The Cincinnati Reds announced on Wednesday morning that they had signed free agent Nicky Delmonico to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league spring training.

Originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of Farragut High School (this is also the high school that Nick Senzel attended) in Tennessee back in 2011, the 6th rounder has since spent time with the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox organizations. From 2017-2020 he spent parts of the season in the majors with the White Sox.

In 2017, Nicky Delmonico had a strong rookie year. He was called up on August 1st and spent the rest of the year with the White Sox. He played in 43 games and picked up 166 plate appearances while hitting .262/.373/.482 with 23 walks and 31 strikeouts to go along with nine home runs.

The next year he played in 88 games with Chicago, but he couldn’t match the production from the previous season as he watched his line fall to .215/.296/.373 with eight home runs, 27 walks, and 80 strikeouts. Over the 2019 and 2020 seasons he only played with the White Sox sparingly, getting into just 27 total games and posting a .193/.256/.253 line. To be fair, he missed nearly all of the 2019 season after shoulder surgery – he didn’t play after late May and had surgery in early June.

In his career he’s played a little bit of everywhere. But while he has some experience at second and third base – he hasn’t played at either spot in a while. He last played third base in 2017 at the Triple-A level (where he had a .902 fielding percentage in 73 games at third), and he hasn’t played second base since 2012 when he was in Low-A with Baltimore. Most of his time has been spent at first base and left field. He also has some limited time in right field between the big leagues and the minor leagues.

You can see his career stats at Baseball Reference.

More minor league signings

The Reds have made a few other minor league signings in the last week. Cincinnati picked up pitcher Karsen Lindell, who his 100 MPH with his fastball in a recent bullpen session, and they re-signed Walker Weickel. Neither player has been extended an invite to spring training – both are simply minor league deals. You can read more about them both over at

45 Responses

    • Justin

      Can Winker play center? I rest my case.

  1. Justin

    Reds open the year with Senzel at short and Shogo in center. Late in the game they’ll move Senzel to center and Holder to short. Maybe start Holder at short when one of our ground ball heavy pitchers face a ground ball hitting team. You heard it here first! (I’m at least as reliable as Jon Heyman)

    • west larry

      I don’t believe Senzel can play shortstop. Maybe Farmer or Garcia play that position. Speaking of shortstops, Simmons was given a lot of grief because he opted out of the last week of the season. Turns out ,that he had thoughts of suicide and quit the last week to seek help. Best wishes to Simmons and I hope he has a great year.

    • Justin

      You guys aren’t thinking like the Reds, you’re thinking logically! Be the Reds, be Bob, be Nick for a moment. This can work if you want it to and financially speaking, it wants to work…

      • JB

        I agree with you. Can Senzel be any worse than Farmer at short? Getting Senzel and Akiyama both in as well as Winker is better lineup than Farmer or whoever is left. Something tells me Villar wants to much or to many years on contract and Rosario doesnt move the needle whatsoever.

      • Tom Reeves

        Farmer played 13 innings of error free baseball at SS.

        For his career he’s played 86 innings of error free baseball.

        I realize there more to defense than avoiding errors but this versatile guy is a sound SS and he’s also a leader.

        If I’m building a team I want Farmer on my bench and playing infield, serving as an emergency catcher, and heading to RF or LF if absolutely needed. Oh, and he can also toss a pitch.

        Farmer allows the team to carry a more bat first bench because of his versatility.

        Could be be the starting SS is a crappy season? Yes.

        And 2021 will likely be crappy.

        Sorry if crappy is on the bad word list.

  2. Bob Purkey

    I think that you are wrong, but you are still more reliable than Heyman!

  3. MK

    Don’t know why you would take Shogo out late in a game. He is better defensively and offensively than the Golden Boy. Senzel has not even proved to be an offensive upgrade, let alone defensively at shortstop.

    • Justin

      Is he? If so that’s based on facts and sound reasoning. Perhaps you’ve mistaken this team with, um, well, any other team? We shoot from the hip baby!

    • DaveCT

      In fairness to Senzel, I think having him learn a new position in the majors, a hard one at that, then completely de-construct his swing mid season did him no favors at all. I do agree this kid has to prove he can stay on the field not to mention catch the ball in the outfield and hit the ball in the majors.

  4. Ron

    The Reds continue to build a stock pile of unknowns. It’s like buying a 12 pack of Ramen noodles instead of just going ahead and paying for a really good can of soup.

    • JB

      Lol and the nasty taste in your mouth from eating Ramen is what these signings are.

    • TR

      Good can of soup? Careful with the salt.

      • wallyum

        That’s why I go with Ramen, to avoid the salt.

  5. SoCalRedsFan

    Get those World Series tickets printed, boys!

  6. Mark Moore

    To me, this is exactly the type of transaction we should be seeing right now. If (and I still am of the opinion it’s an “if”) ST opens anything close to on-time, you need a lot of these guys with “invite to” status. Whatever happens after that happens.

  7. Frankie Tomatoes

    Decent signing. There’s some upside with a little bit of pop and plate discipline. It is risky though because he hasn’t been that player in a few years. The risk is mitigated by the fact that it is just a minor league deal.

  8. TR

    These Reds signings increase my interest in spring training.

  9. Jon

    Cubs signed a legitimate power hitter.

    Cardinals traded for Arenado.

    Brewers just signed Wong.

    And the Reds are still without a SS or any rotation depth.

    • CFD3000

      I’d argue that they do have rotation depth. Castillo, Grey, Mahle, Miley, Lorenzen, Antone plus Sims, Lodolo and maybe even Hunter Greene. We were spoiled with two all stars and a Cy Young winner recently but there’s still a good rotation with real depth there – at least as long as most of them stay healthy.

      • Mark Moore


        I’m fine with our rotation options. We weren’t bringing back Trevor (though he’s still unsigned). I’m encouraged by what Mikey Biceps showed. Health will always play into the equation.

      • JayTheRed

        Is there a starting pitcher out there that is worth signing still… Haven’t had a chance to look who is left still but the list is a lot smaller lately.

        Also I am wondering what Bauer is waiting for at this point.

        I also think we have some depth but getting someone with a proven track record would sure be nice. Even if that track record is not amazing but decent.

    • Hotto4Votto

      The narrative that the NL Central isn’t trying is slowly evaporating. It could be said as of late that everyone but the Pirates and Reds are trying to improve. The Reds have actively gotten worse from last season’s 3rd place finish with the subtractions of Bauer, Disco, Iglesias, Bradley, Stephenson, and Casali.

      This minor league signing is largely inconsequential. In a year that the Reds had actually accomplished what they set out to do, this would pass by without much comment. Adding fringe players on minor league deals is common before ST. Try to catch lightning in a bottle.

      • Doug Gray

        I saw one projection system, yesterday, that didn’t have a single NL Central team projected to finish .500. So I’m not so sure we need to be jumping onto that NL Central really is trying train just yet.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Teams are still trying to improve regardless of their projected record. 3 teams in the last week or so added projected starters and spent more money on one player than the Reds have in total. They all are improving and until the Reds add a SS or another starting caliber player they haven’t made one move outside of the fringes of their roster.
        If anything was premature it was probably the thought that no one was trying to improve. The Cards were always likely to bring back Wainwright and Yadi, it was just a matter of time. And now they added one of the better players in the league. The Brewers have a history of waiting FA out until they find value deals, which is what they did with Wong. I wouldn’t be surprised if they continued to do so. Granted, the Cubs were not, until their GM recently got approval to bring in Williams and Pederson. And even though the Darvish trade wasn’t considered a good return they still brought in Davies who’s a solid addition in that deal, and better than anyone we brought in.

        Even if no one is projected to finish above .500 they’re still making upgrades to their roster. Can’t say that about the Reds really at this point.

      • JayTheRed

        Doug, you have to agree though that the recent signings / trades by the Cards, Brewers, and Cubs have helped their chances significantly more than what the Reds and Pirates have done to date.

      • greenmtred

        It appears to me that the Reds have, again, decided to avoid an actual rebuild without spending the money necessary to improve on their state of mediocrity. I thought that they were a boring and frustrating team to watch last year, and they will probably be that again this year. Baseball is supposed to be fun for the fans.

    • RedAlert

      Front office and ownership bunch of lip service. Have made no substantial effort to upgrade shortstop to this point at all . Why does it seem that the Reds have the most difficult time ever consummating a trade ? I know it takes two – but this occurs every single year. I’m mean it’s to the point that it is ridiculous – just frustrating !

      • RedAlert

        Should have read “ I mean …

        Hopefully I am wrong and shortstop WILL be addressed – but sure not heading in that direction .

      • TheCoastMan

        Please, please,please don’t even say the word trade. Other teams give up a bag of peanuts for guys like Arrenado. We would have gave up Castillo, Suarez, Senzel, Green, Lodola and couple other mid level prospects just so Colorado would eat 10 or 15 mil. After the Bradley trade last year and Iglacias this year I am really gun shy on trades. I’d rather just keep our prospects, throw a little spaghetti at the well and see how things plays out.


    Do the Reds know what they are doing? It would appear they don’t. We have needed a shortstop for the complete offseason, what do we have? Zippo.

    • JayTheRed

      Nope your wrong we have hope…. Hope that Farmer doesn’t embarrass himself. Hope that Garcia just rakes in the minors this year. Hope that one of the guys we signed to a minor league deal or trade for some scrap heap player becomes something

      This season is all about HOPE! #GetTheHope

    • TR

      But the Reds do have many candidates to cover the shortstop position which should be worked out in spring training and during the coming year or two as Jose Garcia works on improving his hitting skills.

      • greenmtred

        They have candidates to cover it, sure. Somebody has to take the field at that position. But candidates to play it?

      • TR

        All of the candidates seem able to play shortstop. The question is can they provide the needed offense.

  11. GreatRedLegsFan

    Don’t miss Delmonico & Doolittle 70’s Greatest Hits!!!

  12. Pablo

    The Bauer signing with the Mets story sure did cool off.

  13. DataDumpster

    With the 40 man roster filled and trade talks seemingly dormant, the team is “set” for 2021. They acquired 3 MLB level position players (Heineman, Gruillon and Holder). The remainder were primarily minor league talent with an emphasis on “fallen angel” pitchers. Not sure how any of this helps the Reds but gives them a chance to shore up their minor league teams.

    Remember that David Bell’s previous stint with the Reds was to manage 3 losing season with Carolina and then follow that up with the worst season in Louisville Bats history at 51-93 in 2012 after inheriting 6 straight winning seasons under manager Rick Sweat. The Bats have not had a winning season since. The team needs a boost, so who better than David Bell to provide it.

    It’s possible that the Reds can be competitive if back of the card level hitting returns and Bell actually learns to manage the players and situations instead of the printouts. A lot of men have a lot to prove in this outfit.

    • Hotto4Votto

      It’s funny (or sad) that I had to go look at the 40-man to even recall who Heineman and Gruillon were, that’s how fringe the “MLB” additions were. Also, when Holder hasn’t played above AA and Gruillen has had 12 ABs, and Heineman has played in 49 MLB games, it’s really hard to call any of them MLB additions. AAAA additions is more apt.

  14. DataDumpster

    Correction. They did sign Doolittle as an MLB veteran pitcher. I think his name and the Reds “strategy” this offseason kind of mixed up my brain circuitry. In all fairness to him, he is probably the only player even likely to have an meaningful impact on the Reds 2021 season.