Heading into Monday’s Trade Deadline, the Cubs will finish out their pre-deadline slate with four games against the Reds in three days. The series starts tonight.
It’s notable timing for the Cubs, since these Reds are right at the precipice of a playoff spot, and in a year like this, that can mean you obviously stay the course or you join the small pool of sellers. Weird to be playing the Reds, then, this weekend – kinda feels like you could hammer them into selling, or give them enough life to confirm their apparent plans to buy.
Per Jon Heyman:
Reds are planning to go for it — meaning buy, not sell. So ace Trevor Bauer is likely to stay put. Reds mainly need to get hitters and relievers to play to their abilities. They are underperforming at 13-17 but are only 1 game out of 8th playoff spot.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 28, 2020
My gut says that the main reason the Reds won’t majorly sell is the combination of having really pushed in for this season, and not being able to get huge value in trades this year anyway. How much do you get for five-ish starts of Trevor Bauer? How much of his $3 million remaining will you have to eat to even get that small value?
In any case, if the Reds come out of this weekend at least splitting with the Cubs, then they’ll remain in perfectly plausible position to grab a playoff spot by the end of September (lots of teams will be in a plausible position!). And the Reds also remain really talented.
The better question now might be just how aggressive will they be at buying? They haven’t been to the playoffs in eight years, they clearly built up and spent to try to win in 2020, and maybe the right additions could help cover up some apparently serious deficiencies in their bullpen. Maybe they could find a way to add a bat to their underperforming lot. Stay tuned this weekend.