Sunday, December 1, 2013

A proposed three-team trade involving Reds, Indians, Orioles and Homer Bailey

It's no secret that the Reds may be open to trading Homer Bailey this offseason in an attempt to avoid having to pay his projected $9 million salary. But what might Cincinnati be able to receive in return for their 27-year-old right-hander, who is on the brink of demanding a big time contract after next season?

Well, David Schoenfield of ESPN's SweetSpot blog has already given the matter some thought in this interesting post about proposed three-team trades. Among the imaginary deals, Schoenfield lays out a potential swap involving the Reds, Indians, Orioles, and of course, Bailey. 

Here is a snippet of what Schoenfield had to say about it:

Indians: Trade Asdrubal Cabrera, Joe Wendle, acquire Homer Bailey

Orioles: Trade Bud Norris, Mike Wright, acquire Cabrera

Reds: Trade Bailey, acquire Norris, Wright, Wendle

This one lines up like this: The Indians need a starting pitcher with Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir likely departing as free agents, the Orioles need a second baseman, and the Reds may want to get something for Bailey as he enters his walk year.

The Orioles would slide Cabrera over to second base and hope he rebounds from a subpar 2013. The Indians get Bailey while throwing in second-base prospect Wendle, who hit .295 with some power in Class A. Wendle was old for the league, but scouts like his bat. The Reds give up the best player in the deal, but would still have a strong rotation with Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Tony Cingrani and Norris (with Aroldis Chapman still a possibility with Bryan Price replacing Dusty Baker as manager). Moving back to the National League should help Norris; he has two years remaining until free agency and will cost about $5 million less than Bailey in 2014, money the Reds can spend elsewhere, maybe on an outfielder. Wright is a back-end rotation prospect and Wendle could replace Brandon Phillips down the road.

Well, it certainly isn't the worst trade proposal I've seen this offseason. 

The Reds would essentially free up some payroll space and receive a relatively decent replacement for Bailey in the rotation at the same time. They would also receive a pair of promising prospects in Wright (rated as Baltimore's No. 5 prospect by and Wendle, which they could use to infuse into a farm system that could use a few more talented prospects in the cupboard.

Will this trade actually come to fruition? Most likely not. But it's definitely some food for thought as we enter the bitter cold of winter. 

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