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


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.