Reds deal two players to Mets for prospects

Tyler Naquin traded in his second season with Reds

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Five days before the Major League Baseball trade deadline, the Cincinnati Reds made what could be the first of several deals.

The Reds traded outfielder Tyler Naquin and left-handed pitcher Phillip Diehl to the New York Mets for minor leaguers Jose Acuna, a right-handed pitcher, and Hector Rodriguez, a centerfielder, on Thursday night.

The Reds (38-60) open a series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday at Great American Ball Park. The trade deadline is Tuesday.

“We’ve got to figure out how to continue to build our player pipeline through scouting and player development,” Reds General Manager Nick Krall said. “We need to make sure we’re continuously stocking that player pipeline.”

Two of the Reds’ veteran starting pitchers, Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle, could be the next players dealt. The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals are all in the mix for Castillo, according to a report Thursday by Bob Nightengale, of USA Today.

“Having conversations about those players doesn’t mean we’re going to trade them,” Krall said. “It doesn’t mean we’re not going to trade them. We’re working right now to figure out how we can do the best we can to build for long term and sustainable success.”

In his second season with the Reds, Naquin, 31, hit .246 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs. He hit .270 with 19 home runs and 70 RBIs for the Reds in 2021 after they signed him as a free agent in February that year. He’ll be a free agent after this season.

“We definitely wish him well in his career,” Reds General Manager Nick Krall said. “Going to a first-place club, that’s great for him.”

Diehl, 28, had a 4.24 ERA in 25 appearances for the Triple-A Louisville Bats and had a 11.12 ERA in five appearances with the Reds in April and May. The Reds selected him off waivers from the Colorado Rockies in April 2021.

The Reds assigned Acuna, 19, of Venezuela, to Single-A Daytona. He was 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA in eight appearances, including five starts, at the Rookie League level and in the Single-A Florida State league this year.

“He has a chance to be a Major League starting pitcher with three plus Major League pitches,” Krall said.

Rodriguez, 18, of the Dominican Republic, will play for the Reds in the Arizona Complex League. The Mets signed him as an undrafted free agent in January 2021. He hit .356 with three home runs and 16 RBIs in the Florida Complex League this year.

“He’s a plus runner,” Krall said. “He has a chance to have a plus hit tool. We’re really excited about him.”

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