salary with Braves). The Reds had to move away from Phillips. They had to get a spot for Peraza. And more than a few people credit the improved clubhouse atmosphere to Phillips' departure.
7. Dan Straily for Luis Castillo, Austin Brice
Jan. 19, 2017
This one has the potential to climb. The Reds love Castillo, and Brice looks like a serviceable reliever. But it's pretty clear that this trade badly hurts the Reds for this year. The rotation woes are the reason for the team's recent struggles. Straily was the most reliable starter last year.
If Castillo comes up and pitches well this year, it will make this trade look a lot better.
8. Aroldis Chapman for Rookie Davis, Caleb Cotham, Eric Jagielo
Dec. 28, 2015
Davis could salvage this trade somewhat. But trading Chapman was destined for badness once he turned his garage into a shooting range. The Reds should have traded him at the deadline in 2015.
9. Jay Bruce for Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell
Aug. 1, 2016
Herrera's hitting .230-something at Louisville. He's only 23, so he could get better. But right now, this looks like the worst of the bunch.
John Fay is a freelance sports columnist; this column represents his opinion. Contact him at email@example.com.