The 2014 season has not gone to plan thus far in Cincinnati. The Reds find themselves sitting with a disappointing 25-29 record in a season that started with aspirations of another appearance in the playoffs.
There is still plenty of time for the Reds to turn things around and emerge as contenders this season, but if they don’t they have some interesting questions to consider with some members of their starting rotation.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports notes that the Reds have three starting pitchers whose contracts are up after the 2o15 season: Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Mat Latos. It is highly unlikely that they would be able to keep all three pitchers. If their 2014 season continues on its current disappointing track, the Reds could listen to trade offers for any of those three guys.
Of the three Cueto would seem the least likely to be traded. There would be appeal for potential suitors in the fact that he is under team control through 2015, but even teams that appear positioned for a deep playoff run will be reluctant to pay the price in prospects for Cueto when a number of aces will hit free agency after this season.
Leake is off to an outstanding start in 2014, posting a 2.92 ERA through 11 starts. Latos remains an unknown, as elbow and knee injuries have prevented him from making his season debut. Any of the three could fetch a nice return; if the Reds are confident that they will not be able to keep them past next season, one or both of these guys might find themselves on the move.
The New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, and Los Angeles Angels are all teams that could be on the hunt for a starting pitcher this summer.