Saturday, July 21, 2012

Five possible trade chip candidates

by: Chase Fitzgerald
Staff Writer

The trade deadline is coming up and with Votto’s injury; the Reds are now much more likely to be active. So this article is ranking the players that are blocked at their position or just don’t fit with the Reds anymore. The players listed below are in my opinion, likely to be included in a deal this trade deadline.

5. Kyle Lotzkar
Kyle Lotzkar is a right handed starting pitcher for the Reds and was even chosen to represent them in the future games playing for the World team. He is a very good prospect but is a high risk/high reward type. The Reds system is loaded with young pitching having Daniel Corcino, Tony Cingrani, Donnie Joseph, Robert Stephenson, and Nick Travieso so, trading Lotzkar wouldn’t really hurt them. A recently suggested trade that was featured on Redlegs Review was Lotzkar for Carlos Quentin who the Reds have been rumored to be very interested in. This deal would solve the Red’s problem at clean-up and only giving away one prospect who is blocked at their position and may not even turn out to be a successful starting pitcher is a big win for the Reds. So Reds fans, I wouldn’t get too attached to this guy because I doubt he ever starts for the reds.

4. Chris Heisey/Drew Stubbs
These are the only two big leaguers on this list. Drew Stubbs has been a huge disappointment his whole career. Each season he is supposed to have a bug turn-around and he never does. He is hitting below .230 right now and his on base percentage is below .300. The Reds have given him 3 years to become the player he can be but he has actually been getting worse each year. I think the Drew Stubbs experience needs to come to an end. He’s been getting hot lately so it is a perfect time to trade him. Chris Heisey has also been a disappointment but he’s still the best 4th outfielder in the league and can start for some teams. He is still young and I could see him getting traded in a package for another outfielder. The reason they are grouped together is because they both won’t get traded but by the time the 2013 season rolls around I don’t see both of them on the roster.

3. Donald Lutz
Donald Lutz is the first baseman for the Reds double-a team and is a power hitter. He’s hitting around .270 but has 18 homeruns and close to 60 RBIs. He is a great power hitter and can one day become a solid clean-up hitter. The reason I see him as a trade chip is because he is made to be a DH and a first baseman. So unless the NL adopts the DH rule he won’t be getting playing time.

2. Neftali Soto
Soto might be the best power hitter in the Red’s system. Last season he hit 31 homeruns while holding a .270 average. The problem is he’s blocked at 1st base which is his position and even if he can make a change to third, he’s blocked there too by Frazier. He is having a down year average wise only hitting .237 so he could be held onto until he improves so his value becomes higher. The only way he will see any time in the big leagues other than being a bench player is to get traded which he eventually will be.

1. Didi Gregorius
Didi might be my favorite player on this list. He is a very solid .270 hitter and would be a good 2-spot hitter. The problem is he plays SS. He is blocked by rookie Zack Cozart. Didi is a better defender than Cozart but Cozart has a lot more “pop”. Also, Red’s prospect Billy Hamilton plays SS so if Cozart doesn’t work out the Red’s have Hamilton to take his place. In the beginning of the year Didi was almost a sure thing to be a possible every day starter next season but after Phillips signed his extension and the emergence of Todd Frazier, the infield is pretty much locked for next season. With being blocked at SS and having no position to change to, he becomes a trade chip. The Diamondbacks are looking to upgrade at SS and with a package including Didi, the Reds may be able to swing a deal for Justin Upton.

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