Disclaimer: All stats accurate as of 8/31/20 before play
As the trade deadline approached, the Cincinnati Reds found themselves with a 15-19 record, good for fourth in the NL Central. Questions were being raised as to whether the Reds should buy and make a push for the playoffs or sell off their players on expiring deals. As the 4 pm ET deadline was reached, it appeared as the Reds had done neither, until reports were released shortly after the deadline indicating the Reds were involved in two trades.
In the first trade, the Reds acquired Los Angeles Angels outfielder Brian Goodwin in exchange for Packy Naughton and a PTBNL or cash considerations. Brian Goodwin is a 29-year-old, left-handed hitting outfielder with the ability to play all three outfield positions. In 2020, Goodwin has hit .242/.330/.463 with a 113 wRC+. His 32.1 K% and 33.9 Whiff % are both career worsts, but despite the swing and miss issues, Goodwin also has career highs in BB% (11%) and Barrel % (13.1). Unlike most Reds hitters, Goodwin is overperforming compared to his xBA of .208, meaning there is some indication of regression on the horizon. However, for the time being, he will be a nice counterbalance to poor luck the Reds’ offense has had on batted balls. In the field, he could see some time in centerfield once he arrives, due to Senzel’s absence and Shogo Akiyama’s offensive struggles, but long term, Goodwin is much more likely to play in the corner outfield spots, where most of his playing time came from with the Angels. The Reds will have control of Brian Goodwin through 2022, meaning this move is more than just a playoff rental. When he takes the field for the first time, Goodwin will be the ninth player to play outfield for the Reds this season.
In the return for Goodwin, the Reds give up starting pitching prospect Packy Naughton. On top of having an incredible name, Packy was awarded 2019 Reds Minor League Starter of the Year. Packy split time between A and AA in 2019, where he threw 157 IP with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. At 24 years old with limited experience above single-A, Naughton’s ceiling is likely a 4th or 5th starter in MLB.
In the second trade, the Reds acquired Arizona Diamondbacks’ closer Archie Bradley and cash considerations for Josh VanMeter and Stuart Fairchild. In 2020, Bradley has pitched 10.2 innings with a 4.22 ERA. Archie is pitching better than his ERA suggests, he has a 2.01 FIP and a career-low 6.7 BB%. Archie Bradley relies mostly on his fastball and curveball, throwing them a combined 85.2% of the time. Archie Bradley has recently started throwing his changeup more often as well; its usage rate is up from 5.8% in 2019 to 11% in 2020. Since converting to a reliever in 2017, Bradley has pitched 225.2 IP with a 2.87 ERA and 1.196 WHIP, a 10 K/9, 3.22 K/BB. Bradley will operate in a late-inning role for the Reds, where they hope he can bring some consistency and stability.
In return for Archie Bradley, the Reds sent Josh VanMeter and Stuart Fairchild to the Diamondbacks. In limited playing time, VanMeter has hit .059/.158/.179 with a -11 wRC+ and a 42.1 K% this season. VanMeter forced his way onto the Reds roster last season after hitting .348/.429/.669 in 49 games at the Triple-A level. That success didn’t transfer to the big leagues in 2019, where he hit .237/.327/.408 in 95 games. Stuart Fairchild was a 2nd round pick in the 2017 MLB draft. The 24-year-old outfielder is now ranked 14th in the Arizona Diamondbacks top 30 prospects by MLB Pipeline. Fairchild has a chance to be an everyday outfielder at the MLB level but had no clear path to playing time on the Reds roster, making it easier for the Reds to part ways with him.
Both Goodwin and Bradley have control through at least the 2021 season and project to be contributing members through that time. They are both impact players and will be welcomed additions to this Reds roster. The Reds will hope their additions will be enough as they continue to battle it out for a playoff spot in the 2020 postseason.
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