By Illya Harrell on July 24, 2014
It's a forlorn feeling being a Reds fan these days. It's time to face the fiddle folks; they have no chance of winning the World Series this year and only a slimmest of hope in 2015. Nobody remembers a runner-up, much less a sub-.500 team. Instead of waiting for next season's trade deadline, Cincinnati would be wise to accept the inevitable and get it over with in the next week. Here are the top five players who should be dealt.
Surely there's a contending team in need of a utility man. Skip Schumaker won't bring much in return, but he's worth being dealt and taking a flier on a low-level prospect.
Mike Leake will be a free agent after the 2015 season. He's a solid No. 3 or No. 4 starter on most contending teams. Leake's value should bring a couple of mid-to-low-level prospects.
Unless a Reds fan is of the ignorance is bliss ilk, they are sick to death of Jay Bruce's swing-and-miss ratio -- and sick to death of Jay Bruce period. A team looking for a left-handed power bat for their stretch run may give a couple of high-ceiling, lower-level prospects.
Here's where it starts to get really good. Aroldis Chapman will test the free agent waters as soon as the 2016 season is history. After yesterday's trade of Joakim Soria to the Tigers in exchange for two of their top four pitching prospects, imagine what a contending team with a totally untested postseason closer like the Baltimore Orioles would pay for Chapman. Can anyone say Dylan Bundy?
As much as Cincinnati loves Johnny Cueto he, like David Price, is eligible to walk after the 2015 season. It's starting to feel like the Rays won't deal Price. That would leave desperate suitors in the Dodgers and Mariners. Shortstop Corey Seager and lefty starter Julio Urias -- among others -- would need to be in the Dodgers deal. Seattle's booty would include Taijuan Walker and a couple of their very highly touted low-level pitching prospects.
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