The Cincinnati Reds have been reportedly trying to land Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber all offseason. It seems that the Reds and Indians haven’t been able to find a good match between the two sides. That could mean that a third team needs to be involved in order to get the Indians ace to Cincinnati. That’s where the San Diego Padres come in. As reported earlier this week, the three teams have at least discussed the idea of a deal that would bring Kluber to Cincinnati via San Diego.

Late last night, Lee Hacksaw Hamilton, a sports anchor in San Diego and pre and post-game host for the Padres on radio, reported that these trade talks have hit a snag because of medical reports on Cincinnati Reds top prospect Nick Senzel.

This tweet is interesting on a few fronts. Let’s first assume that it’s true. It would mean that the Cincinnati Reds are willing to trade Nick Senzel. On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with that. Every player should be traded in the right circumstance. But it’s also a bit surprising as he’s seemingly been off-limits in other trade talks. Perhaps that’s because Corey Kluber is one of the best players alive today, and that changes whether or not you’d give up someone like Senzel. Still, it’s newsworthy.

The second part is that the medicals have caused a hold up. While Nick Senzel did have two surgeries last year – one on his finger, and one on his elbow in the offseason to remove bone spurs – it’s tough to imagine that either of those things are what would cause a hold up. He played in instructional league, which he wouldn’t have done if the finger were still an issue. And he’s begun swinging again after the elbow surgery, which isn’t likely if that had lingering issues.

This is pure speculation on my part based on tons of deductive reasoning, but it would almost have to be related to the vertigo issues that Nick Senzel has encountered over the last two season. In 2017 he missed the final 11 games of the year due to a bout with vertigo. Then in 2018 he missed most of May with another one. He’s on the record saying that he believes that he and the doctors have figured out the right treatment for the issue. I’m not a doctor, so chiming in with an opinion on that statement doesn’t make much sense.

But what does come up with that statement would be that it seems other teams doctors see some concern there. Or at least one team: The Padres. They, of course, the same team who had two separate medical files for their players – one for the Padres, and then one to give other teams in trade scenarios.

Is the situation a little more serious than we’ve believed? Or is this a situation where they simply aren’t comfortable? It’s tough to say without more information. It’s certainly at a point, now, though, where there are a few questions out there. We will see how this plays out in the long run – Nick Senzel is going to be on the field. We’re going to find out if there should have been more serious considerations or not in the next few years. Whether that’s going to be with the Reds or with another team.

88 Responses

  1. PickleRiiiick

    I hope this falls through.!
    I predict that in 2 years Senzel is highest WAR Red as Votto ages and Suarez regresses a bit.
    If you need to Get the Pitching then spend the money and Sign Keuchel, Miley or Gonzalez.
    Please eave the core intact!

    • $$

      I’d be leary of Senzel if I were a MLB club…..Vertigo doesn’t just go away. Its a symptom not a disease.

      • Jon Ryker

        Anybody remember Nick Esasky?

        Suarez will only get better, and is clearly durable. Trading Senzel for an actual ace is a great thing.

  2. AirborneJayJay

    Posturing by the SD front office. Leaked out to a person, maybe not on their payroll, but certainly affiliated with the team. Hacksaw better be careful, he is getting close to the line of violating the HIPPA law. This is the work of the SD front office. SD’s front office is about as unethical as one can get. I don’t know why they are even in discussions with them. Most likely invited into the discussions by the Indians.
    Williams should have to address this sometime on the Caravan. Williams should back away from any discussions now involving SD and tell Cleveland to get another 3rd team involved.

    • Doug Gray

      I’m not sure that Williams could address it, for the reason you discussed: HIPPA laws.

    • Norwood Nate

      My first thought was it was an intentional leak as well for Sam Diego to try and gain some advantage. Too much false information out there to media sources that is later flat out denied by FO or agents. Somewhere that has to be against the CBA. Or it’s the writers trying to drum up interest in what is another slow offseason. Either way it’s getting old.

    • rgslone

      The myths regarding the HIPPA law and the breadth of it’s reach are way overblown and misunderstood. I deal with HIPPA some, though I certainly don’t profess to be an expert. But, in general, HIPPA only places certain handling protocols on medical providers. This guy is in no danger of violating HIPPA (because it doesn’t apply to him), and employers are not generally bound by its provisions either.

    • Tampa Red

      Does it not occur to anyone that maybe there is something to the vertigo issue to be concerned about? And that may be why the Reds made him available?

      • rgslone

        I know it concerns me. But so does Greene’s arm. All we can do is hope for the best.

  3. Wes

    Vertigo is big issue but his injury profile in general has to scare a team to. The only reason reds would ever trade him and only reason he’s still a prospect is the injuries.

    That being said- how do u not know that already if u have job in mlb?? When he missed time last season for vertigo- it wasn’t even a year since diagnosis or mid summer heat. Of course his med report looks terrible.

    Keep senzel and trade Suarez for Mackenzie Gore and Kluber. Let SD compensate for rest of Kluber for getting Suarez.

    Getting Kluber short term and a future of Greene/Gore is worth trading Suarez.

    • Doug Gray

      What injury profile?!

      The guy missed all of 1 game due to non-vertigo issues from his freshman season at Tennessee through 2017.

      • Don

        That’s like saying he hit .300 not including strikeouts except for on Saturday and Sundays. Selective stats never help your case.

      • Doug Gray

        No, it’s not.

        If you’re going to claim injury history, there better actually be an injury history. Not one injury that cost him games over the last five seasons.

      • Wes

        I read this article on redsminorleagues.com this morning. He had two surgeries last year. One on his elbow and one on a finger. You should checkout that website. Good work done there.

    • scottya

      Everyone gets injured from time to time. Otherwise there would be numerous players playing all 162 games each year. There were an average of over 23 disabled list trips per club in 2018. Mike Trout, Jose Altuve, Lorenzo Cain, Mookie Betts to name a few had dl stints. As Doug points out, Senzel missed one game from his freshmen year at TN through 2017. A broken finger due to a tough bounce on a ground ball does not make Senzel’s injury profile terrible. Neither does having surgery to remove a bone spur. The vertigo is a concern.

      If Senzel continues to have surgeries and miss extended time with vertigo or whatever over the next few years, then he could be labeled as injury prone. The vertigo issue hasn’t reached that point.

      • Doug Gray

        Just to clarify, Senzel injured his finger on a relay throw that he made, not fielding the ball.

  4. Tom

    I’ll admit, the vertigo issue is a big sticking point for me.

    I can imagine it coming up the month, the week, the day before a playoff run and hurting the team – similar to Votto’s hollowing out in 2012 but worse.

    But more likely in this case, it is a negotiation point the Reds are up against and have to overcome if they want the deal to go through.

  5. Klugo

    Or is it just SD trying to get more out of the Reds; thus, sighting these “medical concerns”?

  6. Bernie

    Senzel says he and the doctors have figured out the right treatment for this issue; my experience is that treatment will help when you have it but there is no treatment to prevent another occurence. I think trading him makes a lot of sense as long as you can get top value for him and Kluber would be top value.

    • RedsinWashst

      I would like to thank Bernie and ole wes for their medical expertise. Speaking as someone who has vertigo, in almost all cases there are exercises to deal with vertigo.
      In my case I lay on something flat lay my head over the edge and turn it back and forth with my eyes open. I do this every morning for 2 minutes and it works. If in some rare case I start feeling dizzy or light headed I do it again for 2 minutes. Now I know that Senzel has better medical treatment then I do. The reason there is problems in the beginning is because you need to find what works for you. There are different methods and exercises. There are rare cases that it doesn’t work. But it sounds like Senzel is not one of these.

  7. DocProc

    If this leads CLE (or SD as a trade partner) to move on from Senzel and focus instead on Trammell or India as the primary prospect, that would be good news in my book.

  8. Billy

    I get that SD would have incentive to leak concerns in order to improve their bargaining position, but wouldn’t it also make it a harder sell to the fans that you were just involved in a blockbuster in which you purchased damaged goods?

    Assuming the rumors are true, doesn’t that suggest that there’s more than just a trade in discussion? Isn’t the exchange of medicals one of the last things that typically happens in a deal? To me, this simply suggests that there’s a serious possibility of some kind of deal taking place.

    • Doug Gray

      Usually that’s the case, but specifically with Nick Senzel, I think given the vertigo, it would be something I’d want to dive a little deeper into before the absolute-for-sure final step, too.

      • Stock

        I don’t think the Reds would be willing to give up Senzel’s physical records unless the players in the trade were agreed upon already. I think Billy is right. Players involved in the deal were agreed upon already. Maybe you are right too. Maybe key players agreed upon and the second tier is still at your choice of player A or player B. Or maybe the money (if any) in the exchange is not yet finalized.

        I just know medical records are not typically exchanged until their is agreement.

  9. Stock

    I think SD is throwing it out there for one of two reasons:

    1. They really prefer Suarez and think Cincinnati may be willing to exchange Suarez and Senzel if that is what it takes to get Kluber.

    2. They are trying to beef up the pot by bringing down the perceived value of Senzel.

    Personally, I am with Wes. Give the Pads what they want. Suarez is worth more than Senzel right now in trade value because Senzel has never performed at the ML level so there is uncertainty risk. But because of his far superior defense, I think Senzel will be more valuable as soon as 2020.

    Suarez is worth more than Kluber. I don’t know if he is worth Kluber and Gore but the Padres have plenty. I would be happy with Suarez for Kluber and Margot. I would really love Suarez, Kemp, Barnhart and $17 million for Kluber and Margot. This would give the Reds $6 million more and they could trade Trammell and Long for Realmuto. I would really love Franmil Reyes or Frenchy Cordero while they are cheaper too.

    • Doug Gray

      Using the Fangraphs valuation model, Suarez is worth Kluber and Gore. Maybe even a tad more.

      • The Duke

        Trading Suarez would be a disastrous PR move. What player would even think about giving the Reds a discount for long term security at that point? What other player seems as genuinely excited to be a Red, be on a super friendly team deal for the next half decade, AND be a very productive player?

      • earmbrister

        Duke, agree 100%. Moving Suarez would have negative consequences that could last a decade or more.

        Just say no.

        I have mixed feelings on a straight Senzel for Kluber swap, but want no part of trading Suarez.

      • The Duke

        Odds are we’d need to give up more than just Senzel, Senzel would just be the headline piece

      • terry m

        Trade Suarez and we get Kluber and Gore and maybe a tad more. I would do that trade right now..

      • Wes

        Reds would rebound from bad pr by trading Suarez. They have a ton of experience at rebounding from bad pr moves.

  10. D Ray White

    Trading away Senzel+ prospects for Kluber does not make the Reds a Playoff team in this Division. Trading away 6-7 years of cost-controlled, near sure thing productive major leaguer for 2 years of aging Kluber seems foolish, especially when we’re talking small market baseball. Far better to sign Keuchel and save Senzel. What was the point of losing terribly to draft Senzel if you’re not going to play him?

    • Doug Gray

      I think you can absolutely make the argument that adding Kluber makes the Reds a playoff contender, even if it means taking Senzel out of the lineup.

      And the point of drafting any player is to make your team better. That doesn’t always mean by playing them in your teams jersey one day.

      • Michael P

        Good point Doug. In a few short months we will be talking about the 2019 MLB draft and what players the Reds should take. Most often, the advice is to take ‘best available’ and use as resources to better your team down the road. Not draft position needed but draft best player to acquire position needed.

      • T-Pow

        I agree Kluber could make us a playoff contender, but is it worth it? I wan’t to be a world series contender.

      • Simon Cowell

        We don’t always agree but here we agree 100%. Let’s make the club better right now. Period. Stephenson, Reed, Garrett were all touted prospects at one point in time. Imagine how we could have improved the ball club had we traded them at the top of their prospect evaluation. Prospects are like looking for gold. You use the best science available to hit the mother lode. Even with the best science, the odds of success are not in your favor.

    • jay johnson

      Theres no guarantee that Senzel is going to play for 6-7 yrs.How many has he played so far?
      Also what makes you say Kluber is declining?He had a very strong,very typical season for him last year.No signs of any decline at all.
      Your statements are unfounded with absolutely no certainty.
      Couldnt it be that Senzel is never going to play in the bigs and Kluber pitches the same for the next 3 yrs?
      Certainly a possibility.

      • Oldtimer

        5+ years of Tom Seaver (mid 1977 through 1982). Age 32-37 then. 75-46 with 3.18 ERA. Not as good as his NYM years from 1967 through mid 1977 but still very good SP.

        Kluber not Seaver (of course). But SP can be productive at 33-34-35.

  11. The Duke

    I 100% think this is the Padres trying to lessen Senzel’s value to try to get the Reds to sweeten the deal with someone else going to them. One of the slimiest front offices in professional sports.

    • Stock

      I also think the Pads have been targeting Suarez all winter. This very well could be a ploy to change the discussion from Senzel to Suarez.

  12. Adam

    I think in all actuality the player the Padres want is Suarez…..Not Senzel they have wanted him all along. If I am in Dick Williams chair I do the deal take the savings from Suarez go get Pollack for center with the idea of him transitioning to a corner outfield spot when Trammel or Siri is ready.

    • Hanawi

      Suarez should be untouchable. Not only is he an elite player signed to a ridiculously team-friendly deal, but he’s also one of the leaders of the team and immensely popular. He’s the guy you build around for the next 5-6 years.

  13. citizen54

    I will be disappointed if this trade goes through. The Reds are possibly throwing away the future for a three year window in which the Central is going to be the toughest division in the National League. Even with Kluber the Reds are probably only going to be better than the Pirates and maybe the Cardinals so the Reds are still going to have a hard time making the playoffs. Also, the Reds are going to be overpaying for someone that Cleveland, a team in the playoff hunt, deems expendable.

    I think the Reds should stand pat and find out what they have in Reed, Mahle, Stephenson, Sims, Garret, Lorenzen. I’m thinking at least one of those can turn into a league average pitcher and if that’s the case then you are only gaining 3 WAR with Kluber who is projected to be worth 4.9 WAR this year.

  14. Scott C

    I don’t really care if the report is true or a manipulated leak from SD. I would rather keep Senzel than have Kluber for his 33, 34, 35 seasons. There are too many options still this year that will not cost that Senzel. True most are not that caliber of Kluber, but there will be options next year when we may actually be able to contend. Much rather the team address centerfield now.

  15. victor vollhardt

    DUKE is right—– trading Suarez would send a bad signal to any young player the Reds may want to sign long term . Also Suarez has developed into a clubhouse leader. These are two strong points. The same could be said for Barnhart on both points. Now there may be nothing to this medical point on Senzel or it might be a ploy by San Diego (I agree with DUKE on the SD front office too) But now I go back some days ago to my post on Senzel—-that before the Reds turned over any regular position to Senzel (at the cost of not making any other deals) let him play two full uninterrupted months in the minors. By the way this idea has nothing to do with service time , but rather to put the vertigo issue to rest. Even then that would only be small sample size, but if he got through it—— it made making decisions on other players and their spots on the team a little more concrete. I was put down for the idea. ——-My biggest hope for Senzel is to have a long and productive career in the big leagues whether for the Reds or being part of a deal that would bring a turn around player to the Reds. Right now all of this is speculation, My original idea was just a safeguard to the Reds to be able to make a better player decision.

    • jay johnson

      what if has another episode of vertigo while in the minors.
      His value becomes less than bham.
      Very bad idea.

      • victor vollhardt

        To Jay Johnson—-If while in the minors -if the vertigo shows up again–i it would lower his value and maybe even make it zero, but my point a few days ago (when most posters were making him the regular CF-3B-2B or whatever) was that the REDS should not go into the season banking on him being OK on the vertigo issue. Indeed right now (if the medical reports are correct) his value is already compromised. And if correct his future has been forever changed.

  16. Jim t

    I make this trade in a heartbeat. You win titles with pitching. Having Kluber anchor the top of our rotation makes us contenders. We still have Scooter for a year with the potential of India and Long still in the pipe line as replacements. We also have Trammel and Siri as very good prospects as outfielders. Giving up Senzel is tough but getting a TOR is huge for our team.

  17. Jon Ryker

    This sounds perfectly believable. I’ve had serious issues with how brittle Senzel appears to be……having just gotten through Devin Mesoraco and Homer Bailey and DIsco. Besides which, if you don’t have an obvious position for him, then he will be more valuable to someone else than to you. They need Kluber if they’re going to learn how to win.

    I would not trade Trammel or Siri or Greene.

    I hope this works out.

    • A.B.

      Is this just speculation? Everything I see says they’re close to trading him but not known where.

    • SaveTheFarm

      I think I have a bag of chips in my desk I’d give them for Sonny Gray.

    • The Duke

      I haven’t seen anything saying it’s the Reds. If it is and we’re giving up anything better than Vlad Gut, then I won’t be happy about it.

      • earmbrister

        I’m not giving up Vlad, maybe Mella. One year of a SP who MAY rebound is not all that valuable.

      • Colorado Red

        I sure hope so. DO not want him on the team.
        He got a couple just like him.

  18. Bernie

    I’ve had vertigo for almost 20 years and dealt with many doctors. If you want to know how bad it can get; I can’t go to a baseball game in person because I get dizzy just trying to follow the flight of the batted ball. Obviously Senzel is not at this level but it’s different for everyone so we really can’t know his exact situation and neither he nor his doctors can know for sure if or when the next episode will occur.

  19. Mike P.

    I agree with Doug (and Fangraphs) about trading Suarez rather than Senzel. Remember, we got Suarez for next to nothing. Flipping him at his highest value (when we’ve got not just one guy (Senzel) but two (India) to replace him) is not only great business, but we wouldn’t have to compromise our chances of contending.

    Though I’d sure as hell rather do it directly with Cleveland than to do any business with the Padres FO. The Tribe need OF’s? Give them Schebler as well. Throw in a good prospect like Siri, Long, or India, and I can’t possibly see why Cleveland would refuse.

    • earmbrister

      No, just no. Suarez is a diamond, or a Rolex watch. You don’t give him or a Rolex watch away just because you didn’t pay anything to acquire him/it.

      As noted above by Duke, you will NEVER get a player to give you a team friendly contract again, if you sign a guy that wants to play here to a cheap deal and then ship him off.

      And I’m certainly not giving up Suarez, Schebler, AND one of Siri, Long, or India for a 33 yr old Kluber. Reminds me of Mike Ditka trading his entire draft for Ricky Williams. Didn’t work out so well for Ditka.

      • Mike P.

        No, Suarez isn’t a diamond or Rolex lol. Those things NEVER lose their value. Everything that does lose value, you sell at its’ highest worth. Especially when you’ve got something of similar value (Senzel) waiting.

        And players don’t sign deals because of where they play. They sign them for financial security. And in MLB, that security is guaranteed no matter which club they’re sent to. In the end, that’s all the players really care about.

        So we’ll have no trouble whatsoever signing guys in the future to similar deals.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think you’re agreeing with me at all because I’ve never once said I’d trade Suarez over Senzel.

      • Simon Cowell

        We agree on making the club better for 2019, don’t we?

      • Mike P.

        Okay, I was mistaken on that front. My apologies. But I believe Fangraphs predicts Senzel to be the better player. Either way, Kluber talks are dead without one of the two (or Winker, who we don’t want to trade either) so this topic is just as.

  20. Tim

    Does the name Nick Essasky bring back vertigo memories? He never really got past it. I always felt bad for him.

    • victor vollhardt

      If the meds reports are correct—everyone needs to read the TIM and BERNIE posts. If not then lets hope he has a great career where ever he lands.

      • Doug Gray

        I’ll counter with LeBron James has the same kind of vertigo that Nick Senzel has. He’s missed how much time because of it?

      • Bill

        Vertigo is typically not debilitating and is typically treatable. I’ve wondered if the Reds pulled him from minor league games for precautionary reasons or if his case was worse than most.

        Also, how many 23 year old pro baseball players have bone spurs? How many baseball players tear a finger ligament while throwing a baseball? Any one issue could be a fluke/one off.

        I agree with most that the Padres leaked this as a negotiating ploy, but I do think Senzel has some legit health concerns. Chances are none of these detract from a strong career. But he’s unlikely at peak value right now.

    • Mjc

      Y but fortunately for him he had just signed a multi year contract before his vertigo set in

  21. Simon Cowell

    Nick Senzel had 3 injuries in 2018. Until the fan base sees him perform all three of those injuries are going to continue being question marks. I can understand why San Diego or Cleveland would be reserved.

  22. JoJo

    I think every player has their price, but trading Suarez for kluber and a 19y old pitcher is a terrible idea. He’s probably the best player on the team right now, playing under one of the best contracts in baseball. You do that deal zero times. His value realistically is way better than that IMO. I’d trade Senzel for Kluber all day, every day. I’ve seen too many “can’t miss” prospects come through that dugout and fail. Not holding on to one, when you can grab an ace.

    • Big Ed

      We have all seen 30-something year-old pitchers fade fast, too. Sandy Koufax?

      I’ll take my chances with the health of a 23-year-old hitter over a 33-year-old pitcher every time.

      • JoJo

        But that hitter is an unproven prospect that, as history shows, has more of a chance at failing than being a stud and that pitcher is a cy young caliber guy. There a huge difference between the two. It’s not like we’re comparing a 23 year old guy who has shown something at the mlb level

  23. Smittyboy

    I’ve had vertigo on a few separate occasions in college/mid 20’s. Haven’t had them in years now and something that lasted for a few days. I don’t think it’s overly concerning at all.

    Also, another Reds fan has talked me into the Senzel/Kluber deal. Kluber is still an elite pitcher and the late Roy Halladay won one of his Cy Young’s at the age 33 I believe. There aren’t Elite pitchers you can just go out and get. 3 years of Kluber can hopefully bridge the gap to Hunter Greene. 1yr of Puig bridges the gap for Trammell. And this is a HUGE year for Santillan and India. Maybe we won’t even miss Senzel

  24. A.B.

    Competing in 1019 = Good
    Competing in 2020 thru 2025 = Optimal

    Exciting times to be a Reds fan with the moves this offseason already. I just hope if they make more trades, they don’t sacrifice too much of our future. Got to walk that fine line.

    • A.B.

      * 2019

      Not sure who was competing back in 1019…maybe Eric the Red? LOL.

  25. Bill J

    I know we each one think we are right, but we could all be wrong. Kluber could be great for 5 more years or be Homer this coming year, Senzel could win the batting title or never make it in MLB. So many things can happen and we can’t be sure just hope.

  26. Doc

    The logic escapes me. Why would people want to trade Suarez and assume Senzel is the replacement, and better than Suarez, when the whole issue driving the conversation is Senzel’s health? Makes no sense. If there is serious concern about Senzel’s long term health, then assuming he would be better than Suarez going forward does not compute. The concern about his health would make me far less likely to trade Suarez, not more likely.

    If there is no serious concern about Senzel’s health, then he is the regular 2B starting in 2020 and you have both of them anchoring your infield for 4-5 years. Since Suarez and Gennett have similar offensive output, and since Senzel supporters think he will be better than Suarez, logic says he will also be better than Gennett.

    To Doug: I believe Senzel’s finger injury was a two step process. He was injured on a previous play, then the event assumed to be the avulsion occurred on the throw. This was very likely a freak injury and not indicative of a trend.

    How many MLB players have had bone chips removed over the years? Many, many would be the likely answer, although I’ll avoid using Bailey as support for an argument! Bone spurs and bone chips happen in athletes, they get removed, athletes carry on.

    Vertigo – much has been said. Can only add that I have treated vertigo patients and most of what has been said, when added together, pretty much describes the spectrum. As stated by an earlier poster, vertigo is only a symptom; the significance of the problem can only be better narrowed down by having a diagnosed cause of the symptom. I’ve not heard any diagnosis, only the symptom.