Reds land OF Goodwin, Bradley in two deals

August 31st, 2020

CINCINNATI -- Hoping for a September surge to reach the postseason, the Reds were buyers before Monday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, locking down two deals that addressed the bullpen and the outfield.

Cincinnati acquired closer and cash from Arizona for utility player Josh VanMeter and outfielder Stuart Fairchild, who was ranked as the Reds’ No. 11 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

The Reds also acquired outfielder from the Angels in exchange for left-hander Packy Naughton and a player to be named or cash. Naughton was ranked as Cincinnati’s No. 14 prospect.

The full breakdown of both deals:

Reds get: RHP Archie Bradley, cash considerations
D-backs get: OF Josh VanMeter, OF Stuart Fairchild (Reds' No. 11 prospect)

Reds get: OF Brian Goodwin
Angels get: LHP Packy Naughton (Reds' No. 14 prospect), PTBN or cash

“Look, we wanted to give this team every opportunity to get into a playoff and win a playoff. That’s our goal,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said. “We want to give this team a chance to get there and see if we can make a run.”

Bradley, 28, has posted a 4.22 ERA in 10 outings this year, earning six of his 28 career saves. He's earning $4.1 million in 2020 and has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining after this season.

Entering Monday, the Reds’ bullpen was ranked 27th out of 30 clubs, with a 5.48 ERA. Although there has been recent improvement, several pitchers have endured inconsistency -- including closer Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen. Pedro Strop, signed as a free agent last offseason, was designated for assignment last week.

It’s not immediately clear if Iglesias or Bradley will be the regular closer, or if it will be shared. Since becoming a full-time reliever in 2017, Bradley has a 3.01 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 28 saves over 215 games.

“Looking at Archie Bradley, he’s a guy that fits the back end of the bullpen, just bolsters the back end of that bullpen,” Krall said. “I remember in 2012 [when the Reds won the National League Central], that was one thing we really had.

“When you’re winning games, you have a lot of relievers that can contribute. You can shorten games. You’ve got Iglesias, Bradley, you’ve got Amir Garrett, a handful of guys that can really shorten games. We felt the shorter we can make the game with a really good starting staff, the better we were going to be.”

Goodwin, 29, has posted a career-high 114 OPS+ in 30 games this season, batting .242/.330/.463 with four homers and 17 RBIs. He's earning $2.2 million this season and is arbitration-eligible through 2022.

The Reds came into the season with a lot of outfield depth. But Nick Senzel has been on the injured list for two weeks for undisclosed reasons, free-agent acquisition Shogo Akiyama has underperformed offensively and Phillip Ervin was recently designated for assignment.

Goodwin is a left-handed hitter and can play all three outfield spots.

“He plays both offense and defense. We have the DH this year. You can mix and match people throughout our lineup,” Krall said. “Nick has been on the IL for some time. This allows us to put a guy in there as soon as we can get him and contribute to the club. It’s another bat we think can contribute and hopefully continue to lift this offense up.”

VanMeter was 2-for-34 (.059) in two big league stints for the Reds this season after breaking into the Majors in 2019.

It’s not known when the new acquisitions will be able to join the team because of COVID-19 testing intake protocols. The Reds entered the day at 15-19, 1 1/2 games out of the expanded eight-team postseason format, with 26 games remaining in the shortened season. That did not deter Cincinnati from being aggressive.

“We look at this team as a team we think can move forward, can make the playoffs and should make the playoffs,” Krall said. “We’ll give it every opportunity to do the best we can.”

Aquino called up, starting
The Reds recalled outfielder on Monday and optioned reliever Joel Kuhnel back to the alternate training site. Aquino, who became a home run sensation after his callup in 2019, was the 29th man on Saturday and delivered a key single in the bottom of the seventh during a 6-5 walk-off win in Game 2 of a doubleheader vs. the Cubs.

Aquino slugged 19 homers last season, including 14 in a blistering August. However, he struggled in Spring Training and Summer Camp with pitch selection and swings-and-misses, which kept him from cracking the Opening Day roster.

Discipline announced
Major League Baseball announced Monday that manager David Bell and outfielder were each suspended for one game and that first baseman received an undisclosed fine. All three were ejected in a bench-clearing incident during the fourth inning of Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Bell, who served his suspension on Monday while bench coach Freddie Benavides managed in his place, was disciplined for excessive arguing, while Winker and Votto left the bench and were flagged “for contributing to the incitement of the incident.”

Winker is appealing his suspension. MLB also suspended Cubs coach Mike Borzello for one game for his role in the incident.