Trade might be Reds' route to landing a SS

January 28th, 2021

CINCINNATI -- With the free-agent market for shortstops drying up fast, the Reds might have to fill their need with a trade. On Thursday, the New York Post reported that Cincinnati has been discussing whether a trade for Cleveland shortstop makes sense.

If Rosario is dealt, it would be for the second time this offseason. The Mets moved him in the blockbuster trade for All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor. A second shortstop, prospect Andrés Giménez, went to Cleveland in the deal and is MLB ready. Giménez’s rise would make Rosario expendable.

Rosario, 25, avoided salary arbitration and signed a one-year, $2.4 million contract with Cleveland on Jan. 15. He is under club contractual control through the 2023 season. That likely would fit in Cincinnati’s budget after general manager Nick Krall reduced payroll during the winter.

Over four seasons with the Mets, Rosario posted a .268/.302/.403 slash line. His best season was 2019, when he hit 15 home runs with 72 RBIs while batting .287/.323/.432 in 157 games.

Cleveland, which also has slashed payroll, needs young and controllable outfielders. The Reds have plenty of depth in the outfield, with and among those without a regular spot.

On Tuesday, two free agents the Reds targeted -- Andrelton Simmons and Marcus Semien -- reportedly agreed to terms with other clubs. A third shortstop, former Reds player Freddy Galvis -- is headed to the Orioles.

The lone remaining top free-agent shortstop is Didi Gregorius, whom the Reds have interest in signing. Gregorius reportedly is being pursued by his 2020 club, the Phillies.

“We’re trying to improve the position. It’s just trying to figure out the best way for our franchise to go,” Krall said on Wednesday.

Internally at shortstop, the Reds have prospect and utility players and . Garcia, who will turn 23 in April, made the leap from Class A Advanced to the Major Leagues last season. His hitting could benefit from more development in the Minor Leagues while an experienced shortstop holds down the position.

If there is no match with Cleveland to get Rosario, the Reds could look at other potential deals. The most notable moveable shortstop is Rockies All-Star Trevor Story, who is set to become a free agent after this season. Colorado has neither made Story available nor made overtures to sign him to a long-term contract.

The Tigers have shortstop Niko Goodrum, who was an American League Gold Glove finalist last year but has struggled offensively. New Tigers manager A.J. Hinch, who has Willi Castro for shortstop, sees Goodrum as a utility player. Goodrum wants a full-time spot at one position. Arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, Goodrum was signed for $2.1 million.

Meanwhile, the rebuilding Pirates have been unloading veterans at a rapid rate and could move Kevin Newman without a big return.