CINCINNATI — When the 4 p.m. trade deadline came and went, the Reds had transformed from prospective sellers to buyers, keeping pitcher Trevor Bauer and adding a couple of pieces to go for a playoff run.
In two Monday deals, the Reds:
- Acquired right-handed closer Archie Bradley and cash from the Diamondbacks for infielder Josh VanMeter and outfielder Stuart Fairchild, ranked the Reds' 11th best prospect.
- Obtained outfielder Brian Goodwin from the Angels for minor league pitcher Packy Naughton and a player to be named later. Naughton was ranked the team's 14th best prospect.
#Reds GM Nick Krall didn’t commit to new addition (RHP) Archie Bradley being the team’s closer upon arrival.— Caleb Noe (@CalebNoeTV) August 31, 2020
He did say they may use a private jet to get him to Cincinnati quick.
Bradley, 28, is a good addition to a struggling bullpen. He has six saves with a 4.22 ERA in 10 appearances with 12 strikeouts and a 1.500 WHIP in 10 2/3 innings. Bradley, who earned the closer’s role midway through last season, is 22-25 with a 3.96 ERA and 28 saves in 249 career games.
The Reds bullpen ranked 27th this season with a 5.48 combined ERA.
Goodwin, 29, is slashing .242/.330/.463 with four homers and 17 RBI in 95 at-bats. He bats left and throws right.
The moves indicate that Reds management believes they can still make the expanded, 16-team playoffs despite their 1`5-19 record. The Reds are just 1 1/2 games out of second place in the NL Central and only two games out of a wild-card spot.
VanMeter, 25, hit .237 with eight homers, 23 RBIs and nine stolen bases last season while playing first, second, third and left field. VanMeter has struggled in 2020, going just 2 for 34 at the plate in limited playing time.
Fairchild, 24, was a second-round pick by the Reds in 2017 and split last year between Single-A and Double-A.
The Reds acquired Bauer at the trade deadline last year, and there was speculation throughout baseball that they could trade him Monday.
There was a lot of speculation about Trevor Bauer in the weeks leading up to the Reds. But all indications are that Cincinnati is going for it and there’s no been no buzz about Bauer. So barring something really odd, he stays in Cincy.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 31, 2020
The Reds would have had some explaining to do to Bauer fans if they had traded him. After all, the front office went on a $165 million spending spree in the offseason to convince fans they were finally serious about winning after six straight losing seasons. How were they going to tell them they were giving up after 34 games? Tony Perez lasted longer as manager.
But there were compelling reasons to trade Bauer. The 29-year-old right-hander was arguably the most desirable starter on the trade bubble, with a 2.13 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 54 strikeouts in 38 innings and two seven-inning shutouts to go with a 3-2 record. And he could be impossible to re-sign when he becomes a free agent next year.
Keeping Bauer in Cincinnati might take Joey Votto money – or more - and that's assuming he'd want to stay here. Bauer could command at least $25 million if he keeps his word that he would only sign a one-year deal. And if he decides to go all in and sign for life, he could top Stephen Strasburg's deal with the Nationals - $255 million for seven years at age 32.
Apparently no team made the Reds an offer they couldn't refuse.