Mets To Acquire Tyler Naquin, Phillip Diehl From Reds

9:16pm: Jose Acuna and Hector Rodriguez are headed back to the Reds, Feinsand reports (Twitter link).

9:10pm: The Reds will receive two minor league players in return, reports Mark Feinsand of (on Twitter).

9:05pm: The Mets are acquiring outfielder Tyler Naquin in a deal with the Reds, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). He’ll come alongside minor league southpaw Phillip Diehl, whom Robert Murray of FanSided (on Twitter) previously reported was being acquired.

Naquin had been one of the more obvious trade candidates around the league. The 31-year-old is set to reach free agency at the end of the season, so there was little reason for the last-place Reds not to look to move him for future value. He’ll head to Queens as the second left-handed bat the Mets have added in as many weeks. New York picked up first baseman/designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach in a deal with the Pirates last Friday.

A former first-round pick of Cleveland, Naquin had an excellent rookie season back in 2016. His offensive productivity was up-and-down for the rest of his time there, but he’s settled in as a solid platoon bat over the past two years. Naquin signed a minor league deal with Cincinnati over the 2020-21 offseason, and he cracked the Opening Day roster last year. That paved for the way for a season and a half as a Red, in which he posted a .262/.324/.462 line through 655 plate appearances.

That overall offensive productivity is a hair above average, but Naquin has been quite good when holding the platoon advantage. He’s popped 23 homers in 542 plate appearances against right-handed pitching over the past couple seasons, compiling a .278/.338/.503 mark against righties. That power has translated outside of the Reds hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, and the Mets figure to leverage him as a platoon player down the stretch.

The Mets have one of the game’s best outfields, with a trio of Mark CanhaBrandon Nimmo and Starling Marte manning the grass. Canha and Marte will continue to pick up the lion’s share of playing time in the corners, but Naquin complements those veteran right-handed bats. He’ll also supplement a DH group that also includes Vogelbach and Dominic Smith from the left side, as well as the righty-swinging J.D. Davis.

Naquin’s acquisition seemingly increases the likelihood at least of Smith or Davis gets dealt before next Tuesday’s deadline. The Mets have been on the hunt for offensive help for weeks, largely due to dissatisfaction with Smith’s and Davis’ performance this season. Adding a pair of DH/bench bats to an already full outfield and with superstar Pete Alonso at first base further clutters that group. Each of Smith and Davis has minor league options remaining, and the Mets have already optioned Smith this year. That’s a possibility if the club simply wants to stockpile as much depth as possible, but it also stands to reason they’d be open to trade opportunities.

More to come.

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