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Reds: Trade for Kevin Newman looks worse after Matt McLain called up in May

May 04, 2023

During the early stages of the 2022-23 offseason, the Cincinnati Reds swung a deal to replace veteran shortstop Kyle Farmer who had been traded to the Minnesota Twins. Reds GM Nick Krall traded reliever Dauri Moreta to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for veteran shortstop Kevin Newman.

At the time, the trade didn't look too bad. The Reds were looking for a younger and more inexpensive version of Farmer to act as an insurance policy in the event Jose Barrero wasn't ready to handle the load at shortstop, or until one of the team's shortstop prospects was major league-ready.

Moreta was coming off a rookie season, that saw him post a 5.40 ERA with 39 punch outs in 38.1 innings of work. But barely six weeks into the 2023 season, trade has aged horribly.

Kevin Newman has been far from serviceable. In fact, the former Pirates infielder hasn't performed well with the bat or the glove this year. According to Fielding Bible, Newman has -5 defensive runs saved (DRS) which ranks near the bottom of the league among shortstops.

On the flip side, Dauri Moreta has been incredible this year in Pittsburgh. The right-hander has been a high-leverage reliever, and even recorded his second career save despite the fact that likely All-Star pitcher David Bednar resides in the Pirates bullpen as well.

The Reds just called up one of their top infield prospects, Matt McLain. The 23-year-old debuted at shortstop on Monday night and manager David Bell has said that he expects McLain to see significant playing time. With McLain's promotion, Newman, who's played in just 28 games this season, may not see many more chances in a Reds uniform.

Making matters worse is the current state of the Cincinnati Reds exhausted bullpen. Only the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics have relied on their bullpen more than the Reds so far this season. Cincinnati probably wishes they had Dauri Moreta right about now.

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