As usual, the baseball offseason was moving slowly until multiple blockbuster deals sent major ripples through the MLB world — Rays ace Blake Snell to San Diego for prospects, followed by Cubs ace Yu Darvish to the Padres for Zach Davies and more prospects. It will be hard to get used to Snell and Darvish in Padres uniforms, but one that Cincinnati’s club may need to adjust to soon. As a star Reds pitcher was linked in trade talks with the Padres, this move will certainly affect the trajectory of first-year baseball ops head Nick Krall’s offseason. Additionally, here’s what it could mean for coveted Reds free agent Trevor Bauer, who could’ve been —and could still be — the crown jewel of the offseason for San Diego.
As starting pitcher Sonny Gray is slated to test open waters after the upcoming season, the Reds have been gauging offers for the star hurler who has anchored the Reds rotation since a highway robbery about two years ago to snatch him from the Yankees. The Padres had been actively engaged in discussions with Cincinnati to potentially have him boost the rotation for a competitive 2021. However, with the additions of Snell and Darvish, it’s hard to see Gray slot into a stacked Padres rotation that will likely have five capable starters. As such, expect the Reds to talk with other potential contenders with at least a minor interest in improving their rotation, such as the White Sox and Angels, but not San Diego.
Trevor Bauer’s situation, while similar on paper, couldn’t be more different. As there’s always space for a star on one’s roster, it doesn’t seem completely unrealistic that the Padres could still show interest in Bauer. Currently, the Padres have a rotation headlined by Snell, Darvish, Dinelson Lamet, and Chris Paddack. There’s an unclear fifth spot that could be seized by Mackenzie Gore, Joey Lucchesi, or another young starter. If Bauer ends up becoming a Padre, San Diego could potentially transition into a six-man rotation to make sure all of their good arms are being used properly. Therefore, while it’s unlikely that San Diego will be in contention for Bauer in the future, it’s not completely unrealistic that he can ink a deal to become a Padre for at least next year.
San Diego has been in the center of rumors concerning Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer for some time now. The Snell and Darvish trades will undoubtedly put most of these rumors to rest. So what’s in it for Cincinnati fans now that San Diego likely won’t be trying to commit a raid on their 2020 rotation? We should have some hope that the chances of losing half our rotation diminished significantly, right? Only time will tell with these Reds.