It’s that time of year when long time minor leaguers become free agents and teams resign players from this pool to restock depth at the upper levels of minor leagues.  The Reds showed last year that they were not adequately stocked at this level to help back fill the many injuries they had to key players.  The Reds have made some recent moves and have signed some new players that will compete next season for bench positions and to provide depth at AAA.

The following players were with the Reds organization last season and they were resigned by the Reds.

Jake Elmore – You are most likely already familiar with the strange saga of transactions from earlier in the month when Elmore was removed from the roster, resigned by the Reds and placed back on the roster, and then promptly removed from the roster and claimed off waivers by the Pirates.  Bottom line, he is now on the Pirates roster and one can only shake their head and wonder if our front office knows what they are doing.

Marquez Smith – Smith will be 30 years old next season.  Last year he mashed at the A+ level to the tune of a 1.061 OPS.  Why a guy who has a .773 OPS in 928 PA in AA and a .872 OPS in 687 PA in AAA was left in A+ for nearly the full season to demoralize A+ pitchers is a mystery.  The RH corner IF will back next season and maybe even at the AA or AAA levels.  Your guess is as good as mine.

The Reds have just recently signed the following players from other organizations.  These are the players who are hoping to get a chance to compete to be bench players for next season and will most likely get most of their playing time at AAA Louisville next season if they make it through spring training.

Brennan Boesch – Boesch is a LH RF who will be 30 years old next season.  He broke in with the Tigers in 2010 and had a promising 2011 season with a .283 /.341 /.458 /.799 slash line.  He only put up .659 OPS in 2012 and has not played regulary in the majors since.  He did put up a 1.017 OPS last year in the AAA PCL for the Angels organization.  He can play both corner OF spots and has good power, but he is not selective at the plate.  He could however provide some LH pop off the bench which is something the Reds have sorely lacked in recent seasons.  Oddly enough, he hits LH pitchers better than RH pitchers.  If worse comes to worse, maybe the Reds finally found a platoon partner for Chris Heisey who hit RH pitchers better.

Jose Cisnero – Cisnero is a RH reliever who will be 26 next season.  He had a 4.12 ERA in 43.2 IP allowing 49 H and 22 BB with 41 SO for the Astros in 2013.  Last year he underwent Tommy John surgery in May.  He was the Astros #15 Baseball America prospect after 2012 season.  Before the surgery he threw mid nineties and touched 97-98 with a fastball with good sink.  His issue is command.  He could provide bullpen depth if he comes back strong from Tommy John surgery.

Ivan De Jesus – De Jesus is RH SS/2B who will be 28 next season.  He’s accumulated 80 major league PA with LA and Boston in 2011-2012 with a .500 OPS.  He is a former #6 Baseball America prospect with the Dodgers.  He put up a .281/.359/.386/.745 line last year at AAA in the International League.  He is the son of the former Cub of the same name.  He is more of a slap hitter with good on base skills.  He should be in the mix for a backup infielder spot next spring.  Although I suspect the Pirates are now drooling in hopes the Reds add him to the roster and release him soon.

Josh Satin – Josh is a RH corner IF who will be 30 next season.  He’s put up a .243/.346/.351/.696 line in 292 PA with the Mets over the last four seasons, including a .279/.376/.405/.781 line in 221 PA in 2013.  He put up a .289/.386/.439/.825 line in the PCL  AAA last season which is about right on his slash line over 1391 AAA PA.  He can play 1B, 3B, and 2B.  He does not show great tools or possess much power, but he hits for a good average and has very good plate discipline.  He should be in the running for a bench spot next spring.

Kyle Skipworth – Skipworth is a LH hitting C who will be 25 years old next season.  He was the Marlins 1st round pick, #6 overall, in 2008.  He got 4 PA with the Marlins in 2013.  Last year he slashed .216/.292/.407/.699 in AAA.  His minor league career OPS is .661.  He good power from the LH side and bad plate discipline.  In  484 AAA PA he has 21 HR, 28 BB, and 157 SO.  He will provide a LH complement to Tucker Barnhart at AAA next season.

The following are players with the Reds organization last year who have moved on.

Brett Marshall – The Rockies signed the 25 year old RHP Marshall who put up a 6.53 ERA at AAA in 15 GS last year for the Bats.

Travis Mattair – The Braves signed the 26 year old 1B/3B Mattair who slashed .238/.303/.386/.689 at AA Pensacola last year.

Rey Navarro – The Orioles have signed the 25 year old SS/2B to a major league contract.  Navarro who had his best season as a pro last year with a .282/.343/.435/.778 slash line split between AA/AAA.  He is the biggest minor league free agent loss thus far this off season.

Mikey O’Brien – The Orioles also signed the 25 year old RHP who pitched mostly at AA last season with a 3.80 ERA in 19 G and 11 GS.  He also had a 4.65 ERA in 7 G and 5 GS at AAA.

The following players who were with the Reds last season remain as unsigned minor league free agents.

Trevor Bell
Fabio Castillo
Ray Chang
Mike Costanzo
Scott Diamond
Shane Dyer
Justin Freeman
Edgar Gonzalez
Ruben Gotay
Hernan Iribarren
Lou Marson
Corky Miller
Thomas Neal
Rossmel Perez
Radhames Quezada
Neftali Soto
Fabian Williamson