The Cincinnati Reds have been an interesting case this offseason. After a season that did not go particularly well overall but showed real glimpses of hope after the dismissal of Bryan Price as manager, the Reds have been portraying themselves as buyers this offseason. The team has some significant talent in the minor leagues right now, most notably Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, and Hunter Greene, and seem to be of the mindset that they could be competitive sooner rather than later....assuming they can acquire some pitching.
As a result, the Reds have emerged as surprising players on the free agent and trade markets for starting pitchers. They have been mentioned as interested in many of the top names on the free agent market including Dallas Keuchel and while there hasn’t been much headway in those talks (at least publicly), the team does seem hellbent on boosting their rotation which ranked in the bottom four in the entire league by fWAR.
One cannot accuse the Reds of not thinking outside the box here as they are at least checking in on one starter than may not want to head there.
#Reds have checked in with #DBacks on possibility of a Zack Greinke trade, source confirms, but they are among teams to which he can block a deal, per @ZHBuchanan. Cincinnati also has interest in free agent starters, including Dallas Keuchel, as @JonHeyman said. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 30, 2018
There are a few issues with an potential trade for Zack Greinke. One, he is owed a lot of money ($104.5 million over the next three years) which would take up a significant portion of the Reds budget. Two, while Greinke has been good, it is unclear if this version of Greinke who has posted around a 3.20 ERA and slightly higher than that FIP over the last couple of seasons would be enough to push the Reds into contention. Finally, there is the bigger problem that Greinke reportedly has the Reds as one of the 15 teams that he has on his no-trade list. Greinke would have to give express permission for a deal to Cincinnati and no one seems to have any indication that he would be willing to that.