The Cincinnati Reds made more than a few trades this season. They moved Scooter Gennett to San Francisco. They moved Yasiel Puig (and prospects) in a 3-team deal to acquire Trevor Bauer. But it’s the trade of Tanner Roark that’s got the news today, six weeks later. The Reds moved Roark to Oakland in exchange for Jameson Hannah on July 31st.

But the Athletics weren’t the only team that came calling with interest in Tanner Roark. The Phillies were looking for a starting pitcher, too. They were talking with the Reds, and according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia the Reds requested Mickey Moniak in exchange for the impending free agent pitcher.

If that name sounds familiar, it should. Mickey Moniak was the #1 overall draft pick in 2016. But he’s had some struggles in his minor league career and isn’t quite the prospect that he was coming out of high school. This past season he spent the entire year in Double-A Reading with the Phillies where he hit .252/.303/.439 with 28 doubles, 13 triples, and 11 home runs. He also stole 15 bases in 18 attempts. He still has some tools, but the transition from tools to skills hasn’t quite come as quickly as was hoped when he went #1 overall in the 2016 draft (the Reds took Nick Senzel with the next pick).

Coming into the season the scouting report from Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook was that Moniak was a fringy center fielder defensively, and that he had some struggles with pitch recognition. The stats certainly backed up that last year as he had managed just 50 walks to go along with 209 strikeouts in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. In 2019 his walk and strikeout rates were nearly identical to the ones he had in 2017. The power, however, was up rather significantly.

It seems that the Reds were looking to perhaps buy low and a guy with raw talent who hadn’t been able to quite refine that into skills on the field just yet. The Phillies felt that the price was too high and moved onto other targets. The Reds wound up getting back Jameson Hannah in a deal for Roark where Cincinnati also included cash. It’s unclear if the Reds were willing to include cash in a deal for Moniak or not.

It’s not often we hear about trades that didn’t happen like this one for a few years. We are finding out about this one just a handful of weeks later. It’s a bit of an interesting look at possibly how, and what the organization was looking to do, even if they didn’t get that specific deal accomplished.

13 Responses

  1. Tom

    Also interesting Kyle Lewis was in the discussion and just blazed the Reds in Seattle.

  2. RALA

    I loved Moniak going into that draft but Senzel was the more mature hitter.
    Shows you how fickle BB is .Moniak hasn’t hit yet and Senzel can’t get away from the injury bug.
    Here is hoping that Mickey is late bloomer and Nick has used up his bad luck.
    In the meantime we can all worry about Nick’s shoulder and maybe start reboot 2 without Trammel,Long,Gray,Downs.

    • Gaffer

      Agree, we were on the cusp of a true rebuild. Now what are we doing?

  3. Oldtimer

    Roark has pitched well for Oakland. So has Homer Bailey. Ex-Reds P doing well there.


    Try for Mickey Moniak, settle for Jameson Hannah. Lol, that’s about the Reds FO in a nutshell

  5. PaulHouseholder

    Casual question is had Reds traded 4 Realmuto, would they be in Playoff race?
    Deal was Barnhart, India and maybe Trammel. Might have been worth it??

    • Doug Gray

      No, they probably still aren’t in the playoff race. Losing Gennett and Wood for half a season was probably too much to overcome in nearly every scenario.

  6. Joseph D Shafer

    Think the Reds would make a play for Andrew Benetindi from Boston. If the Reds offered Trevor Bauer who has said he’d prefer to pitch in the American League along with Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson be enough to swing a deal

    • DaveCT

      Way too much for Benintendi. Great kid but Bauer alone would demand more.

    • Nep O'Tism

      I agree you need to make some kind of play for 1 MLB starter-quality OF if not 2 in the offseason. Be it Benetindi or someone else.

      Any plan that relies on Senzel staying healthy for all of 2020 is a poor one. It’s not clear if his shoulder will let him play CF in 2020 anyway, and he showed really poor against RHP in 2019 (.236/.296/.393).

      It also seems like pitchers have adjusted to Aquino, and now we need to see if he can adjust back. He’s 8-49 in September so far with only 1 homer, 2 walks, and 16 strikeouts, good for a .458 OPS. Sure hope he springs back with some adjustments and proves he’s worth relying on for an OF spot before the season’s up.

      Only OF spot I feel confident in for 2020 right now is a platoon of Ervin against LHP and Winker against RHP.

      – – – – – – –

      I don’t know if the Reds will acquire starting caliber SS, 2B, and 1-2 OF in one offseason. (Plus 2 quality bullpen guys.)

      Ideally they should see about Suarez playing 2B and dropping some $$$ for Rendon to play 3B as there seems to be a glut of good 3B in MLB these days and not so many 2B. (5 qualified 2B with 120 wRC+ or higher, 13 such 3B.)

      I think OF upgrades have to come through trade. The FA choices are pretty rough.

  7. Northern Ky Reds

    We should all be bothered by this. We need serious front office reform. Seriously.