Should the Reds trade Johnny Cueto to the Red Sox for Yoenis Cespedes (and stuff)?

60 Comments

We’re in that lull between the end of the season and the heating up of the hot stove, and that’s a good time for throwing spaghetti up agains the wall to see if it sticks. Or whatever other metaphors you like in the “let’s make up possible trade scenarios” vein. David Cameron has an intriguing one over at Fox: Johnny Cueto for Yoenis Cespedes.

Now, to be clear, he acknowledges that Cueto — one of the top pitchers in baseball — is more valuable than Cespedes, and acknowledges that the Sox would have to throw in more than just Cespedes to get him. They’d need to put in some young, team-controlled players and/or some salary relief that would allow the Reds to seek some cheaper pitching to fill in the innings lost by Cueto’s departure.

But the basic bones of the deal are that (a) the Reds have A LOT of free agents and commitments in the near future; (b) they need to part with some of them; (c) Cueto is clearly the most valuable trade commodity they have; and (d) the contracts and situations between him and Cespedes are roughly comparable.

I’ll agree with his view that Cespedes’ power would play well in Great American Ballpark. I also think, however, that the Reds would need A LOT more, probably more than Cameron suggests, to part with Cueto. Indeed, given Cueto’s skill and his proven track record of pitching well in a place that eats some pitchers alive, one would think that the Reds would part with him only if they positively, absolutely had to, choosing to let others go instead.

But, like I said, it’s spaghetti season, we’re not general managers, and it’s fun to at least talk about this stuff.

Batting champion Luis Arraez beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — AL batting champion Luis Arraez won his salary arbitration case and will get a $6.1 million salary from the Miami Marlins, who acquired the infielder from the Minnesota Twins last month.

Miami argued for a $5 million salary during a hearing before John Stout, Mark Burstein and Scott Buchheit. Arraez received a raise from $2.2 million.

Arraez hit .316 with eight homers, 49 RBIs and a .795 OPS last year for Minnesota, starting 61 games at first base, 34 at designated hitter and 31 at second. The 25-year-old was traded on Jan. 20 for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and a pair of prospects: infielder Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio.

Arraez is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first salary arbitration decision this year, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.