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The LA Dodgers Could Find Relief Help In Cincinnati Reds’ Lefty Amir Garrett

The Reds and Dodgers are no strangers to making deals with each other.

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 20: Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on July 20, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated St. Louis 3-2. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Over the past few seasons, the Reds have been one of the Dodgers’ top trade partners. With the Reds now falling out of the playoff race, the Dodgers could once again agree to a deal with them, this time for left-handed reliever Amir Garrett.

A Breakdown of Garrett

Garrett, 27, made his debut with the Reds in 2017 as a starting pitcher and the results were bad, to put it nicely, as he pitched to a 7.39 ERA and 7.39 FIP over 70.2 innings. In 2018, the Reds moved him to the bullpen and the results were better, as he posted a 4.29 ERA and 3.89 FIP in 63 innings.

This season, Garrett has taken off in his bullpen role, partly due to a change in his pitch mix. Through 38 innings, he has a 1.66 ERA, 3.04 FIP, and 13.26 K/9. He has also limited hard contact at an elite rate, as you can see by his Baseball Savant profile.

In 2018, Garrett relied on a fastball, which he threw 55% of the time, and his slider, which accounted for 33% of his pitches. This season, Garrett has added a sinker to his arsenal and made his fastball his least used pitch.

His most used pitch is now his slider, which he throws 59% of the time, and averages 86 MPH. As far as movement goes, it doesn’t stand out. Compared to the average major league slider, Garrett’s has 3.3 fewer inches of horitzonal break and just below one inch less of vertical break. However, it’s still his best pitch according to Fangraphs pitch values.

His sinker ranges from 93 to 97 MPH and he throws it 22 percent of the time. It gets about an inch above average in vertical and horizontal movement.

Last year, Garrett’s ground ball rate was below league average at 38%. The switch to a sinker has helped him post an above-average 52% ground ball rate. More ground balls have also meant fewer home runs allowed as his HR/9 dropped from 1.14 to 0.71.

He could be used by the Dodgers as their primary lefty out of the bullpen, a high leverage reliever, or as a setup man to Kenley Jansen.

The Cost

Since he still has four years of team control after this season, the Reds would need to receive a strong offer to move him. There is a chance the Reds would demand one of the Dodgers’ top four prospects and the Dodgers should decline if they do. If they are more realistic, the Dodgers could offer two prospects in the five to 10 range and another one or two upside fliers, which should get the Reds to listen at the very least.

Conclusion

Garrett would be a great acquisition for the Dodgers if the Reds are willing to move him. He’s not a guy they should sell the farm for but a high price shouldn’t scare them away. Left-handed reliever remains the biggest need for the Dodgers and the options are pretty limited. If they can’t find a deal for Garrett, Aaron Bummer and Jake Diekman make a lot of sense. too

Written by Blake Williams

I graduated with an Associate's Degree in Journalism from Los Angeles Pierce College and now I'm working towards my Bachelor's at Cal State University, Northridge. I'm currently the managing editor for the Roundup News and a writer for Dodgers Nation. Around the age of 12, I fell in love with baseball and in high school, I realized my best path to working in baseball was as a writer, so that's the path I followed. I also like to bring an analytics viewpoint to my work and I'm always willing to help someone understand them since so many people have done the same for me. Thanks for reading!

6 Comments

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  1. We already have 5/6 of him.we need a closer or set up man(actually both) . Not another 2 month wonder. Dont you guys get this?

  2. As I understand it the purpose of the trade is to patch a gaping hole in the existing bull pen. If the hole isn’t “gaping’ but rather just a small hole, that is one the club can overcome by scoring 6 to 9 runs a game, then there is no problem. On the other hand, if having a more solid bull pen for this season is a priority and a top-tier reliever is in order, there will have to be a price paid. For those who think this year could be the year, then making a deal and losing a prospect sounds good. For those who think this club can squeeze by with a semi-good reliever and maybe win it all, then why give up a prospect. I recall last years series when the Sox BP was pretty solid, while our club’s was sordid. Dejavu all over again?

  3. Now this could be the guy to target, Blake. This may be a hard sell for most of us, but think about it. Matt Beaty. He could be a straight one for one trade. Maybe throw in lower echelon prospect. He has the equivalence of a 2.5 WAR for a full season. (he has a .5 in 119 at bats). Just average even though he has 5 homers and is hitting .305. Why? Negative WAR for defense. And only 5 bases on balls in 119 at bats. Yes, he is becoming a fan favorite; but value for value. And this one could have a domino positive effect. Smith comes up to replace him, a reliever goes back to OKC, for Garrett. Or for one of the other decent relievers out there with 1+ year control. How about this one?

  4. Just like Yankee fans think they can get Luis Castillo for prospects they no longer care about – Dodger fans think they can just take Garrett and give little or nothing in return. Truth be told, Reds mgt has made some questionable deals during/since the last rebuild – but that is not what is going on here. Garrett is a talent, and he still has upside as well. Teams (and their fans) should not expect to get him from the Reds without an equal (or better) exchange of talent. 4 years of team control for the level of production he provides will not come cheap. Thinking your team will get him for 3 or 4 guys not good enough to crack your starting 9 – you are kidding yourself. Come back in a few years when the Reds are in fire sale mode again – it will surely happen. But not this year.

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