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Inbox: Will Reds trade an outfielder for pitching?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers questions from fans
January 17, 2019

With the addition of Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, will the Reds trade any of their outfield chips away for starting pitching? -- Noah F., Lansing, Mich.The Reds certainly would be working from an area of depth. It also depends on whether another team wants or need the outfielders Cincy

With the addition of Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, will the Reds trade any of their outfield chips away for starting pitching?
-- Noah F., Lansing, Mich.

The Reds certainly would be working from an area of depth. It also depends on whether another team wants or need the outfielders Cincy has. I don't see the Reds dealing Puig already, because his addition has certainly brought a level of excitement around the club. I imagine they will market him a lot as a way to draw fans. I'd be a little surprised if Jesse Winker got moved. He was on pace for National League Rookie of the Year Award consideration last summer before he needed season-ending right shoulder surgery.
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Kemp is an interesting situation. Yes, he's making $21.5 million in the final year of his contract, but the Reds are not on the hook for all of it. The Dodgers included $7 million in the trade that sent him to Cincinnati. Another of his previous clubs, the Padres, are also still paying some money. There's also Scott Schebler, but at the moment he could be a center-field option. The Reds are also weighing whether they should deal prospects and players to get a starter or spend the money for a free agent. They don't appear to be leaning in one direction yet.
Maybe I don't understand MLB contracts, so maybe you can help. Why did the Reds have to go to arbitration with Puig since they just got him in a trade?
-- Nathan D., Madison, Miss.

All players are under club control for six years -- with each being a one-year contract unless a multiyear deal is done. For the final three of those six years, rules allow players to file for a raise via arbitration -- no matter which club they're with. Just because he moved from one team to the other, Puig still maintained that right. However, there will be no hearing for Puig since he signed a one-year, $9.7 million contract to avoid arbitration last week.
Has there been any thought towards extending Puig? He does seem pretty pumped to be with the Reds and to rejoin his old batting coach, Turner Ward.
-- Justin W., Detroit, Mich.

Just like how Puig has the right to arbitration, after six years he is eligible to be a free agent. It's the one time the player truly has the right to choose his future and explore his options, which can often bring a big payday. I don't see Puig giving that up, but I wouldn't be stunned if both sides are happy with how things go in 2019 and they don't at least discuss a contract to extend his stay.
President of baseball operations Dick Williams had stated that the Reds still had moves to make, hinting at an even bigger move after the blockbuster trade that brought Kemp and Puig to Cincy. Have those moves fallen to the wayside? Or is there another move coming before Spring Training starts? I feel, along with most of the Reds community, that we are so close to contention, but we need some more help out of the bullpen and/or an ace in the rotation.
-- Matt M., Cincinnati

Just before shoving off for Reds Caravan Thursday, Williams said he and general manager Nick Krall are still active in talks to add a starting pitcher and possibly a center fielder. Lots of good options remain on the open market for starters, namely the best one still available in Dallas Keuchel.
What is Ted Power doing these days? I thought he should have been given the opportunity to be Cincinnati's pitching coach after spending many years with great results for the Reds organization in the Minors.
-- Steve L., Bellbrook, Ohio
Power, the Reds' bullpen coach since July 4, 2016, was not retained after the season, like several other coaches from the previous staff. He also won't remain in the organization. I have not heard anything about his future plans.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.