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Taking Advantage of the Sellers: Cincinnati Reds

Let's look at some players on the Cincinnati Reds who could see their fantasy value increase if their team starts the selling process.

Cincinnati Reds v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The rebuilding effort began last season in Cincinnati, as the team traded Johnny Cueto for what is now appearing to be a king's ransom of pitching. While that trade looks amazing with the emergence of Cody Reed, offseason deals to send Aroldis Chapman to New York and Todd Frazier to Chicago have seen mixed reviews so far. The team sits at 16-34 currently, last place in the NL Central, but still have some potential trade candidates along with a number of prospects who could replace them in short order.

Let's start off by eliminating a few players that the Reds are either not trading, or other teams are simply not going to take. Joey Votto, while one of the top hitters in the league, is currently owed at least $172 million through 2023, and quite simply no team is going to take that on. We saw Brandon Phillips reportedly veto a trade to the Nationals this past offseason, and with a full no-trade clause, it's not clear he might approve one somewhere else. You also have injured players like Homer Bailey and Devin Mesoraco who are a) owed a lot of money and b) have or will miss significant time due to injuries. Finally, the starting rotation has generally been decimated with injuries this year, and so the team has been using a number of lower service-time starters like Brandon Finnegan and Jon Moscot. With that in min, there are still a couple of players who seem reasonably likely to be traded before August 1st.

Jay Bruce (RF)

Bruce was speculated upon all offseason as someone who could be available for the right team, but didn't end up being moved. That appears to have been an astute move by the Reds, as Bruce is hitting much more in line with his career numbers this year (.262, 9 HR, 31 RBI in 45 games), and could be an interesting power hitter for a contending team down the stretch. Bruce is also on a reasonable club option for the 2017 season, so the risk to an acquiring team is relatively low.

With right field opened up, the Reds could either move one of Scott Schebler or Adam Duvall to right field, or just promote prospect Jesse Winker to play the position. Winker would be an interesting call up, especially in OBP leagues, as he has posted excellent walk rates throughout the minors, and currently has more walks than strikeouts at AAA.

Zack Cozart (SS)

Cozart has generally been known as a defense first shortstop throughout his career, but has hit much better in 2015 and 2016. He's currently hitting .289/.313/.480 with 5 HR and 16 RBI, leading to a 109 OPS+ in the season. He's under team control for another season after this one, and could be a fit anywhere on the infield for a contending team.

With shortstop available, the Reds could move one of two ways, with prospect Jose Peraza being the most likely. Peraza has been playing shortstop primarily at AAA, and while he should get a lot of his value from batting average and stolen bases, it is a bit concerning that he has been caught stealing 6 out of 13 times already at the level. Another option would be to move Eugenio Suarez from third base, but the organization's best option to replace him there would be Eric Jagielo, who is currently at AA.