Commentary: Will Reds regret trading prospects?

A few years from now, the Reds may look back and say, “We probably shouldn’t have traded that guy.”

And “that guy” could be Juan Francisco or Ronald Torreyes or Yasmani Grandal or Yonder Alonzo or Donnie Joseph or anybody else who is a prospect but not yet an established major leaguer.

Some may never make it to the majors.

I’m guessing, though, if the Reds make it to the World Series this year, they won’t be worrying about any players who may become stars in the future. You play to win now, and if you can win now by overpaying a little with someone who might become a star later, you do it.

Pittsburgh fans may remember 1960 when the Pirates decided they needed one more pitcher and acquired Vinegar Bend Mizell of the Cards, 1-3 with a 4.55 ERA at the time.

The cost was Class AAA Columbus second baseman Julian Javier, who had never played in the majors.

Mizell went 13-5 with a 3.12 ERA for the Pirates the rest of that season, ending with an unlikely World Championship against the Yankees. He was 9-16 the next two years, and out of baseball.

Javier — who also was part of the 1972 Reds’ pennant-winning team — became a two-time All-Star, playing on three pennant-winning teams in St. Louis (two won the World Series).

The Pirates didn’t make it back to the World Series until 1971 (and won again).

I don’t think either team had a gripe how that trade worked out. I don’t think the Reds will be sorry if any of the guys they traded away (Francisco, Torreyes and Joseph played here with the Dragons) lead their teams to championships in the future, as long as the Reds make it now. They’re just going to have to go out and find more prospects.

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