News broke earlier this afternoon that Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano is being suspended for 80 games for testing positive for a masking agent. Like everyone else in the history of being caught, Cano claims this wasn’t being used to mask PED usage, but given to him for a legitimate medical reason.

The Seattle Mariners are in a weird spot at this point. They are 23-17 on the season, 1.5 games back of the Angels and Astros in the division. They would currently be just outside of the wildcard spots, trailing the Angels and Astros for that final spot. And with the new rules in place, he will also be ineligible for the postseason if the Mariners were to make it.

That puts Seattle in a position where they are going to need a second baseman for more than half of the season in 2018. And if they make the playoffs, they’ll need someone for that, too. One option for the Mariners could be to move Dee Gordon back to second base. Within the last week, though, they said they wouldn’t make that move with Cano heading to the disabled list. Perhaps this could change that plan. But, if it’s not going to change, then they are going to be in need of someone.

And that is where the Cincinnati Reds should step in. Scooter Gennett is playing out of his mind right now. He’s hitting .318/.356/.503 for the Reds. Since joining the team last April, in 181 games, he’s at .301/.346/.525. Whatever he’s figured out since leaving Milwaukee, it’s working. And the sample size at this point is large enough to believe it can continue.

For the Reds, he’s the guy not named Matt Harvey that makes the most sense to try and trade. If there’s one spot where the team has plenty of options, it’s at second base. Their top prospect, Nick Senzel, plays second base. Another top 10 prospect, Shed Long, plays second base. Alex Blandino, currently in the Major Leagues, can play second base. Dilson Herrera, a former top 100 prospect and a guy who has hit everywhere he’s ever been in the minors, can play second base. And they are all at the Double-A level or higher.

Scooter Gennett is a free agent after the 2019 season. He’s a good player. He may be a very good player depending on exactly how you want to grade his defense. And currently, he’s vastly underpaid for his services. But, he’s going to get a raise in arbitration next season and I’d venture to guess that if he continues doing what he’s done, he’s probably looking at something around $10M for the 2019 campaign. That’s still a bargain, of course, but with the options the Reds have, it’s $9.5M that could be spent somewhere else on the roster.

The problem comes with the fact that the Mariners farm system isn’t very strong. In fact, it’s quite poor. But, it’s not completely barren, either. Their top prospect Kyle Lewis just returned to the field after having another knee surgery. The 2016 1st round pick has had problems staying on the field as he’s battled knee problems since injuring himself during the 2016 season after the draft. He’s played in just 51 games since the 2017 season began, including just two this season. Lewis is just 22-years-old, and when he’s healthy there’s a ton of power potential in his bat. When he was drafted there was some thought that he could handle center field, but after multiple knee surgeries who knows if that’s still going to be an option for him.

Another possible place to look would be in the low minors. The Mariners have high upside, but far away prospects in extended spring training. 2017’s 2nd round pick Sam Carlson, who has a a trio of potential plus pitches to his repertoire. If you want to go on a really deep dive maybe you see if they are willing to part with Julio Rodriguez, who was signed in the 2017 international signing period for $1.75M. He’s yet to play a game in the organization and is just 17-years-old. But, he’s got huge raw power to tap into and a strong arm that profiles well in right field.

It’s possible that there just isn’t a good fit. Maybe the Mariners aren’t willing to discuss Kyle Lewis in a trade. Or maybe he just doesn’t check out medically because of the knee. Perhaps there just isn’t enough beyond him to entice the Reds enough, even with other options at second base as it could be selling too low without Lewis coming back. No matter what, though, the Reds should have already made the phone call to Seattle by the time you are reading this to see what they are thinking.

This post was updated to reflect an error about when his suspension would start, which is immediately. The earlier versions stated it would begin once taken off of the disabled list.

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79 Responses

  1. Wilbur Wood

    No way, the Reds need to keep at least a few good players to keep bringing in the few fans that they have currently have watching games. And based on the Red’s record when it comes to trading quality MLB players (Chapman for starters – where they got nothing — nada) this type of transaction would simply further enhance the notion that the Reds have become a feeding farm for all MLB teams. Maybe they can start a new level of play – AAAA otherwise — PASS —

    • AC

      So, keep a guy at a position of depth because you messed up a previous trade. Sound logic, I’m on board.

      • Wilbur Wood

        It seems you missed to point entirely — one trade?
        you make it sound the Reds are one of the worst teams in baseball and started 3-18 because of just one trade
        So the comment intended to simply imply that the Chapman trade is a small sampling of this FO’s capabilities

    • Simon Cowell

      I agree Scooter is more valuable than Kyle Lewis. I wouldnt make that trade.

      • Shawn

        Senzel at 2B, 10 Million and Kyle Lewis are much more valuable than Scooter

      • asinghoff

        Wow. I don’t even know how to respond to that one.

        This is a best case scenario for the Reds. Scooter is a 2B who would provide an immediate plug and play. On top of that, he can “play” multiple positions, so he still has value when Cano comes back and retakes 2nd. Lastly, his natural position of DH opens up next year when Nelson Cruz is a free agent.

        There’s no reason that this trade shouldn’t happen.

    • Shawn

      Senzel at 2B and spend the 10 Million on a SS, CF or SP

      • The Duke

        The pitching staff would like the significant defensive upgrade as well.

    • A.B.

      The Chapman trade was inexcusable but the Reds have made quite a few fantastic trades as well. I mean, come on…Suarez for Alfredo Simon? Castillo for Strailey? Talk about fleecing the other teams.

  2. AirborneJayJay

    Yes they should. And the Reds should also be making it a combo deal with Adam Duvall included. Nelson Cruz is a free agent after the season and they could use some OF help too.

    • Colorado Red

      Probably get less if you include Adam at this point.
      At worst you just NonTender him next off season.

    • Stock

      Exactly what I was thinking Airborne. The Mariners need a 2B and a LF.

      Duvall and Gennett for

      Lewis, Julio Rodriguez, Juan Querecuto and Joseph Rosa. If you can get him also include Joe Rizzo. Rodriguez and Querecuto have never even played professionally so they could be huge busts (see Yorman, Duran) or huge stars. The Reds will not be competing this year and probably not next year. Most of their stud prospects are in Dayton and Daytona.

      • Shawn

        Duvall and Gennett won’t bring back near that. I would be surprised if we could get Lewis for those two, let alone everyone else

      • A.B.

        Uh…wow. Might as well just talk to the Angels about Mike Trout.

      • The Duke

        In what world do people think Adam Duvall has significant trade value?

  3. Datdudejs

    That farm system is atrocious. Kyle Lewis would definitely have to be included, as well as at least 1 of Carlson/Rodriguez I feel like to be considered “good”. However, I am scared of another Cozart situation happening. So maybe if they offer Kyle, the Reds should just say yes and do it. Who knows with these things

  4. Wilbur Wood

    And as far as the players the Reds might receive in a trade – the Reds would need to receive an above average MLB OF – a known quantity (not a wannabe). Right now all 4 players in the Red’s OF rotation are below average. Trading for anything else (a few pitching prospects that might, just might make it – we’ve tried that route before in the Johnny Cueto trade – and how’d that work out). I would rather see Gennett become the Red’s RF because Winker just isn’t cutting it.
    Reading your analysis, just glad you aren’t in the Reds FO – especially since they already have high ranking execs that have been fleeced in the past – you’d just make one more. You don’t trade known quantities (especially players who have demonstrated that they can hit MLB pitchers – and Gennett certainly did that by hitting .590 this past week and then winning the hitter of the week Award).
    So once again – A RESOUNDING “NO” !!

    • Steve

      Really?!?! First, if they can get some minor league prospects for Scooter they need to do it, he’s 28 and due a substantial raise playing at a position of serious depth for the organization. Second, Gennett struggles enough throwing it from 2nd to 1st so the idea that they’ll move him to OF is laughable. Third, the reds have won some trades and lost some just like every other team and this is not a winning season so they need to continue to accumulate as much young talent as possible, Gennett isn’t a part of this team’s future so strike while the iron is hot.

      • Wibur Wood

        Reds front office has definitely lost a lot more trades then they have won (or didn’t you notice the first 25 games of the season which resulted in the Reds being the first to fire their manager in 2018). Giving the Reds a pass will simply keep them mired in their current state – one of the first teams to fall out of contention (in 2018 since mid April) and one of the worst teams in baseball.

      • Steve

        I think everyone agrees they lost the Chapman trade and the pitchers didn’t pan out on the Cueto trade but we couldn’t keep Cueto anyways. We certainly won the Frazier trade (Peraza/Dixon/Schebler) for a guy who hasnt done anything of note since. Won clearly the Simon, Latos, and Straily trades. Leake trade got us an all star season from Duvall but really hinges on the continued development of Mella who looks fantastic this season. Bruce and Phillips trades are really irrelevant considering their age and this teams direction…so no guy, we haven’t lost a lot more trades than we have won and the record for 25 games in is not evidence of such.

      • Wilbur Wood

        Thanks for letting us know that the Bruce trade was irrelevant. Especially since the Reds have 3-4 substandard starters manning all starting OF positions.
        And based on your reasoning, the trade of Didi Gregorious for a 1 year rental was also irrelevant.

      • Jerry

        Steve, did you actually say we clearly won the Latos trade? We traded 4 players. One had already made an all star game and three more who did after. All we got was an overgrown child. We clearly lost that trade.

      • Steve

        Jerry I am not looking at trades from 2011, we clearly won the trade getting rid of Mat Latos

    • Optimist

      Have you seen Scooter in the field? See him last year in RF? Winker has issues, but he also has impressive present production AND 5 more years worth of potential than Scooter. Love Scooter, but these 2 don’t compare.

      • Wibur Wood

        really sad when a poster states that .269-0-11 is impressive. As it is, Winker can’t run the bases, has no speed, fumbles his way through defensive plays in RF and has no power to speak of. If Red’s fans continue to call that level of production ‘impressive’ then no wonder the Reds are in trouble because they have fans who have lowered their bar to the lowest levels yet. At least Gennett is hitting .300 and looks like a MLB hitter at the plate – something that right now NONE of the Reds players in the OF rotation can do.

      • Steve

        Wilbur, Winker has on OBP of .376 as a 24 year old in his first full season in the major leagues. What exactly are your expectations for these young guys?

      • redleggingfordayz

        Sorry Wilbur, but if you asked any GM outside of Dan Duquette they would pull the trigger on a Scooter trade as well if they can get some high ceiling talent in return. Not saying you need to have blind faith in the FO, as DW still does have some to prove when it comes to building a contender. But, please just stop acting like the sky is falling especially when it comes to Winker. He clearly hit for power at the end of last year, and yes he is in a slump right now no doubt, but to act like he is a worthless outfielder after less than 500 Major League AB is just silly. Also, Winker should really never be playing RF unless it is in a pinch. He profiles so much better as a LF and has played much better there. As Steve said, he has a .376 OBP and is all of 24 years old. Gotta give him more time than that. We know what Scooter is (and I am actually a big fan), but you can’t pay a guy >8 million when you have replacements (who are also most likely better) in Senzel and Long that are going to give you the same or better production than Scooter for far less money. It is just the logical decision in this case.

  5. Cguy

    It’s pretty cut & dried. Lewis plus anyone of Seattle’s next 4 prospects- or just say NO.

    • Wibur Wood

      right on – finally a comment that makes sense

      • Steve

        Really? Cause earlier in this same post you stated that the reds must receive an above average current MLB outfielder in return not a “wannabe”

    • The Duke

      Do we really want the guy with multiple knee surgeries because he is on the top of a list? Give me Carlson and the big upside lottery ticket that is Julio Rodriguez, and then an arm with some potential, even if it’s a future bullpen arm.

  6. Hoyce

    If the reds even sniff Kyle Lewis, they should trade scooter. 1. Scooter is playing over his head. If/when he comes down to earth a little – his value goes way down. Heck-i could see the reds cutting scooter next year to save 9-10M$. With the options they have to replace him. $10M could go a long way to sure up next years pen or possibly part of a SS or CF that the reds desperately need. I would target the side armed that the mariners have as #10 in their farm system also. He could be a useful piece down the road.

    • Wes

      Scooter will keep producing offensively. I wouldn’t worry about moving him while he’s hot. He’s gonna stay hot w bat. Which he’s still
      not worth Lewis but completely agree- if u can get him- don’t hesitate. I also agree in a situation where reds could potentially cut scooter this coming offseason.

      As your next comment- I really hope reds partner up w Braves! Reds most valuable trade asset is Suarez and he’s a perfect fit in atl. If you can pry a couple top pitching prospects for him that’s bigtime !

      • Colorado Red

        I would require a boat load for Geno.
        Like 3 of the top 5 prospects, including #1.

      • asinghoff

        That would be a black eye on the organization to sign a player to a 7 year extension and then turn around and trade him off. Suarez isn’t getting traded, at least not for a few years.

      • Wes

        I wouldn’t consider him to Seattle. They don’t have enough to even consider.

        Baseball does just fine carrying its own black eyes. Trading Suarez would hardly be one. Suarez took the money- not location. He cares less who gives it to him then u think as do other mlb players.

      • asinghoff

        Comfort with the organization was absolutely a factor in Suarez taking the extension he took. If he wasn’t at home in Cincinnati, he just as easily could have only signed for his arbitration years, and then hit the open market. Any free agent and future player in the organization would be skeptical of signing a long term deal with the Reds if they shipped out Suarez in the first year of a seven year deal. That’s just common sense.

  7. Hoyce

    I also think the reds should look to take advantage of the Braves doing better than expected this year.
    Braves have a GM (anthopoulos) that is a wheeler/dealer. He is gonna make some big moves and might trade some of the young or prospects. And the reds have some big pieces that Braves would crave.
    Gotta get more difference makers in cincy. Or it’s gonna be more of the same for the next 5-10 years

  8. Dave

    Bob Castellini won’t let them trade Scooter.

    • Hoyce

      Def not until after “scooter on a scooter” bobble head night

    • Wibur Wood

      not if the Reds don’t receive quality in return – the dude’s been checking produce for freshness and quality these past 40 years.

  9. Mark

    I agree with comment earlier winker is overrated his offensive production stinks. Schebler is not good either. Hamilton is Hamilton and Duvall stinks we need a new exciting outfield with 4-5 tool players. How many tools are winker and schebler seriously??

  10. Kap

    I was thinking the twins. Logan morrison isn’t doing much. Brian dozier is a free agent after this season. Scooter could dh the rest of this year and play 2nd next. Maybe include hughs or Hernandez and ask for gordan. Shortstop of the future if they’re not convinced peraza is

  11. Norwood Nate

    I definitely think the Reds should try to act early and work something out with Seattle. Gennett’s value is probably at it’s highest right now, but even at that he’s barely passable in the field and historically has been awful against lefties. Doug’s right in that 2B is one of the most well stocked positions in the upper minors. We have ready replacements, they’re cheaper, and they have a lot more team control. By waiting until closer to the deadline the Reds take on some risk with injury, poor performance, and possibly more sellers competition. They’re also not likely to find such good match in a trade partner. We should learn the lesson on not trading Cozart to the M’s two years ago.

    As far as a return, I’m not even sure it’d be Lewis or bust for me. He’d be nice, but I do also like Carlson, and the reliever Festa is a nice complementary piece. I’m also not sure Gennett returns a top 100 type prospect, even after continuing to produce.

    • Wilbur Wood

      Thanks for some solid points in your comment and analysis Norwood. However DO believe as someone mentioned earlier that if Gennett were traded, he would return some solid prospects. Just don’t trust this Red’s FO to be able to identify them.

    • Shawn

      I don’t think they would trade Lewis for scooter. There are 2 or 3 other players I would be interested in. Need to trade for the best they can get. He needs to be home by the trade deadline

  12. Pat

    Tough question…is Scooter a piece to be used in the rebuild or is he a successful acquisition in the rebuild? At some point keeping productive players means paying them or we’re just staying on the cycling of calling guys up to see if they play – in this case can they also hit .300 with some pop? The Reds are in the driver seat here and need to act that way. What do the Reds need? 1) SP – desperately 2) OF – reliability 3) back up catcher. Scooter goes if you can get something that substantially addresses 1 or 2. Otherwise keep him – he can hit and while not a great fielder not atrocious either. If the Reds want to win they have to keep successful pieces (I like the infield a lot) and get some starting pitching PLEASE!!!

    • Shawn

      Senzel should be a much better defensive player. Can also hit for power and average. and steal bases.

    • redleggingfordayz

      Please go look up 2017 in Fangraphs, filter for only second baseman (also have to adjust the minimum PA to like 450 to include Scooter) and he is literally ranked dead last out of all 2B players at -6.4 Defensively. Most other metrics back up his terrible defense (-8.9 UZR), as does the eye test. I get wanting to keep pieces, but unless you think the Reds are making a run at the pennant next year, Scooter is not a player on the next contending Reds team. Trade him to the team willing to give up the highest ceiling prospect and prepare for 2020.

  13. MK

    It is true they have included Scooter in much of their 2018 Marketing Program with the bobblehead, the scooter raffle, etc.. However another guy in similar circumstances was Johnny Gomes. I would agree with trading Scooter and think 2 or 3 of their Top 30 pitchers (Jaskie, Wilcox, Misiewicz)that would be a nice return. It not like they are even trading a Brandon Phillips quality player. If not Gennett maybe Herrera is a possibility,

  14. Simon Cowell

    The Reds shouldnt be looking to send Scooter packing the Mariners arent a good fit. I tell you who is a good fit…. Dilson and Blandino. Blandino because he is proving mlb capable and Herrea because he can hit and will probably always need to spend some time as a DH

    • Shawn

      I would rather keep Blandino than Scooter for next year. Will make about 10 Million less next year. Opens up a spot for Senzel. Can play several positions, good bench piece. Also scooter will get a decent prospect in return

    • The Duke

      I actually think Seattle is a great fit. Their farm won’t get a player much better, and they have a few interesting pieces with upside that I think Scooter could get this year only because they are in rookie ball, but are high profile young prospects (1st rd pick and a big money international signing if they could get my preferred package of Carlson and Rodriguez).

  15. donny

    My take,
    Lewis has had knee problems on going. It might be to the point now where he might have to be a first baseman or Dh. A lot of risk here. When he was playing he wasn’t showing much anyway. Might still be because of injury, but to much health risk here.

    As for Julio Rodriguez, i don’t see the Reds trading for a guy who has yet to play a full season of baseball. To many unknowns for this guy. He has yet to even play in the DSL league.

    Sam Carlson is a solid prospects who impressed scouts last year but has yet to pitch a full season in the minors.

    There farm don’t look very good.

    I say NO. Unless they want Perazza to play second for them. Then i say sure.

  16. Kap

    Mariners already stated that dee Gordon is already moving back to second.

    • victor vollhardt

      Gennett and the Reds are playing well now and for the last 2 weeks or so. Now is not the time to break it up and certainly Seattle has very little to offer. Dipodo drained the Angel system and he has done the same to the Mariners. Good record or not there is no depth to their system for themselves let alone for a package deal with someone else. They have a lot of money wrapped up in Cano and there maybe an out with his suspension as the “masking agent”may have come from a bonafide prescription. He is still injured so it might all even out time wise. Reds need pitching and that means a ready to go MLB pitcher. Until somebody offers that they don’t need to be trading a Gennett and he maybe even a real candidate to sign to a long term deal. Last night’s game is an example –the Reds score 7 and lose and the starter gave up 6 right off the bat. Just let Seattle move Gordon around and stay out of it.

    • The Duke

      Depends on what they are offering. Dilson isn’t an untouchable for the same reason he may not have that much trade value. Injury history.

  17. MK

    Seattle still owes Cano $24 milion through 2023 so they are not looking for a long term, potentially costly fix. Don’t think you trade a high prospect for that or someone to cover an 80-day period. If you check performance Lewis hasn’t exactly been tearing up the minor leagues. He is not better than Siri or Trammel. Quite frankly the don’t need him.

  18. Wilbur Wood

    redlegin, please do not put words in my mouth. And as far as Winker, I wish him well but the Reds definitely need their OF to show improvement – and that’s ALL of them. And sorry you saw the sky falling as outside my home it’s been pretty clear (particularly when it comes to Winker). So let’s just ask Marty Brennaman what he thinks of Winker’s base running and play in the field so far this season – as he’s definitely had some choice words about him so far. Maybe he saw the sky falling – who knows?

    • asinghoff

      He’s 2 years removed from being the number 11 overall pick, and the Reds were considering taking him at 2.

      Scooter Gennett is Dan Straily and Alfredo Simon. Cash in the lottery ticket.

  19. Brad

    Watching Luiz Gohara throw well for the Braves makes me recall the botched trade of Cozart to the Mariners for Gohara plus a prospect.

    How great would Gohara look in Reds bullpen for next 6+ years? Not sure he is in good enough shape to start but has some high level stuff.

  20. MK

    Listening to Mariners pregame show, Dee Gordon is taking groundballs at second. Sounds like he will make move in a few days.

  21. Brad

    I would target a combination of Carlson, Rodriguez, Querectuo, Brigman or Dan Altavilla for either Gennett or Hamilton.

  22. Kong

    Reds make a good trade? Baaaaahhaaaaaaa. That’s a good one Doug.

    • Michael Smith


      Those guys came in good trades and that’s not including all the contributors from said trades

  23. Jon Ryker

    I’d like for them to trade Scooter Gennett too, but the Mariners can put Dee Gordon at 2B.

    It is time to be shopping Iglacious to Cleveland.

    • The Duke

      Highest bidder. I don’t move him unless we get a top 20 prospect or 2 top 50 prospects. I’d rather keep Iglesias than trade him for “quantity”

  24. Patrick

    The Mariners should sign Brandon Phillips as a stop gap.

  25. Gilbert Keith Chesterton

    With Suarez, Votto & Peraza secure in the infield for years to come, the Reds need to open a spot for Senzel.

    That being said, I’m not sure why everybody keeps saying Scooter is playing well above his ability?

    Scooter’s slash lines…
    first 2 years: 300 / 334 / 449
    next 2 years: 263 / 308 / 399
    2 years with Reds: 302 / 347 / 524

    Gennett had a pair of solid, not great seasons in 2015 and 2016 (which included an injury), but his 2 years with the Reds pretty much match up with what he provided the Brewers in his first 2 years.

    So I think folks need to stop acting like Gennett was a Billy Hamilton type of hitter, who has suddenly turned into Joey Votto, and needs to be traded before he drops back to the mendoza line.

    • Colorado Red

      I agree, but I am not sure Seattle is going to make any trade at this point.

  26. RedsFaninPitt

    I seriously doubt the Mariners would entertain a trade of young prospects from a farm system that is already very weak in mid-May for a position where they have other options that they can use to plug this whole (Heredia in CF/ Gordon at 2B). Their biggest need is pitching so I don’t think we matchup well at all. If they are still competing in July maybe a trade of Harvey (assuming he can turn things around) might be a possibility. The Mariners have focused more on defense the past couple seasons. I could see a BHam trade to them before a Gennett trade.

  27. Herzog

    I LOVED Kyle Lewis coming into the draft. He and Senzel were the only 2 guys I wanted. I assure everyone here that if it wasn’t for the ACL injury and whatnot, Kyle Lewis would be so far out of Scooter’s price range on a trade.