With one of the most exciting days on the baseball calendar, the trade deadline, upon us today, the Reds have several options especially if they are active as expected.
A trade at the deadline would have several different ramifications. If the Reds move either Jay Bruce, Zack Cozart, or even both, it will have an impact on playing time and even big league time for some of the top prospects in the organization.
First, we will look at if Jay Bruce is moved and how a Cozart trade may impact that as well.
If Bruce is traded, it will mean availability for playing time in left field because Adam Duvall will move over to right and clear the position. If Cozart is not moved, it would mean more playing time for Jose Peraza there. That is not ideal, as he would be much more suited to play in the middle infield, where his natural skill set lies. However, he would still be on the field.
If both are moved, Peraza will have shortstop cleared for him to play beside Brandon Phillips, rather than replacing him. That way, the Reds do not have to bench Phillips to get the younger player on the field.
With the outfield opening, it would pave the way for either Scott Schebler of Jesse Winker to get called up to play in the big leagues nearly every day. At this point, it would appear that Schebler is the favorite, due to his recent success and more upper level experience. He has also been more consistent over the season and Winker has spent some time on the DL.
The moves would open up one or two 40-man and 25-man roster spots, so the Reds would have some flexibility there as well.
However, there are not many big league options with infielders in Louisville, so it is possible that both Schebler and Winker would get the call. Tony Renda appears to be the only possible candidate, but he was recently activated from the DL and needs time still in Triple-A to grow. Schebler is on the 40-man, but Winker is not. The trade would open up the spot to add Winker on both rosters and call up both players before an inevitable September call up for each.
If both Winker and Schebler are the call ups, it would leave the 25-man roster with both five infielder and five outfielders.
If a pitcher is moved, it would open up several opportunities as well. Tim Adleman is making his fifth rehab start tonight with Louisville and could be added to the active roster. There would also be an opportunity to add Robert Stephenson, despite his recent struggles with command.
While all of this is assuming that the Reds do not acquire any big league ready players with the trades, there are still several different options. The trades would open up spots for playing time for individuals who are more vital to the rebuild and will get them some experience at the level.
Though it may not translate to wins in 2016, which is a key as the progression evolves.