Reds Swap Two To D-Backs For Archie Bradley
In need of bullpen help, the Reds traded from their surplus of outfielders/bench bats to bring in a potentially useful reliever.
Archie Bradley, RHP
In 2011, Bradley and Dylan Bundy were considered two of the best high school pitching prospects in years. Bundy is having a little bit of a career resurgence this year after a move to the Angels, while Bradley did eventually find a home in the bullpen. Bradley still is a pitcher who relies on a four-seam fastball and a big-breaking 12-to-6 curveball. When he’s on, he can raise hitter’s eye levels with heaters up or out of the zone to set them up for a curveball that dives below the zone. He’ll throw a show-me changeup to lefthanded hitters, but he’s primarily a two-pitch pitcher who has been a reasonably effective setup man/closer since he made the switch to the bullpen. Bradley has two seasons of team control left after this season before he reaches free agency.
Bradley should immediately help a Reds’ bullpen that has been disappointing. Cincinnati has proven to have one of the best rotations in baseball, but struggles for Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen have left the bullpen on shaky ground for most of the abbreviated season.
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Stuart Fairchild, OF
The Reds’ 2017 second-round pick out of Wake Forest, Fairchild is an outfielder whose skills (solid batting eye that generates solid on-base skills), speed and versatility give him a lot of ways to be useful on an MLB roster. So far he has not shown the power that he will need to develop to be more than a useful complimentary player, but there is hope that he can better use his legs in his swing to generate more power in the future. Fairchild slotted in as the Reds No. 10 prospect in the midseason rankings.
Josh VanMeter, OF
This is VanMeter’s second trade of his pro career. A fifth-round pick of the Padres out of high school, he was sent from the Padres to the Reds in 2016 in a deal that sent Rule 5 pick catcher Luis Torrens to the Padres. For most of VanMeter’s minor league career, he was a versatile, leftyhanded, light-hitting utilityman whose patience helped him post high on-base percentages. He began tweaking his swing right around the time of the Reds trade to try to loft the ball and generate more power. It took a while to click, but VanMeter parlayed a .348/.429/.669 first half with 14 home runs in just 49 games at Triple-A Louisville into a spot in the majors. VanMeter didn’t look overmatched in his first stint in Cincinnati in 2019, but he’s struggled much more as he’s bounced between Cincinnati and the Reds’ alternate site this year. He should be a potentially useful bench bat with just enough defensive versatility to make it work.