Controlled throughout the 2021 season, Bradley accepted a $ 4.1 million salary in arbitration last winter. This has been prorated to about $ 1.48 million in this year’s shortened schedule, and about $ 617,000 of that remains to be paid. He will be eligible for arbitration again this winter.
Bullpen’s help has been a major need for the Reds throughout the 2020 season as their relievers combined to post a grisly ERA of 5.48 and 5.20 FIP. Closer Raisel Iglesias struggled to achieve an ERA north of 5.00, while some of its top drivers Michael Lorenzen (6.75 ERA) et Pedro Strop (appointed for the mission) did not rise to the occasion. Cincinnati received strong performances from Amir Garrett, Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone, but an established arm has long seemed like a wise addition as they look to walk the water in a disappointing NL Central that saw the Cubs pull out of the field to take the lead in the division. The Reds, Cardinals and Brewers are all under .500 clubs vying for a second place and possibly a Wild Card place.
As with most of the Diamondbacks’ transactions today, Arizona also sent Starling Mars to the Marlins, Robbie Ray to the Blue Jays and Andrew Chafin to the Cubs – they’ll pick up an MLB-ready asset that can go straight to the VanMeter roster. The D-backs also added left-hander Caleb Smith in the Marte and left-handed swap Travis Bergen in the Ray case. Diamondbacks chief executive Mike Hazen and his staff have consistently chosen to prioritize MLB controllable coins as returns from their trades rather than pure leads, and that trend continues in the Bradley swap as well.
VanMeter, 25, is on a 2-for-34 start in 2020 but posted a slash of .237 / .327 / .408 in 260 appearances on the plateau last year. He’s also a career .287 / .353 / .536 hitter in 573 plateau appearances at the Triple-A level, indicating potential for growth at the plateau. Beyond his background in the minor leagues, VanMeter possesses a great deal of positional versatility, which is another hallmark of D-back players under Hazen’s watch. He has been primarily a second baseman in the major leagues, but also has experience in all four corner positions (plus 810 minor league innings at shortstop).
That said, Fairchild is arguably the biggest gain for the D-backs in this deal. A second-round pick in 2017, he’s considered an above-average runner with an above-average arm and the ability to play all three field pitches. Fairchild posted big numbers in two very pitcher-friendly leagues last year, dropping .258 / .335 / .440 (130 wRC +) in Class A Advanced and .275 / .380 / .444 ( 142 wRC +) with only 12.8 percent. radiation rate in Double-A.
Fairchild was generally ranked among the Reds’ top 15 prospects, ranking 10th in Baseball America, 11th on MLB.com, 13th on FanGraphs. The fact that there is no more reputable prospect in the deal is likely a testament to several factors: the team’s opinion of VanMeter and Fairchild as well as some possible pressure from property to reduce the payroll.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the deal (via Twitter). John Gambadoro of 98.7 Arizona Sports reported the comeback (Twitter link). Athletic’s Zach Buchanan added that the D-backs were also sending Cincinnati $ 100,000.