Normally, you wouldn’t encourage trading for the pitcher that’s been deemed out for the year in March. There’s only one place that my crazy idea could possibly fly, and that’s this website.
I am about to implore you to go and trade for Alex Reyes. Just this week, the Cardinals determined he will need Tommy John Surgery and confirmed he will be out for the whole year, and possibly some of next. Don’t expect them to renege on that assertion, as this young arm is too gifted to be risking a quick comeback.
Right, I told you that I was gonna tell you the unthinkable: pursue a trade for Reyes. This is the part where if you’ve already determined I’m crazy, or if you’re at least on the fence, I will attempt to prove to you that what I lack in craziness, I make up for in a desire to swindle the other owners in my league. Finally, let’s talk about Alex Reyes.
Reyes is 22 years old. For those of you who struggled in third-grade math, we are looking at a kid who will be 23 years old on Opening Day 2018. He got his first taste of big-league action in the latter half of last season. In a mix of starting and relieving, all he did was put up a 1.57 ERA in 46 innings, striking out 10.17 batters per nine.
Anyone who’s watched Reyes pitch sees the natural fluidity in his right arm. His motion isn’t herky-jerky, it’s just powerful. He is consistently above 95 miles per hour on his fastball, and has shown signs of a strong breaking ball. At 22 and with those above numbers, he’s exactly the kind of guy no one would trade if he was healthy.
Before I get to the grimy details of how you’re about to acquire a pitcher out for the season, I do want to point out the slight red-flags in Reyes’ profile. He walked 4.50 batters per nine innings pitched in his cameo in the bigs last season, something that fell relatively in line with his minor league numbers. He also had an extremely high left on base percentage of 87.9%. His FIP, sometimes a better indicator than ERA, was 2.67, over a run higher than his ERA. Enough with that stuff, because this kid is talented no matter these small flaws.
Here’s the part where you’re gonna think I’m crazy: I think every dynasty owner in the world should be trying to trade for Alex Reyes. You may have won the league last year, or you may have been the laughing stock. I don’t care. This is one of the most talented players in the world of baseball; Baseball Prospectus ranked him number one overall on their prospect list just days before he was injured. Never again will you get a shot to acquire this kid. The closer he gets to coming back, the more his owner will want. Right now, you have a chance to pay with a current contributor for the future. Most owners would at least be willing to consider that deal, especially if they look to be in contention right now.
I understand the hesitancy to trade current production for the future. This isn’t just any future, though. This is a guy who will be your staff ace in a couple of years. You’ll play him against the Cubs and against whatever team is in the midst of their Cubs-like rebuild. He’s a big strong kid, one who shouldn’t have many durability issues. Tommy John has become less risky in recent years, although sure, there is risk. Just think, though: would you rather trade for him now, while his price is depressed, or pay for him in three years when he’s a top-ten pitcher in baseball?