Cincinnati Reds get a shortstop from Philadelphia Phillies, just not THAT one

Former New York Yankees shortstop Kyle Holder. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Former New York Yankees shortstop Kyle Holder. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds have finally acquired a shortstop. Unfortunately, that shortstop isn’t a Didi Gregorius or Andrelton Simmons, both of whom would have improved Cincinnati’s roster.

Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Cincinnati Reds have sent cash considerations to the Philadelphia Phillies for shortstop Kyle Holder, a 26-year-old shortstop who has yet to appear above the Double-A level.

Cincinnati Reds acquire shortstop Kyle Holder from Philadelphia.

Holder is a former first-round pick of the New York Yankees, but was left unprotected ahead of this winter’s Rule 5 draft, where he was selected by Philadelphia with the 11th overall pick.

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His Rule 5 status now transfers with him to the Cincinnati Reds, who will have to keep him on the active roster all season long, or return him to New York.

The scouting report on Kyle Holder has been pretty consistent as he’s worked his way up through the minor leagues. While he brings a quality glove and defensive versatility to play second and third base as well as shortstop, Holder’s overall offensive game leaves his major-league ceiling as a glove-first utility option.

Unless the Cincinnati Reds are able to swing another trade for a higher-quality shortstop option, Kyle Holder will now have an opportunity to earn a starting role with the organization. Not exactly the scenario Reds fans had in mind as the offseason got underway.

Holder’s 2019 season was his best season in the minor leagues, hitting .265/.336/.405 with nine home runs, 25 doubles, a 119 wRC+ and solid strikeout/walk numbers (13.8 percent/8.7 percent). He was with the Yankees’ big-league camp in 2020, but was hindered by injuries and never cracked the big-league roster.

Landing an Amed Rosario or Willy Adames in a late-winter trade would be a helpful addition to the roster, but Cincinnati Reds really missed out on an opportunity to put themselves in a position to run the NL Central in 2021.

With the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs selling off pieces and the Milwaukee Brewers standing pat, the Reds haven’t replaced 2020 Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer and stars like Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray and Eugenio Suarez have been connected to trade rumors all winter long.

Sitting by crying poor and acquiring pieces like Kyle Holder while the St. Louis Cardinals send a case of beer and some hot dogs to Colorado for Nolan Arenado and while the NL Central remains anybody’s game isn’t exactly a winning strategy.

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As defensive help off the bench, Holder may be a fine option for the Cincinnati Reds, but the current plan is to have him compete for the starting shortstop role, the Reds still have a significant amount of work to do.