Signed for 2017: RHP Alejandro Chacin (re-signed minor league contract), OF Jonathan Reynoso (re-signed minor league contract), LHSP Ismael Guillon (re-signed minor league contract)
---All three of the above would have qualified for free agency (6 year Minor League) five days after the world series. The fact that their agents approved of these contracts likely indicates they didn't think they could acquire a major league contract elsewhere, it also means that all 3 of these players will likely be left unprotected from the upcoming Rule 5 draft.
Outrighted: RHSP Jon Moscot, RHRP Matt Magill, C Raffy Lopez, OF Tyler Holt, UT Patrick Kivlehan
---Moscot & Kivlehan will remain in the Reds system (Rule 5 eligible), the other 3 will qualify for free agency in a couple of weeks.
Claimed off Waivers: UT Arismendy Alcantara (from OAK)
---He's out of options and will have to pass through waivers if he doesn't make the Reds opening day roster.
Assigned to Arizona Fall League: RHP Barrett Astin, RHP Evan Mitchell, LHP Nick Routt, LHP Seth Varner, C Chad Wallach, 2B Brandon Dixon, SS Zach Vincej, OF Brian O’Grady
Signed for 2017: 3B Victor Ruiz (minor league deal), RHP Andry Cuevas (minor league deal)
---The Reds agreed to purchase the contract of Ruiz; a 6'2", 195 lb, 16-year-old third baseman and catcher, from the Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican League.
This past season, Ruiz hit .298 with a .392 on-base percentage and a .440 slugging percentage in the Mexican League's Academia in Monterrey. The Reds scouted him throughout the summer as he played in the academy league, according to their director of international scouting Tony Arias. Ruiz also played for the Mexican national team at the 18U Pan-American Tournament.
The right-handed hitter was listed among the "best of the rest" in MLBPipeline.com's ranking of this year's Top International Prospects.
---Cuevas signed out of the Dominican Republic last month.
Signed for 2017: 2B Angelo Gumbs (re-signed minor league contract), RHP Hawtin Buchanan (minor league contract / INDY - Birmingham-Bloomfield (United Shore League)), 1B Art Charles (minor league contract / INDY - New Jersey (Can-Am League)), LHP Ruben Nunez (minor league contract / IFA - Dominican Republic)
---The now 24 year old Gumbs hit .298 - .342 - .460 in 98 games for A+ Daytona this year.
---The Mariners released 6-foot-8 righthander Hawtin Buchanan, a 20th-round pick in 2014 from Mississippi, at the end of spring training this year. He walked 8.1 batters per nine innings as a reliever at low Class A Clinton in 2015, but he revamped his mechanics in the United Shore League this year and now reportedly pitches at 94-96 mph.
---First baseman Art Charles claimed the BaseballAmerica.com Independent Leagues 2016 Player of the Year award on the heels of a big year at New Jersey. The 25-year-old hit .352 - .461 - .699 and led the Can-Am League with 29 home runs and 101 RBIs. Charles previously spent six seasons in affiliated ball as a Blue Jays 20th-round pick out of junior college who subsequently was traded to the Phillies for Michael Schwimmer, a reliever who had pitched in the big leagues. This marks the third signing from the New Jersey Jackals for the Reds in the past 8 months.
---Nunez will make his pro debut with the DSL this coming season.
Purchased from A+ Daytona: RHP Ariel Hernandez
---The Reds added 24-year-old Dominican righthander Ariel Hernandez to the 40-man roster because he otherwise would have qualified for minor league free agency after the World Series. He pitched at both Class A levels this season, making 43 relief appearances and striking out 74 and allowing just 29 hits in 62 innings. Cincinnati selected him in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft last offseason.
Outrighted to AAA Louisville: IF Hernan Iribarren, RP Caleb Cotham, OF Yorman Rodriguez
---All 3 will qualify as minor league free agents 5 days after the world series ends.
Lost off Waivers to LA (AL): RP Abel De Los Santos
---Abel saw action in 5 games with the Reds this year.
Designated for Assignment: LHSP John Lamb
---Lamb will qualify for free agency once he clears waivers. He has just undergone his second back surgery in the past 12 months and is unlikely to pitch again until after opening day. He had a 6.43 ERA in 70 innings pitched with the Reds this season.
---Lamb would have qualified (and elected) minor league free agency had he cleared waivers. He'll stay on the Rays 40 man roster for now (they could try and place him through waivers later in the winter).
---Smith, the Reds 21st round pick in the 2010 draft, has picked up 92 1/3 innings for the Reds over the past two seasons but struggled at the Major League level, yielding a 5.46 ERA with 7.6 K/9 against 4.6 BB/9 and a 40.5 percent ground-ball rate.
Outrighted to AAA Louisville: IF Ivan De Jesus Jr.
---De Jesus this season batted .253/.311/.312 in 104 games with one home run and 20 RBIs. He played five positions -- shortstop, third base, second base, first base and left field. As a pinch-hitter, he went 9-for-32 (.281). De Jesus spent parts of the last two seasons with Cincinnati as a bench player. He'll qualify as a minor league free agent in a few days.
Signed for 2017: RHP Nick Christiani (re-signed minor league contract)
---Nick was a 13th round draft pick by the Reds in the 2009 draft. This is the second year in a row he has re-signed as a six-year minor league free agent. He's accumulated 86 days of major league service with the Reds, but none since the 2014 season. He failed to pitch this past season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery in early April.
Released: RHP Ben Klimesh, LHP Rock Rucker, 2B Ty Washington, OF Bryson Smith, RHRP Soid Marquez, LHRP Cerilio Soleana, and C Aristides Sanchez.
---Klimesh was a 15th round draft pick by the Reds in 2012, he saw action in 155 minor league games with the Reds accumulating a 5.21 ERA.
---Rucker was a 20th round draft pick by the Reds in 2015, he saw action in just 8 minor league games with the Reds.
---Washington was a 43rd round draft pick by the Reds in 2011, the Reds bought him out of a college scholarship to the University of Oklahoma with a 300,000$ signing bonus. He accumulated a .261 - .324 - .381 stat line in 256 minor league games. He's dealt with a lot of injuries since signing and he struggled this season in high A but should find another contract elsewhere.
---Smith was a 34th round draft pick by the Reds in 2011, the soon to be 28 year old 4th outfielder amassed a .273 - .343 - .380 stat line in 362 minor league games with the Reds.
---The Reds signed Marquez out of Venezuela in September 2011 for 150,000$ He saw action in 79 minor league games with the Reds, never advancing past RK Billings.
---Soleana signed with the Reds out of Bonaire (Kingdom of Netherlands) in July 2014. He saw action in just 14 games and spent most of this season on the 60 day disabled list for the DSL Rojos.
---Sanchez signed with the Reds out of the Dominican Republic in July 2014. He saw action in 76 games with the DSL over the past two seasons.
Elected Free Agency: RHSP Alfredo Simon, RHRP Ross Ohlendorf
---After spring injuries to Bailey, Lorenzen, Lamb and others the Reds signed Simon to a 2 M$ contract just two weeks before opening day (after he went unsigned all winter), in return the Reds received a 9.36 ERA in 58 2/3 IP. The 36 year old has put up horrific numbers since June 2015 and is going to be hard pressed to find even a minor league contract offer this winter let alone a major league one, potentially bringing an end to a professional career that began in July 1999 when he was signed by the Phillies to a minor league contract out of the Dominican Republic.
---The Reds signed Ohlendorf to an 800 K$ contract 1 week before opening day (after he had been released from the Royals' ST camp), he also earned an additional 1.1 M$ via incentives during the 2016 season. He fared much better than Simon, pitching a 4.66 ERA in 65 2/3 IP. The 34 year old is likely to find a contract offer this winter, but like Simon he too may struggle to find a guaranteed major league deal, as he had a .370 OBPA over the final 4 months of the season (only 7 of his final 42 appearances were clean). The one thing Ohlendorf has going for him though, contrary to his career figures entering the 2016 season, is a dominant showing against lefties this past season.
Elected Free Agency: C Chris Berset (AAA), C Rafael Lopez (AAA), C Kyle Skipworth (AAA), 1B Brandon Allen (AAA), 2B Hernan Iribarren (AAA), SS Ivan De Jesus Jr. (AAA), SS Carlos Triunfel (AAA), 3B Jermaine Curtis (AAA), OF Tyler Holt (AAA), OF Kyle Waldrop (AAA), OF Yorman Rodriguez (AAA), OF Donald Lutz (AAA), RHRP J.J. Hoover (AAA), RHRP Caleb Cotham (AAA), RHRP Dayan Diaz (AAA), RHRP Drew Hayes (AAA), RHRP Matt Magill (AAA), RHRP Tim Melville (AAA), RHRP A.J. Morris (AAA), RHRP Kevin Shackelford (AAA), RHRP Pedro Villarreal (AAA), RHRP El’Hajj Muhammad (AA), 2B Ray Chang (AA), 2B Ronald Bueno (AA), OF Juan Duran (Hi A)
---Above are the 25 players who qualified for minor league free agency.
Purchased: RHSP Keury Mella, RHSP Jackson Stephens, RHSP Nick Travieso, RHRP Barrett Astin, OF Phillip Ervin, OF Jesse Winker, OF Aristides Aquino
---The Reds had until midnight today to protect upcoming rule 5 draft eligible players by adding them to their 40 man roster. All 7 of the Reds additions should make next year's list of Baseball America.Com's Top 30 Reds Prospects. Other notable prospects who were not added, and are now eligible for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft, include C Chad Wallach, 2B Brandon Dixon, SS Calten Daal, 3B Eric Jagielo, SP Jon Moscot, SP Jon Crawford, SP Ismael Guillon, CL Alejandro Chacin, CL Zack Weiss; along with AFL invitees SS Zach Vincej, RHRP Evan Mitchell, and LHRP Nick Routt.
During the Rule 5 Draft, teams can select unprotected players for $50,000, and they must stay on the Major League 25-man roster (or DL) of their new club for the entire season. If not, they are returned to their original organization for $25,000. Teams who have a full 40 man roster at the time of the draft are ineligible to make a selection.
The 23 year old starter, Mella, was originally signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic by the Giants in September, 2011. He was acquired along with Adam Duvall in the July, 2015 Mike Leake trade. In his first full season at high A Daytona this year he posted a 3.90 ERA in 132 innings after seeing his BB/9 rate jump and K/9 rate drop against more advanced hitting.
The soon to be 23 year old starter, Stephens, was originally drafted by the Reds in the 18th round of the 2012 draft ($100,000 bonus). In his first full season at AA Pensacola this past year he posted a 3.60 ERA in 137 innings.
The soon to be 23 year old starter, Travieso, was originally drafted by the Reds in the 1st round of the 2012 draft ($2,000,000 bonus). He posted a 3.83 ERA in 117 innings in his first full season at AA Pensacola this year.
The 25 year old reliever/spot starter, Astin, was originally drafted by the Brewers in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft ($584,300 bonus). The Reds acquired him and current FA reliever Kevin Shackelford in the September, 2014 Jon Broxton trade. In his second full season at AA Pensacola this past year he posted a 2.26 ERA in 103 innings.
The 24 year old outfielder, Ervin, was originally drafted by the Reds in the 1st round of the 2013 draft ($1,812,400 bonus). He hit .240 - .361 - .402 in his first year at AA Pensacola this season.
The 23 year old outfielder, Winker, was originally drafted by the Reds in the 1st round of the 2012 draft ($1,000,000 bonus). He hit .305 - .399 - .387 in his first year at AAA Louisville this season - he's a consensus Top 100 Prospect.
The soon to be 23 year old outfielder, Aquino, was originally signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic by the Reds in January, 2011. He hit .273 - .327 - .519 in a make or break season this year with high A Daytona.
***The 7 additions today give the Reds a full 40 man roster (22 pitchers / 18 hitters).
---Alegria hit .271 - .350 - .323 in 92 games with the Reds' DSL affiliates over the past two seasons. He was originally signed as an IFA out of Nicaragua in February, 2015
Voluntarily Retired: RHRP Mario Soto
---Junior pitched 16 games with the Reds' DSL affiliates over the past two seasons, allowing 51 baserunners in 18 innings accumulating an 18.16 ERA. He was originally signed as an IFA out of the Dominican Republic in April, 2015.
Signed for 2017: RHP Johnny Hellweg (minor league contract / INDY - New Jersey (Can-Am)), RHP Jefri Hernandez (minor league contract)
---Hellweg saw action in 8 major league games with the Brewers back in 2013. After undergoing Tommy John Surgery in 2014 he's struggled to continue getting paid to play baseball. Last year he played in the Padres minor league system before being released and playing in INDY ball. Hellweg, now 28, may be getting his last shot.
---The 25 year old Hernandez became a six-year minor league free agent last month. He's pitched in over 200 minor league games with the Rockies and Rangers minor league systems since being signed as an International Free Agent out of the Dominican Republic back in 2008.
Claimed off Waivers: C Juan Graterol (from LAA), and OF Gabriel Guerrero (from ARI)
---The 22-year-old Guerrero is the nephew of former Major League superstar Vladimir Guerrero and long rated as one of the top prospects in the Mariners’ system before being traded to Arizona in last year’s Mark Trumbo/Welington Castillo trade. Guerrero posted strong numbers as recently as 2014 in Class-A Advanced — .307/.347/.467 with 18 homers and 18 steals in 530 plate appearances — but his production has plummeted upon reaching the upper levels of the minors. He hit just .223/.258/.346 between his two organizations’ Double-A affiliates in 2015 and struggled similarly this year, hitting .234/.281/.383 between Double-A and Triple-A.
---Graterol, 27, made his Major League debut and tallied 15 PAs with the Halos this past season. The former Royals farmhand spent the 2015 season in the Yankees organization before inking a minors pact with the Halos last offseason. He’s a career .274/.306/.338 hitter in parts of three seasons (95 games) at the Triple-A level and has halted stolen base attempts at a very strong 38 percent clip in the minors.
Designated for Assignment: RHRP Keyvius Sampson and C Ramon Cabrera
---Sampson, 25, pitched 39 1/3 innings with the Reds this year across 18 games — two starts, 16 relief appearances — and logged a 4.35 ERA with 9.6 K/9 against 6.2 BB/9. Control has long been an issue for Sampson, who has walked 53 men, hit two batters and also rattled off seven wild pitches in his 91 2/3 big league innings. The former Padres farmhand pitched well in the minors up through Double-A but began to struggle at Triple-A (5.18 ERA in 231 innings) and clearly hasn’t fared much better in the Majors, where he owns a collective 5.60 ERA.
---Cabrera, meanwhile, made his big league debut with the Reds in 2015 and played in a career-high 61 games for Cincinnati this season. The 27-year-old received 185 plate appearances due largely to the season-ending injury sustained by Devin Mesoraco and batted .246/.279/.357 with three homers and 10 doubles. He’s a lifetime .274/.327/.343 hitter at the Triple-A level.