CINCINNATI - It was a normal pregame atmosphere in the Reds' clubhouse on Monday afternoon, but that can always change quickly since it's only two days until Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline.
Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams has maintained that the club has been looking to add players that can help in 2019, but also in future seasons. Although not out of the National League Central or Wild Card races, they aren't breathing down the necks of the leaders either, and that could make Cincinnati turn into sellers.
As Amir Garrett struck out two batters during his scoreless seventh inning in Sunday's 3-2 win over the Rockies, scouts had their radar guns trained on the lefty reliever, who is under club control through the 2023 season. Garrett's stuff, his left arm and his cost-friendly situation make him highly coveted for other teams. But he wasn't concerned.
"It's good to be wanted, but I like where I'm at," Garrett said. "Those things are out of your control. Wherever I'm going to be the next few days is where I'm going to be. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be here. I don't put too much thought into it."
Closer Raisel Iglesias, signed to a three-year, $24.1 million contract through 2021, has also been in multiple reports about teams having interest.
Cincinnati has several other trade chips in players that can be free agents after the season, including starting pitchers Tanner Roark and Alex Wood, second baseman Scooter Gennett and right fielder Yasiel Puig. Roark acknowledged that he's paying attention to rumors. A recent one from MLB Network's Jon Heyman noted that the Phillies had interest.
"We'll see what happens. It's out of my control. I will go with the flow," Roark said. "I really enjoy it here. I enjoy it because I like the clubhouse, I enjoy the guys and I enjoy the coaches. [Coaches] Derek [Johnson] and Caleb [Cotham] have helped me out a lot. I like being around guys who work to get better. It helps me out a lot, too."
Monday's trade of pitcher Jordan Lyles from the Pirates to the Brewers underscored the unpredictability that comes with this time of year. Lyles was scheduled to start Monday's game against the Reds.
Reds manager David Bell is ready for anything, but isn't consumed by trade buzz.
"There can be a lot going on," Bell said. "We've kind of experienced it from different positions I've been in, whether it's as a player or as a coach or in player development. Still, I think you have to be prepared for anything. At the same time, you can't think too much about it. It'll drive you crazy, the speculation. A lot of times, not that much happens, but you just have to be ready to respond. The big thing is trying to keep things as normal as possible."
Bell has been in daily contact with Williams and general manager Nick Krall, but that isn't unusual.
"It's no different than it always is, they definitely keep me informed," Bell said. "During the season, we have our windows of time to make that communication happen, but they know I have a lot going on too. … I'm not sitting in on meetings upstairs like I was in the offseason. But the communication is constant."
Ejections piling up
After Nick Senzel was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Bill Miller at the end of the fourth inning on Sunday vs. Colorado, the Reds' rookie center fielder realized he made a mistake.
"I think it's a learning experience for me," Senzel said of his first ejection in the big leagues. "I don't think I went about it the right way to start off with. Just frustrated. I know they're trying their best, they're not perfect. That's more on me than him because I have to stay in the game."
Senzel was the 16th Reds player, manager or coach to be thrown out of a game in 2019. According to closecallsports.com, the Reds lead the Majors with eight player ejections and Bell also leads the league with seven of his own.
"That would obviously be a concern if it was something they were looking to do or were looking to get into it with an umpire," Bell said. "I know how they feel after it happens, too. In some ways, it does happen. But they also understand the responsibility they have to stay in the game. They don't take that lightly. I think they reflect on it when it happens. I know Nick did yesterday.
"No matter what is being said to you, there is a way to avoid that, there is a way to handle it differently. I know I've had my share of ejections, but at the same time, throughout the years, we've been able to avoid it. Even though I've been ejected, I still am able to give advice on maybe other ways to look at it."