Yesterday we heard the rumors that the Cincinnati Reds were talking with free agent infielder Jose Iglesias. Early this morning in Goodyear C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic noted that while the signing isn’t officially announced yet, there’s a locker for Iglesias along with a jersey and assigned number in the clubhouse. That’s about as official as it gets before the press release is actually put out there.

Update: It is now official.

The move is now official. Jose Iglesias signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Trent and writer Mark Sheldon both shared the news at the same time.

As was noted in yesterday’s write up about Jose Iglesias – he’s probably the best fit, by far, as a back up shortstop option if someone needs to step in for Jose Peraza for more than a day. He’s not known much for his offense, but he is known as a strong glove-guy. He’s spent nearly his entire career at shortstop, including last year. In terms of WAR, he was worth 2.2 bWAR and 2.5 fWAR in 2018. For reference, your league average starting every day player provides 2.0 WAR.

The various projection systems all seem to be in agreement on what he will hit like in 2019. Not much on-base skill. Not much power.

It would be very unlikely he would get that kind of playing time. If Jose Iglesias makes the team, it’s going to be as a backup. The positions he would play, shortstop or second base, are locked up. Pay little attention to what’s going on in the counting stats and look at the rate stats (AVG/OBP/SLG).

25 Responses

  1. Mason Red

    “The lions tremble at his approach”……

    • Rut

      Too many dudes for the position player roster, which is a good problem for the Reds to have!

      But if they go with 13 pitchers, even starting mid-April, we only have room for 4 position players on bench, one of which will be Casali.

      Have to think Reds looking to move Kemp or Schebler, but who knows what Dick Krall has up their sleeve(s). At least we have some reason to trust this regime, so not gonna sweat it at this point.

  2. Tampa Red

    Very, very good bench/depth signing. Dietrich as well. Also love the Duke signing, hoping they can add Robbie Ross as well. The Reds have dramatically improved their 25 man roster this offseason. Short of decimating the farm system, I’m not sure what else they could have done. Maybe add Keuchel?

    I really do like Matt Kemp, but if Senzel works out in CF, the Reds are going to have to eat a majority of his salary and trade him…..aren’t they?

    • B-town fan

      I believe Kemp is a 21 million dollar player.

    • Rick Shaver

      Yes that’s correct or the may have to trade him with a prospect that some team really wants to make up for that expensive contact.

  3. Mark

    I agree with Purkey I think a big trade is in the works just have no clue who and for what. I think targets could be Stroman or Kluber still. They clearly now have enough assets to deal Scooter and Iglesias and Stephenson Kemp Schebler or even Peraza for that matter now. They could sign Kimbrell as closer if Raisel is traded in a deal with Toronto Cleveland or maybe the Mets might move one of their starters.

  4. James

    Without a trade happening, the biggest thing this tells me is that the reds expect senzel to spend most of his time unavailable to be the backup shortstop, which would mean he will be playing center field. With the talk about 13 pitchers and a short bench, I thought senzel would be the only other ss on big league roster.

  5. vegastypo

    This rather makes me wonder where Blandino fits in now, assuming he is ready to play by Opening Day. Or what will happen when he is ready to go.

    • MK

      No reason to hurry him. It will be less than 10 months from surgery on Opening day. Whether he thinks he is ready or not I would place him on 60-day DL and let him stay in extended Spring Training until at least June and get the thing . They could use the 40-man roster spot as well.

  6. Jared

    Okay Reds, you can stop signing free agents now.

  7. Choo Choo Coleman

    Great sign! Great winter off season! Period!

  8. Tom

    This signing helps the long term vision beyond this season. Blandino can a spend a chunk of another season on his development. If he can develop into a great defensive utility IF with a reasonable bat, that’s a huge benefit to the team for the next several years of competitive baseball.

    And, also, let’s acknowledge the flexibility that Lorenzen provides as a huge boost to the roster construction. His ability to be primarily a pitcher and a pinch hitter and back up OF is huge. It allows a guy like Iglasias to join the team as a defensive specialist and make a huge contribution without seriously exposIng his bat.

  9. 44Reds

    Seems like I’m the only one that doesn’t get/like this. How much is a light hitting defensive replacement going to help us? Do late inning defenuve subs really save many runs? Seems like outdated conventional thinking. If Peraza needs a day off, slide Suarez over and put Senzel at 3b. If Peraza gets injured bring Trahan up. We have too many potentially potent bench bats to waste a spot on a defense first ss.

    • Hanawi

      I’d rather see him play than Peraza myself.

    • MK

      If you are going to spend money upgrading pitching, you should need less runs but definitely need better defense.

    • Amarillo

      This is also the beauty of a minor league contract. If the Team decides he isn’t worth it, then they just don’t bring him with them to Cincinnati and they lost nothing.

  10. Northern Ky Reds

    Hey Doug, I looked at those stats. All are much better than Billy Hamilton . So he’s a plus coming off the bench. You made it seem like he was hitting .150 so what’s the fuss about? He’ll his stats say he would have gotten on base more than billy Hamilton at leadoff.

    • Doug Gray

      I think you are reading a bit too much into this one my man. He’s a below-average hitter that isn’t known for his bat. Simply being better than Billy Hamilton as a hitter doesn’t change that. And as I wrote on these pages at Redleg Nation, I’m shocked that not only did he take a minor league contract, he’s good enough to actually start at shortstop for some teams.

      • Amarillo

        ToBeDetrmined I looked it up because I was interested. Billy had the 3rd lowest OPS out of the 142 players with 500 plate appearances. The lowest was 160 Million dollar man Chris Davis who hit .168/.243/.296/.539 (Billy hit .236/.299/.327/.626 nearly 100 points higher) If you include part time players, there were over 70 players who had a worse OPS with more than 100 plate appearances. So yes, Billy was bad with the bad but not even close to the worst.

  11. Eddiek957

    I’d like to see him start against lhp

  12. TR

    The active offseason of the front office has made the Reds the loaded team of the NLC. Should be an interesting season.

  13. SteveLV

    Prior to the Iglesias signing, the one real vulnerability the Reds had was a lengthy injury to Peraza. This signing eliminates that. Smart. Really impressed with the decision the Reds are making. What a difference 6 months make.