Espn reports that the Reds have signed Grant Balfour and designated Josh Hancock for assignment. They also signed infielder Frank Menechino and catchers Ryan Hanigan and Steve Torrealba to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training.
Balfour pitched decent out of the Minnesota pen in 2004, but missed all of 2005 rahabbing from two surgeries as reported on CBS Sportsline. If I understand correctly, he had elbow ligament replacement in the May of 2005, and rotator cuff surgery on his shoulder September of 2005. They are expecting that he won’t be ready to pitch until mid season. Sounds like a small gamble on damaged goods. Healthy, he’s got a lot more upside than Hancock, but that’s a big if. Hancock looked like he might have a shot at a long man/spot starter role this spring.
Your guess is as good as mine on why they might want Menechino. Definitely no room on the big league roster, must be looking for veteran leadership at AAA, but it’s getting crowded there too. Torrealba, I would suspect, will back up Sardinha at AAA, and Hanigan will probably share catching duties with Perez at AA Chattanooga.