1. Zack Britton to the Reds
Very sorry for this painful imagery, but clearly, the Cincinnati Reds insist on both contending for postseason spots and absorbing the entire Yankees bullpen. At the deadline, Cincy added Justin Wilson and Luis Cessa in a money-clearing transaction that cleared money for nothing, Dire Straits-style. In prior years, these two teams have matched up in both the Sonny Gray and Aroldis Chapman deals, two of the most infamous trades in recent Yankee history.
The Reds are somewhere betwixt and between, and we’ll learn more about how successful their “all in, kinda” strategy was when the postseason rolls around and they’re either a surprise entrant or a predictable bust.
Next season, though, as all their offensive youngsters likely continue to produce while Jonathan India takes a step forward and Hunter Greene arrives, there’s a window for Cincinnati to challenge Milwaukee in a weakened NL Central (the Cubs, uh, won’t be in the mix). A playoff-tested arm like Britton could be a helpful key to closing the door in several tight games, especially because — as of now — this isn’t a bullpen-focused team. Sean Doolittle and Mychal Givens are on one-year deals. There’s no long-term solution here, and the Reds will have to build from the ground up if they intend on making it to and through October next year.
Depending on the cash exchanged, the Yankees could aim as high as No. 9 prospect Tony Santillan, who’s been somewhere between a reliever and a starter at the upper levels of the minors and in limited major-league duty this year (30 whiffs in 23.1 MLB innings). If Brian Cashman is unwilling to cover the salary, they’ll aim lower and target middling pitching depth like Graham Ashcraft (No. 17) and Jared Solomon (No. 20).