The Cincinnati Reds were busy on Monday. Early in the day the team traded closer Raisel Iglesias, along with sending cash to Los Angeles and in return the Reds picked up right-handed reliever Noé Ramirez and a player to be named later. But that was just a teaser for what was to come. Ok, just kidding, but it wasn’t the final move of the day. In the evening, Dwight Smith Jr. announced on twitter that he had signed with the organization. Later in the evening, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic clarified that it was a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
For Dwight Smith, he’s going to have to really turn some heads in spring training as the team has plenty of outfield depth. But even if he does, he’s playing for what feels like the 5th outfield spot behind Nick Senzel, Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, and Shogo Akiyama. For that (likely) final spot in the outfield Cincinnati will have Dwight Smith Jr., Mark Payton, and Aristides Aquino at the very least. Between today and spring training they likely add some more competition.
Dwight Smith Jr. has played in the Major Leagues in parts of the last four seasons. But it was only the 2019 season that saw him see any real playing time. He played in 101 games in 2019 for the Orioles, hitting .241/.297/.412 with 16 doubles, 3 triples, 13 homers, 26 walks, and 82 strikeouts in 392 plate appearances. In his other three seasons, the first two with Toronto and then in 2020 with Baltimore, he only racked up 29 plate appearances, 75 plate appearances, and 72 plate appearances. He’s a career .248/.310/.416 hitter in the big leagues.
The now 28-year-old outfielder has some pop in his bat. He’s spent most of his minor league career in left field, but does have some experience in both right field and center field. But at the big league level almost all of his playing time has been in left field, playing just 42 of his 1000+ innings in right or center.