What to know about the Reds’ trade deadline plans and an update on Jessie Bates

Hi I’m Charlie Goldsmith, and I cover the Reds and Bengals for the Cincinnati Inquirer.

For about a year, I’ve been recording short video breakdowns on Twitter about the Reds and the Bengals. I’ve led every video with that introduction. That platform showed me the potential for a written weekly newsletter with that same conversational style, which could give me another opportunity to engage with readers. It felt right to start my newsletter in the same way.

I hope to use this platform to have the same conversations with you about the Reds and the Bengals that you’re having with your friends and family. I’m easy to reach on Twitter (CharlieG__) and email (cgoldsmith@enquirer.com).

Let’s get started.

Leading off

The most important detail going forward from the Cincinnati Reds’ offseason was how their trade with the Seattle Mariners on March 14 developed very quickly.

During spring training, when the Mariners offered a good return for Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez, Reds general manager Nick Krall took the opportunity and the deal happened fast. Now exactly three months later, the framework of that trade gives the clearest picture of the Reds’ plans for the 2022 trade deadline.

When projecting the Reds’ strategy for the 2022 deadline, the answers go back to March 14. The Mariners trade showed what matters most to Krall.

“Our goal is to continue to make our organization better,” Krall said during spring training. “It’s about long-term success and sustainability. We’re evaluating everything. “

For the Reds, these deals can happen fast if the return is right. There isn’t a move they “need” to make in July, but there are several that could make sense for them. As much planning as the Reds are going through to prepare for the deadline, the return will dictate almost any trade, especially since Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle are under contract for another season.

And the Reds’ track record shows what they’d be trying to get back. Nearly every major addition over the last three years can fall into one of these buckets as the Reds look to build “up the middle.”

The Reds have added catchers (Matt Nelson, Jackson Miller), shortstops (Matt McLain, Jose Torres, Ricardo Cabrera) and center fielders (Jay Allen, Ariel Almonte) who are athletic, contact-first hitters, as well as starting pitchers (Brandon). Williamson, Justin Dunn, Chase Petty, Connor Phillips) with upside and the potential to be strikeout throwers.

Even though the Reds have a dozen possible trade candidates, the Reds likely won’t pursue a complete tear down like the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs did at last year’s trade deadline.

The Reds will value keeping a few veterans who can mentor younger players as well as players who can help the team stay competitive. Creating a winning culture is something that matters to them, even if the results aren’t reflected in the standings this season.

While the Reds’ playoff hopes for 2022 are gone, David Bell is still making aggressive decisions to win every game. At this point, the Reds aren’t playing young players like Jose Barrero, TJ Friedl and Alejo Lopez every day just to see what they can do.

There’s a difference between organizations that are trying to compete in every game and organizations that have gone all-in on development. Even though the Reds could trade several starters in July, a further tear down would set the organization too far back.

The other side

The story of the Bengals offseason is still the plateaued contract talks with Bengals safety Jessie Bates III. “Hopefully we sign Jessie back, everybody is praying for that,” one Bengals starter told me.

As far apart as the Bengals are with Bates, the Bengals are still having a much smoother offseason than most NFL teams.

It’d be nearly unprecedented for Bates to miss time in the regular season due to this issue. Even if Bates ‘training camp reps are limited, he’s the most experienced player in the Bengals’ defensive scheme. Whenever he returns, he’s expected to hit the ground running.

Would an NFL GM rather handle the Bengals’ current situation with Bates or the rocky negotiations between the Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson? Or the same situation happening in Arizona with quarterback Kyler Murray? Or Cleveland’s quarterback situation?

Head coaching changes and quarterback changes are more difficult to overcome. Aaron Donald was considering retirement if he didn’t get a contract extension from Los Angeles. Deebo Samuel requested a trade in San Francisco. The Chiefs dealt Tyreek Hill, and the Packers dealt Davante Adams.

The Bengals are still expecting Bates to play for them this season. Most of the other offseason storylines around the NFL will have much greater consequences.

Quote of the day from Reds manager David Bell

David Bell on keeping reliever Joel Kuhnel in the game on Saturday as Kuhnel blew the save against the St. Louis Cardinals and took the loss:

“Absolutely I feel very responsible. It’s a big decision to leave Joel in there. He’s been pitching so well. He came in and did a nice job in the eighth to get out of that inning. Just threw a couple of pitches. Sent him back out but really, he pitched last night and pitched again today. To go back out, he faced a hitter or two too many. Tony Santillan, he’s ready in the bullpen. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Tony. At that point, it would have been the time to have Tony come in and help Joel get out of it. Stayed with Joel. Again he’s been pitching so well. He’s earned it. It’s just putting a lot on him two days in a row. “

Since I started covering the Reds in 2021, Bell has been so consistent with his decision-making that he usually doesn’t question that decision postgame. There have been a few questionable decisions (having Sean Doolittle pitch the ninth inning in a game versus the Mets last July, saving Nick Castellanos to pinch-hit until the Reds were down multiple runs in a different game against the Mets, pitching Carson Fulmer in a few high-leverage situations last year). But those decisions were still consistent with previous decisions.

In Saturday’s walk off loss to the Cardinals, Bell used a pitcher who had pitched in the lowest-leverage situations of any Reds reliever on the active roster. Before Saturday, Kuhnel typically only pitched when the Reds were up by at least six runs or the final inning in a game the Reds were trailing. Bell trusted Kuhnel on Saturday because he was going with the hot hand (Kuhnel had a 2.57 ERA), and his reaction after the game was notable.

Question of the day

What has Bengals offensive lineman Jackson Carman shown the coaching staff since the Super Bowl to earn every first-team rep at left guard during the team’s open practices this summer?

In the last game Carman played, he split time at guard with Hakeem Adeniji in the AFC Championship Game. Carman didn’t play in the Super Bowl. The Bengals also drafted a fourth-round guard who could be in the mix to start Week 1. While the left guard competition is still viewed as a position battle, Carman has the clear advantage entering training camp.

Here was Bengals head coach Zac Taylor’s answer:

“He has had really good urgency. I think he’s doing a good job of taking it in from some of the vets around him – Jonah and Ted. Again, it’s a little bit hard to evaluate the offensive linemen right now (because) there’s no contact. On air, they’ve done a really good job of taking drill work and the meeting work to the field. Jackson’s been one of the guys who’s done a nice job with that. “

More to read

Cincinnati Reds vs. Red Sox Diamondbacks: With win over the Diamondbacks, the Cincinnati Reds showed what they’re building around

Tyler Stephenson injury: Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson has potential All-Star bid foiled by broken thumb

Joey Votto and Albert Pujols: Joey Votto discusses his respect for Cardinals future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols

The state of the Reds infield: Interesting decisions once Jonathan India returns

‘Is this a problem?’: How Graham Ashcraft became the Reds’ diamond in the rough

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Inquirer: The Cincinnati Reds’ trade deadline plans, update on Jessie Bates

Leave a Comment