Reds stay busy, trade Roark and Gennett 

July 31st, 2019

CINCINNATI -- The Reds had a very busy final 24 hours before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, and were making moves right up to the wire.

Starting pitcher was traded to the A’s and second baseman was moved to the Giants. Late Tuesday night in a blockbuster, starting pitcher was acquired from the Indians in a three-team trade that sent right fielder Yasiel Puig to Cleveland and top prospect Taylor Trammell to the Padres. Mix in a bench-clearing brawl Tuesday that involved Puig, and it’s been interesting times at Great American Ball Park.

“I don't think I'll ever forget this trading deadline, you know? Quite a whirlwind the last 24, 36 hours,” Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said.

Even on the day of the Trade Deadline, deals can sometimes catch players a little off guard. That was the case on Wednesday afternoon. Roark was just beginning a drive to Atlanta, where the Reds open a four-game series on Thursday.

“It’s my wife's car. She needs the family car,” Roark said. “I'm going to drive it down there. It's 6 1/2 hours. I don't mind it. I was 20 minutes out, sitting in an Arby's parking lot. I wanted some Arby's, and I’m eating a beef and cheddar and curly fries. I started hearing chatter. I realized I should probably come back.”

After a the Reds' 4-1 win over the Pirates, Gennett was preparing for the team flight to Atlanta as the deadline expired. It was a little past 4 p.m. when manager David Bell summoned him into his office.

“I was ready to go and packing up all my stuff,” Gennett said. “You never know if you get traded, how it’s going to be or when it’s going to be. David told me I was a Giant. and that was it.”

The Reds received center fielder Jameson Hannah, Oakland's No. 8-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, and cash considerations. When Cincinnati acquired Bauer from the Indians for Puig late Tuesday, someone had to come out of the rotation to make way.

“A lot of teams were interested in our starting pitching once it became it clear that we were going to have an excess, and I think the way we were able to pull off a trade there and, in essence, replenish a top prospect really made sense for us,” Williams said. “We were happy to get that one done.”

Roark, 32, was acquired from the Nationals in a December trade for reliever Tanner Rainey. In his final year before he could become a free agent, it was unlikely that the Reds were going to re-sign him during the offseason.

“I knew coming into this year there was a possibility of being traded. That's how the game is these days,” Roark said.

For much of his time with the Reds, Roark added veteran credibility. Although he was 6-7 with a 4.24 ERA in 21 starts, his ERA was in the 3.50 range most of the season, but he had an 8.00 ERA in four second-half starts.

Roark’s final start with Cincinnati was not a good one, as he was hit hard for five earned runs, six hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings during an 11-4 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday.

As the Reds look to 2020, they could have a force of a rotation with Bauer, Gray, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani and Tyler Mahle. Left-hander Alex Wood is also in the current rotation and Mahle is on the injured list.

Cincinnati will receive a player to be named from San Francisco for Gennett. The 2018 All-Star hit 50 home runs in his two-plus seasons with the Reds after he was claimed off waivers from the Brewers shortly before the 2017 season opened.

Gennett became an immediate fan favorite and popular in the clubhouse. His signature moment for the team was his four-homer game against the Cardinals on June 6, 2017. During ‘19 Spring Training, Gennett suffered a severely strained right groin and missed the first three months of the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Reds have three players capable of playing second base moving forward in Jose Peraza, Josh VanMeter and Derek Dietrich. While struggling currently, Dietrich had a big first half with 18 of his career-high 19 home runs. VanMeter has come on lately with four second-half homers and some strong overall hitting that has earned him more starts at either second base or left field.

“Tough one, because Scooter, obviously, was one of our great success stories in terms of a low-cost acquisition and how he played and how he ingratiated himself to the community here, going all the way to an All-Star Game,” Williams said. “Unfortunately, this year the injury cost him a large part of the season. In that time, we started to play some of these other guys at second base and I think between now and the end of the year, the opportunity to give playing time to players under control for next year, Peraza, VanMeter, Dietrich.

“It was a really crowded position and Scooter didn't have as much positional flexibility as the other guys. This gives him the opportunity to go somewhere and see if he can get a little more playing time down the stretch and get us focused on developing those guys.”