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Reds rebuild: How key trades since end of 2021 season are working out

Cincinnati Reds' Spencer Steer hits a home run off of Philadelphia Phillies' Bailey Falter during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, April 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Cincinnati Reds' Spencer Steer hits a home run off of Philadelphia Phillies' Bailey Falter during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, April 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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CINCINNATI (WKRC) - As part of the Reds rebuilding plan that began after the 2021 season they not only needed to hit on some of their own draft picks and Latin American players they signed, but also with trades they made in which they gave up established Major League players.

They just promoted 2021 first round draft pick Matt McLain, while No. 1 prospect Elly De La Cruz is making a push to come up along with pitcher Andrew Abbott, a 2021 second round selection.

Additionally, the Reds added several quality prospects in the 11 trades they made since the end of the 2021 season and here is a look at each:

Nov. 3, 2021: Reds acquire 3B Nick Quintana from Detroit in exchange for C Tucker Barnhart

The Skinny: This was the classic case of getting a player off the books as Barnhart was due to make $7.5 million in 2022 and Tyler Stephenson was slated to be the starting catcher anyway. He had an OPS of .554 with Detroit last season, was granted free agency and signed by the Chicago Cubs where he has a .520 OPS in 59 plate appearances. Quintana had the best performance of his minor league career last season with an OPS of .745 between Dayton and Chattanooga, but he is 25 years old and still stuck at Chattanooga this season where he has only a .536 OPS.

March 13, 2022: Reds acquire P Chase Petty from Minnesota in exchange for P Sonny Gray

The Skinny: This was the trade that set the tone for the rebuilding process. Gray is an established starter who is 12-5 with a 2.66 ERA in 33 starts for the Twins over the last two seasons, but the Reds saved $23 over the last two years and Gray will be a free agent after this season. Petty was the No. 26 overall pick in the 2021 draft out of high school. He is the No. 8 prospect in the Reds organization. He missed a full month this season due to injury and was recently activated by Class A Dayton. In 29 minor league appearances Petty has flashed plenty of potential with 111 strikeouts in 111 1/3 innings, a WHIP of 1.150 and an ERA of 3.40.

March 16, 2022: Reds acquire P Mike Minor from Kansas City in exchange for P Amir Garrett

The Skinny: It made plenty of sense to jettison Garrett coming off a 2021 season in which he had a 6.04 ERA in 63 appearances, but made no sense to acquire Minor and his $10 million contract. Minor made 19 starts and went 4-12 with a 6.06 ERA then was allowed to leave in free agency in the offseason. Garrett has been okay with the Royals posting a 4.50 ERA in 80 appearances over the last two seasons combined.

March 29, 2022: Reds acquire P Justin Dunn, OF Jake Fraley, P Brandon Williamson and P Connor Phillips from Seattle in exchange for OF Jesse Winker and 3B Eugenio Suarez

The Skinny: Many fans were unhappy with this trade, but Fraley has become a regular, Williamson had a nice career debut for the Reds last week in Colorado and Phillips is the No. 11 prospect in the Reds farm system, according to MLB. com. Suarez has continued to slug (36 homers in the last two seasons combined), but his OPS is only .664 so far this season and he struck out 255 times in 830 plate appearances with the Mariners. Winker struggled with the Mariners last season (.219/.344/.344), suffered a season-ending neck injury and then was traded in the offseason to Milwaukee where he has battled an oblique injury and struggled (.236/.355/.270 in 107 plate appearances). Fraley is second on the Reds in homers (five) and has a team-high 32 RBI to go along with a slash line of .271/.367/.434. Williamson was struggling at Class AAA Louisville, but was called up anyway and in his debut start last week pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed only one earned run. He struck out six, allowed two hits and walked one. He followed that up on Monday with a no-decision in an outing against the Cardinals. Phillips is pitching for Class AA Chattanooga and in eight starts struck out 65 in only 36 1/3 innings. In 222 career minor league innings he recorded 326 strikeouts. Dunn hasn't pitched this season and is on the 60-day injured list due to a shoulder strain.

July 28, 2022: Reds acquire P Jose Acuna and INF/OF Hector Rodriguez from New York Mets in exchange for OF Tyler Naquin and P Phillip Diehl

The Skinny: The Reds got a solid 1 1/2 seasons from Naquin, who in his time with the team had a slash line of .263/.324/.467 with 26 homers in 658 plate appearances. In return for him and the veteran Diehl, a Moeller High School product who has struggled in brief Major League stints, they landed the 20-year-old Acuna and the versatile Rodriguez, who is the No. 26 prospect in the Reds farm system, according to The 19-year-old Rodriguez started 25 games in center field and three in left field this season for Class A Dayton where he has compiled a slash line of .286/.346/.521 with six homers in 130 plate appearances. He played some second base and third base in the Mets organization. Acuna has made seven starts for Dayton and has an ERA of 2.51, a WHIP of 0.80 and 35 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings. In 104 1/3 career minor league innings he has a WHIP of 0.89 with 125 strikeouts.

July 29, 2022: Reds acquire SS Noelvi Marte, SS Edwin Arroyo, P Levi Stoudt and P Andrew Moore from Seattle in exchange for P Luis Castillo

The Skinny: Castillo was clearly a cost-saving move, but the Reds got a nice haul for him. Marte is the No. 2 prospect in the Reds system, according to, while Arroyo is No. 3 and Stoudt No. 14. The 25-year-old Stoudt appeared in two games for the Reds this season, one of which he started, but he allowed eight earned runs in only seven innings pitched. The 21-year-old Marte is performing well at Class AA Chattanooga where he has a slash line of .292/.364/.528 with eight homers in 162 plate appearances. He has played 26 games at shortstop and nine games at third base. The 19-year-old Arroyo is playing for Class A Dayton and in 133 plate appearances the switch-hitter has a slash line of .203/.263/.350 with 31 strikeouts. He has played all 28 games in the field at shortstop. The 23-year-old Moore, who is with Dayton, was placed on the 60-day injured list on April 6 and hasn't appeared in a game this season. In 46 minor league appearances Moore has a 5.14 ERA with 47 walks issued in 61 1/3 innings. Castillo has made 20 starts for Seattle since the trade and is 6-4 with a 3.23 ERA and helped the Mariners advance to American League Divisional Series round last season.

Aug. 1, 2022: Reds acquire player to be named later (INF Nicholas Northcut on Sept. 14) from Boston in exchange for OF Tommy Pham

The Skinny: The hope when the team signed Pham in the 2022 offseason was to flip him for a prospect at the trade deadline, but Northcutt has some work to do to make it to the big leagues. The Mason High School graduate has flashed power (30 home runs in Class A and Class AA in the Boston system in 2022), but in 1,284 career minor league plate appearances has a .232 batting average and a .306 on-base percentage. He was recently activated off the injured list for Class AA Chattanooga where in 49 plate appearances this season has a slash line of .239/.286/.391.

Aug. 2, 2022: Reds acquire SS Victor Acosta from San Diego in exchange for INF Brandon Drury

The Skinny: The Reds caught lightning in a bottle with the way Drury performed last season and they flipped him for the now 19-year-old switch-hitting Acosta, who is hitting only .235, but has a .339 on base percentage with a .692 OPS at Class A Daytona. He is the No. 16 ranked prosect in the Reds farm system, according to Since being traded from the Reds, Drury has slashed .235/.279/.721 combined with the Padres last season and Los Angeles Angels this season.

Aug. 2, 2022: Reds acquire INF Spencer Steer, INF Christian Encarnacion-Strand and P Steve Hajjar from Minnesota in exchange for P Tyler Mahle

The Skinny: This has a chance to be a slam dunk for the Reds. Steer has proven to be a solid player who can play both corner infield spots. In 71 career game with the Reds he has a slash line of .240/.324/.405 with eight homers and 28 RBI. He needs to evolve more to stay a regular, but he has value in a backup role down the road. Encarnacion-Strand is knocking on the door of a promotion from Louisville as he has an OPS of 1.088 wuth 10 homers in 114 plate appearances. In 744 minor league plate appearances he has a slash line of .324/.378/.610 with 46 homers and 156 RBI. Mahle was placed on the disabled list on May 3 and recently announced he needs Tommy John surgery.

Nov. 18, 2022: Reds acquire P Casey Legumina from Minnesota in exchange for SS Kyle Farmer

The Skinny: Farmer was a fan favorite and understandably so, but the team needed to give Jose Barrero a chance to start and there are plenty of shortstops in the pipeline. The 26-year-old Legumina began the season at Class AAA Louisville before being called up to the Reds where in eight appearances he has 1-0 record with a 4.35 ERA. The 32-year-old Farmer spent almost a month on the injured list this season due to a facial laceration and has appeared in 22 games with a slash line of .315/.370/.466 with three homers and 14 RBI in 73 plate appearances. Farmer is a valuable asset for a team that's close to competing for a playoff spot, which the Twins are, but the Reds needed to make room for the prospects.

March 25, 2023: Reds acquire OF Will Benson from Cleveland in exchange for OF Justin Boyd and P Steven Hajjar

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The Skinny: Benson has been a disaster at the plate albeit in a small sample size as he has only 25 at bats, but he has just one hit and 14 strikeouts. In 79 career Major League at bats he has a scant 11 hits and 33 strikeouts. He seems to be the classic AAAA player. Boyd, who was a second-round pick in 2022, was placed on the injured list just due to a hamstring injury and hasn't played in a game for Cleveland's Class A affiliate in Lynchburg. Hajjar also hasn't pitched this due to a shoulder impingement. This deal was worth swinging to see if Benson could evolve in the Major Leagues, but he will get squeezed out sooner rather than later.

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