The Cincinnati Reds have announced that they’ve acquired outfielder Travis Jankowski from the San Diego Padres in exchange for internaitonal signing bonus cap space.

The 28-year-old outfielder has been in the Major Leagues in each of the last five seasons, but only in 2016 and 2018 did he spend much time with San Diego. In 2015 he played in 34 games with the Padres. In 2017 he only saw action in 27 games. And this past season he played in just 25 games. For his career in the Major Leagues he’s hit .241/.317/.318. His best year came in 2018 when he played in 117 games and posted a .259/.332/.346 line – good for a 90 OPS+.

Travis Jankowski did spend some time in Triple-A this season, though injuries kept him off of the field for a good chunk of the year. With El Paso he played in 39 games. He was solid there, sort of. He hit .313 and walked 21 times with just 32 strikeouts in 183 plate appearances. But he also had just six doubles, no triples, and no home runs. And that came in the Pacific Coast League with a juiced baseball.

For his minor league career he’s hit for a high average and he’s gotten on base. But he also hasn’t shown any power – hitting a total of four home runs in 431 minor league games. There’s some speed to his game. He stole 71 bases in 2013 for Lake Elsinore. He hasn’t come close to that total since, but in his full seasons he’s been around the 25-30 mark the rest of his career.

This feels like a depth move. Jankowski can play center, left, or right field. But he doesn’t hit much, either. He feels like a guy you could stash in Triple-A in case of an injury, but he’s out of options to that’s not really a possibility. There’s a chance he survives the roster cut during the offseason if and when the team needs a spot or two on the 40-man. But it’s tough to see where he’s the kind of guy that could make the 26-man roster out of spring training if everyone remains healthy – even with the extra roster spot being available in 2020.

The Reds didn’t state how much cap space was sent to San Diego in the deal. But Cincinnati has been rather active this year in spending on the international market under new International Scouting Director Trey Hendricks – though plenty of the guys signed this year were already agreed upon prior to his coming on board with the organization a year ago. There have been several notable signings, including two players who signed for 7-figures. You can get more information on those guys if you would like to at

26 Responses

  1. Colt Holt

    Only 20 percent of arb salaries are guaranteed. At the cost of international signing space they obviously weren’t using, they could cut him loose in spring training for $250k. If they see potential value, this is pretty low cost

  2. MK

    Can not imagine this guy with a 40-man roster spot with some of the people who need to be protected or a 25 man spot over anybody on roster now.. There must be something else coming for this to make any sense at all.

  3. MK

    I would expect Lorenzen to be the closer in 2020 and Iglesias somewhere else.

  4. redsfanhelpme

    Wow!! Awesome!!! This Front Office is serious about making winning moves!!

    • GoReds

      Relax, it’s just a small move. Free agency hasn’t even started.

  5. James H.

    I’ve used so much Meh on this team that I am running at deficit level.

    • TR

      With the WS recently concluded and the hot stove season ahead, we should have a full supply of Meh. Will the front office surprise us with a well rounded offensive team that has usually been the Red’s trademark until recent years?

    • Doug Gray

      Fangraphs lists him as having none remaining.

      Double checking the transactions list he was optioned on August 4th of 2017 and not recalled up September 18th of 2017. That’s 1 option. The next spring he was optioned and not recalled until April 29th. That’s the 2nd option. In 2019 he was optioned on July 22nd and not recalled until August 16th. That’s 3 options used. While some players can get 4 option years, I don’t see where Jankowski would apply to any of the reasons in which someone gets those. If someone has a better understanding of what’s going on, feel free to chime in.

    • Jon

      I have no idea. MLB Trade Rumors says he was a super two, and has 4 arbitration years. Would super two status add another option year? I just don’t know. Maybe Mark’s information is wrong.

      • Doug Gray

        I certainly could be wrong, too – but if I am, there’s a weird, obscure rule being applied that I’ve never heard of before.

  6. Tom Diesman

    I like Jankowski. He’s the best defensive CF on the Reds roster after Siri who is at least a year away. He’s got some on base skills and good speed. He’s as good a leadoff hitter we’ve had in a while. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be on the roster next year. The Reds had 86 game appearances in CF by guys named Ervin, Schebler, Winker, O’Grady, and Peraza that had no business playing there.

  7. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I don’t quite understand this pickup. If anything, we are stocked with potential OFer’s, with Senzel, Winker, Aquino, Ervin, and JVM. The FO must be thinking of some other moves here, like trading off one of these and committing to who’s left as the starters, or having Senzel move back to 2nd and have one of these take CF.

  8. Go reds

    Siri is in no way better at this point. He has some upside, but hasn’t shown that he knows how to hit.

    • GoReds

      Not sure where your numbers are coming from but Siri has a scout grade for hitting at 45, and hit a blistering .186 in AAA and hit below average in AA at .251. You don’t go into a season trying to contend on a hope and prayer that a lower tier prospects is going to all of a sudden produce. We can’t let human bias creep in based off that hot streak he had at the lower levels in the minors.

  9. AllTheHype

    Lorenzen is only a CF replacement on days it does not interfere with pitching.

    • GoReds

      Jankowski’s MLB numbers are better than Siri’s minor league numbers, and Siri’s power will be negated against MLB pitching.

  10. greenmtred

    Seems like a regressive deal, to me. But we don’t really know that Lorenzen is a better hitter. SSS. He’s got power, but the Reds had power. They didn’t get guys on base.

  11. Hotto4Votto

    Lorenzen had games last year where he pitched and played in the field in the same game. He did that in college as well. No reason he’s not available in the field on days he pitches.

  12. Tom Mitsoff

    Someone in the front office likes him enough for them to send some international bonus money to San Diego. He is good defensively, and could be a good 26th man if other outfielders are used in off-season trades. But he is by no means a lock for any role in 2020 at this point.

  13. Nate

    This seems like a simple move by the FO. Bring in a guy to compete in Spring Training for a spot that’s capable to be a back-up plan CF WHEN, not if, WHEN Senzel gets hurt. If he doesn’t make it or there are better trades later so be it.

    With the Galvis being extended, the FO seems set with Senzel in CF for now.

    Can’t catch lighting in a bottle if you don’t have a bottle.