The Cincinnati Reds have announced that they’ve made several roster moves today. They have outrighted infielders Christian Colon and Derek Dietrich, as well as pitchers Keury Mella and Jackson Stephens to Triple-A Louisville. This means that all four players were placed on waivers and cleared them.

Those four moves put the Reds at 35 players on their 40-man roster. They will need a spot or three for players that they will be adding to the roster later this month to protect them from the Rule 5 draft (we’ll cover this later in the month as things get closer). But with the start of free agency upon us, they may need some spots soon for signings, too.

Derek Dietrich had a big start to the season. On June 2nd he went 1-4 with a double and finished the day with a .269/.373/.700 line. But from that point forward he went into a huge slump. In the final 57 games of the year he hit .099/.283/.207 with just two home runs. Dietrich would undergo shoulder surgery during the last week of the regular season.

Christian Colon didn’t spend much time in the Major Leagues this season. When rosters expanded in September he wasn’t initially called up after hitting .300/.372/.443 with Triple-A Louisville. But on September 16th with the roster in need of another infielder the Reds called him up to fill out the bench. Colon only played in eight games, going 3-6 and he was hit by two pitches.

Much like Christian Colon, Keury Mella didn’t spend much time in Cincinnati this season. He did get called up in early September, though, joining the Reds on September 3rd. The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher didn’t pitch for nearly three weeks before taking the mound on the 20th. Mella would only pitch in one more game on the year, throwing 2.2 shutout innings with four strikeouts on the 25th.

For Jackson Stephens his 2019 wasn’t like the rest of the group. But it wasn’t much different than that of Mella or Colon. Stephens spent his entire season in Triple-A Louisville. Unlike the previously two mentioned players he did not get called up in September after posting a 5.14 ERA in 84.0 innings for the Bats – pitching in 47 games.

21 Responses

  1. Scott C

    All four of those moves make sense. Ultimately that should make our 40 man roster all that better. Dietrich really has no future in Cincinnati. He is a bat first player and a liability in the field, particularly in OF and coming off shoulder surgery it may take his bat awhile to come around. Colon is a good AAAA player but shouldn’t take up a roster spot. Stephens is Minor league filler and Mella may make a decent relief pitcher down the road but not enough to warrant a 40 man spot.

  2. jeff euchler

    Any thoughts on Thames being released? He should be cheap and would be nice insurance for Aquino if he struggles or backup for Votto. With cutting him loose and the even more the Anderson trade I wonder if the Brewers aren’t looking to take a step back and do a little rebuilding. Plainly they don’t think they can compete with the Reds juggernaut next season.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I’d be more interested in checking in on Kole Calhoun as a LH option to split time with Aquino in RF. 108 OPS+ and 2.3 WAR in 2019. Seems like he’d fit well. From what I understand he’s a good defender too.

  3. Big Ed

    That trade would have the additional benefit of sending Thom into eternal ecstasy, unable to simmer down enough to broadcast.

  4. Hotto4Votto

    Honestly, I never really cared for Mella as a prospect. I didn’t think he was enough to be the headliner in the Mike Leake deal, and at the time I had pegged him as a future reliever at best. In hindsight, Duvall was the much better player in that deal even though he was more of a throw-in.

    None of these moves are surprising. I am a little surprised that Alaniz made the cut so far, or even Josh D. Smith. I thought they’d be roster fodder. Now let’s see who’s non-tendered. Still guessing they can’t tender Gausman, who’s set to make over $10m, to be a mid-leverage reliever. I wouldn’t tender Schebler coming off shoulder issues either. Peraza’s a tougher case due to his youth, but how many times is the guy going to lose his starter spot before the Reds cut bait there?

  5. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Interesting. If they are outrighting them to the minors, I would believe that means they aren’t going to protect them in the rule 5 draft.

    I was sort of disappointed with the decision of Colon. I always pictured him like a “Miguel Cairo”, a veteran bench player but could give some leadership to the bench, maybe a key pinch hit and/or spot start, etc.

    DD, I’m not too worried about. I just don’t see much there. Sure, he did a lot at the beginning of the season. But, anyone who thought he was going to keep those numbers up throughout the season were living in a dream world.

    Not too worried about Stephens. He never showed much.

    I was hoping Mella would pan out. Especially since we traded Leake for Mella (and Duvall). From what I remember, he was one of the Giants top prospects when we acquired him. But, he simply never quite developed as such.

    Could more FA’s that we thought be a-coming?

  6. Justin

    Did it make him more attractive to more teams then? I’m guessing it makes him more expensive.

  7. Colt Holt

    Honestly, didi with a QO attached could have been beneficial to the reds. Reds lose much less than the high payroll teams do, so taking a higher payroll team out of the equation would have been helpful. Reds would have the inherent benefit in that fact pattern. Now, nobody is deterred from offering market value for him.

  8. Michael Smith

    If the reds sign Didi and Grandal it would be hard to say that they are not trying to win.

  9. Tom Mitsoff

    This is the big wild card of free agency. Is Didi the player from prior to his TJ surgery or afterward? If he’s the former, he’s one of the prizes of the market. However, the Yankees apparently feel that what they have on their roster is better. I’d love to see the Reds sign him to a one-year deal with a team option year, but it’s likely some other team will offer more than that.

  10. TR

    Centering on bringing back former players like Grandal and Gregorius means the Reds, unlike other smaller markets like Oakland and Tampa, find it difficult to move on.

    • greenmtred

      But they aren’t the same players now that they were when the Reds traded them. They were prospects then.

    • TR

      I recall they were in the Bigs when traded and not just prospects. It’s too late now, but it doesn’t reflect well on Red’s evaluators.

  11. SultanofSwaff

    Gregorius and Grandal would match up with a competitive window the front office has created with the starting pitching and arrival of some prospects. If this comes to pass, I’m pushing my chips in by trading for a CF by offering up India and Ervin plus a sweetener.

  12. David Moore

    Sign Didi and Grandal..

    Trade for Mookie.

  13. David Moore

    Ok Reds… How bad do you wanna keep your fans?

    Sign Didi, Grandal, AND Rendon..

    Trade for Mookie.

    Show us you have a commitment to win that’s equal to that of the fans..

    • Tom Mitsoff

      They are not going to get Rendon. They are absolutely not going to go into the Rendon-Cole-Strasburg contract zone of 10 or so years and 30 or so million per year. And frankly, that may not be a bad idea.

  14. Doug Gray

    Well, in theory, there could be a few reasons: First, Grandal is absolutely proven to be All-Star caliber, and there’s no waiting for him to be that. He’s that guy, right now, today. There’s no risk beyond “he could get hurt”. With Stephenson, you hope that he becomes what Grandal is today. But even the biggest supporters of Stephenson don’t think he’s that guy in April of 2020.

    If your plan is to go for the playoffs in 2020, Grandal is much more likely to get you there. Depending on what it takes to get Grandal in, you’ve got some options. Stick with Grandal the entire time and keep Stephenson as a backup option. Stick with Grandal the whole time, trade Stephenson to another team for something the Reds need. Keep Grandal until it’s clear that Stephenson is ready to take over, then trade Grandal for something the team needs.

    There’s some risk involved with all of those options. But they all have some merit to them, too.

    • Doug Gray

      I want to start winning baseball games. Yasmani Grandal goes a long way towards doing that. You can sign him and still keep Tyler Stephenson if you want to. You don’t get d’Arnaud instead because he doesn’t move the needle. Grandal’s an elite catcher. d’Arnaud is a guy who can start for some teams. If all it takes is 3-year and $50M to get Grandal, good gravy sign me up for that tomorrow.

    • Jefferson Green

      Grandal is a 3-4 WAR upgrade over what the Reds have now. That is a big jump. Very few, if any, other upgrades of this magnitude will be available to the Reds this winter. Sure, 18 million is a big number, but not for a 5 WAR catcher. And the team would still have 20+ million (minimum) to add other talent. And they give up no prospects. Even better, Casali or Barnhart would become a trade asset to improve another area. As for age, some catchers maintain great value in their 30’s – and Grandal is coming off the best two year stretch of his career, and has been to the postseason, as well. Lots to like here.