The Cincinnati Reds are quickly fading in the National League Central, despite the fact that they should be able to maintain relevance in the Wild Card race for at least another month or so. The problem is, remaining relevant is not going to be enough to keep the Reds in the MLB Playoffs conversation. Cincinnati does have quite a few attractive trade pieces, meaning now may be the time to gauge the interest of some likely partners. The latest trade rumors involve ace starting pitcher, Johnny Cueto, who has had scouts from multiple teams dissecting his last start. The question remains, will the Reds trade Cueto to the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals or Los Angeles Dodgers?
The Yankees and Tigers had scouts on hand to witness Cueto’s last start for the Reds. As the weeks move on, we may be getting closer to literally seeing Cueto’s last start for the Reds, as they will likely become increasingly more and more likely to become sellers by the time of the 2015 MLB Trade Deadline. Dealing Cueto would net the Reds a very nice package of prospects.
The Yankees may not have enough to satisfy Cincinnati, unless they take on some bad contracts on top of acquiring Cueto and dealing away their top prospects. The Reds could force a team such as the Yankees to also absorb the contract of Brandon Phillips, whose deal runs through the 2017 MLB season.
The Tigers do have some prospects but, like many teams, may be a bit hesitant to pull the trigger on a deal unless they can sign Cueto to a contract extension first. Teams who are all-in will be less inclined to worry about a renewal deal first, making a team such as the Royals or Blue Jays very possible.
Either way, it appears nearly inevitable that Cueto’s days pitching in Cincinnati are numbered. Which team could you see the Reds trading Cueto to as we approach the MLB Trade Deadline in a couple of months?