In the midst of another lost season, the Cincinnati Reds reportedly have a coveted trade piece that is drawing interest from several teams.
Per MLB Network's Jon Morosi, Reds third baseman Brandon Drury "is one of the most popular names in industry trade talks today," with the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves all checking on his availability.
Drury signed a minor league contract with Cincinnati in March and wound up having a breakout year. He is far and away the team's best offensive player, ranking first across the board with a .272 batting average, 19 home runs, 58 RBI and 94 hits. The Athletic's C. Trent Rosecrans wrote that Drury's first-half performance warranted consideration for the All-Star Game.
Since making his major league debut in 2015, Drury has bounced between five different teams. He appears to have found a groove in Cincinnati, but he would be better-served if he joins a contender. Drury's versatility on the infield and his potency at the plate would significantly boost a team chasing a pennant.
The Reds are in fifth place in the NL Central with a 39-61 record entering Sunday's series finale against the Baltimore Orioles. Cincinnati has already begun a roster teardown, trading two-time All-Star pitcher Luis Castillo to the Mariners and veteran outfielder Tyler Naquin to the New York Mets. The team is expected to continue making moves.
R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports reported Saturday that the Reds are expected to part ways with Drury prior to Tuesday's trade deadline, as well as pitcher Tyler Mahle. On the verge of missing the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years, Cincinnati's best course is to acquire assets to build for the future.