Another left-handed hitting outfielder has been dealt, with former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tyler Naquin going to the New York Mets. The Mets were one of the teams I thought might be in for David Peralta at the deadline, but they’ve elected to go elsewhere.
In addition to Naquin, the Reds are sending left-handed reliever Phillip Diehl to New York. Naquin, 31, re-emerged as a quality platoon bat in the outfield for the Reds in the 2021 season. Against righties in 2022 Naquin has put up a .266/.335/.476 slash, good for a 118 wRC+ when he has the platoon advantage. However his inability to hit left-handed pitching combined with poor defense in center field has reduced Naquin’s value to a replacement-level player. He’ll be a free agent after the season, with the Mets likely assuming the remaining $1.5MM of Naquin’s $4.025MM salary.
In exchange for Naquin and Diehl, the Mets are sending Cincinnati a couple of low level prospects Jose Acuña and Hector Rodríguez. Neither player appeared on top prospect lists for the Mets for Baseball America, Fangraphs, or MLB Pipeline for the 2022 season. Both players are teenagers, so the Reds are getting two lottery tickets in this trade.
In the last two days, both New York teams have made a move for a left-handed hitting outfielder with Andrew Benintendi going to the Yankees last night. David Peralta is still one of the top left-handed hitting outfielders left on the market, although most eyes are on Washington Nationals Juan Soto and where he might end up going. Teams that fear on missing out on Soto may pivot towards getting Peralta.