The Cincinnati Reds have designated right-handed reliever Michael Feliz for assignment, as first reported by Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. We wrote about it on Sunday evening, wondering what move that the team would make with regards to Feliz (and Tejay Antone).

Cincinnati picked up Michael Feliz on waivers from Pittsburgh on May 14th. The team’s bullpen was struggling and Feliz had a 2.35 ERA in the first seven games of the season for the Pirates with just one walk and eight strikeouts. He struggled with the Reds in May and early June, though – culminating in a 4-hit, 5-run appearance against St. Louis in which he didn’t record an out before hitting the injured list. A month later he went on a rehab assignment, but it didn’t last a full week before he was recalled from it because his arm was not responding to the outings well.

Two weeks later he returned for another rehab assignment. The first five outings were inconsistent between Triple-A Louisville and High-A Dayton. But over the final two weeks of his rehab assignment he allowed just two hits in eight appearances while giving up one run, walking no one, and striking out seven batters – all with Louisville. His rehab time, however, came to an end and forced the Reds to take one of three options: Recall him from his assignment and keep him on the injured list, activate him to the 26-man roster (and 40-man roster since he was on the 60-day injured list at the time), or to designate him for assignment. The team chose the latter option.

The chance that he gets picked up seems high. Teams all over Major League Baseball are looking for anyone who can throw a baseball right now. Injuries are at an all-time high and anyone with a pulse seems to make sense for teams right now.

With Feliz being designated for assignment from the 60-man injured list, the team remains at 38 players on the 40-man roster since players on the 60-day injured list do not count towards the 40-man total. Tomorrow it’s expected that the team will activate Tejay Antone, giving them another roster move that must be made.

48 Responses

  1. wkuchad

    Did Senzel move back to the 60-day injured list, when they ‘undid’ his AAA option?

  2. Little Earl

    Any idea on the status of Warren?

  3. Moon

    Hembree was picked up by the Mets. DeGrom was sent to the 60 day IL. DeGrom for Hembree not a great trade for the Metropolitans.

  4. Gonzo Reds

    That takes care of half of the RP spots we all wondered about. I think Santillan deserves to stay with Antone coming back and there are others that haven’t pitched as well but… considering Santy has options and can be brought back up in a week I see no way the Reds FO does anything other than do just that.

    • A

      I agree. It make the most sense as long as we are still in the race.

  5. Steven Schoenbaechler

    Minimal problems, I believe.

    I’m much more concerned with during the off season. In no particular order, I believe our primary areas of focus are:

    – Do something about 3rd base. Suarez and Moose aren’t cutting it. And, I really don’t want to see us putting that much money into platooning. Though, one thing with Moose is he has won a WS before. He has playoff experience.
    – Build the bullpen. I don’t want to see overspending. But, I believe “good bullpens” are a “shot in the dark” unless you overspend. But, I believe there could be some good deals out there.
    – I would like to see a finalization of CF. Is it Naquin? Akiyama? Aquino? I mean, even though Sparky didn’t start his “main guys” as much as people think, when Sparky wanted a win, he knew who do go to. Who do we go to at 3rd? CF?
    – Do we stick with Farmer at SS? Right now, I wouldn’t have a problem with that.

    – I believe we lock up Mahle and Winker. I believe many will want to extend Nick C.
    – I want to see how India starts next season. But, I’m very intrigued in locking him up.
    – What about catcher? Does Tyler deserve his time? I wouldn’t mind going into next season with both. However, with how both played this season, I believe it wouldn’t be serving either justice by doing that again. They both deserved more playing time, I believe.
    – I believe the way Tony and Vlad pitched when called up, that pressed the Reds that they should do something involving them, whether bringing them up regularly next season, or trading them off for pieces.

    Secondary items:
    – I wouldn’t mind seeing the Boddy guy come back. He seems to have done some good things with the minors, I believe. And, 3 years (I believe it was) is barely enough time to get the system set in. I would re-up him then let him go after that contract
    – This part I will admit I’m off on. I am only going by records because I don’t know where to access any other information on this. But, I would like to see the Reds develop their farm system better. Just “not that good” records down there, and there doesn’t seem to be that much success, a couple of players each team.
    Now, I would rather judge this by how our prospects rank compared to the rest of the league, though. That information I don’t have and don’t know where to find it. Can someone assist?

    • Jim Walker

      Reds 2022 catching in the currency of baseball as a business> Stephenson will still be pre-arbitration and have a salary between $600-800K unless the Reds do something unusual (for them) such as signing him to a bridge contract to cover through multiple arbitration years. Meanwhile, Barnhart has a buyout of 500K against a 2022 salary of $7.5M.

      Barring serious injury to Stephenson between now and the off season which would make him questionable for 2022, he is their catcher. Barnhart’s option gets bought out; however, the Reds may try to sign him for (much) less than $7.5M as the backup. Curt Casali is getting $1.5M to back up Buster Posey this year. I am guessing that’s probably the Reds range for a top flight backup C next year, though they could go some higher since TS will be so relatively cheap.

      • greenmtred

        Given the demands of the position, it seems to me that teams serious about contending need two good catchers. The Reds have that now, and would be smart to keep them both. The playing time issue could be resolved partially by having Stephenson spell Votto at first, or maybe he would be a serviceable sometime corner outfielder when he isn’t catching. Tucker still has plenty to offer, and could help Stephenson by example.

      • Mike

        Yeah, Tuck gone sad to say. His 2 gold gloves—and decent stats this year—will buy him a nice contract somewhere. And seeing as Tuck is Miley’s personal catcher, it makes me wonder if Wade will ask the Reds to release him from the club option in ’22. With his stats, he could get a guarantee of $15-20 million like the last two years.

        $10 million would be a bargain for the stats Miley’s delivered, but that money (and Tuck’s) can go to seeing if we can keep Castellanos. Or straight in Bob’s pocket…

      • Alex Reds

        I think Tucker Barnhart has pretty strong trade value if the salary was reduced. Trade Tucker and eat some of the salary to get a nice prospect back. Reds pay $4.5M of Tucker’s salary, another team trades a top prospect to Reds and gets Tucker for $3M.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        Mr Jim What do you think about AAA catchers facing the 2022 season as possible backups for Stephenson? I mean Chris Okey or Beau Taylor… In any case, Kolozsvary has better projection but maybe he is not ready to play MLB level in 2022 but probably he will by 2023 …

      • AllTheHype

        If you look at FA catchers from last off season, Barnhart’s option is a no brainer to be exercised. His value exceeds $7M (7.5 minus buyout) for one year. Could they trade him potentially? Yes. But his option won’t be bought out.

      • Jim Walker

        @RedsGB> I don’t think the Reds backup catcher for 2022 is in the system unless it turns out to be Barnhart. Kolozsvary is probably a further down the road.

        I think Barnhart is going to have a 2 pronged road to choose. He can go with the Reds or some other team that is a presumptive contender as the #1B or #2 or there may be teams on the rise but not yet contenders who would want him as a #1/ 1A to work with a developing pitching staff and also perhaps their “catcher of the future”.

        Barnhart is making $4M this year; and, my guess is in either of the roles above will be lucky to make >$3M next season. It will be his age 31 season. He has caught a lot of innings at the MLB level. Catchers tend to have limited shelf lives.

        Because of TS being cheap for the next year or 2, perhaps the Reds could retain Barnhart at $3-3.5 AAV on a straight 2 year deal (after paying his $500K 2022 buyout upfront). But he has to understand and accept the change in his role to the clearly #1B/2 spot. If Stephenson is healthy, he is going to be catching 100-120 games. If Miley is still around, Barnhart could still be his “personal” catcher but beyond that, he be starting only where and when it fit the Stephenson’s schedule and the team’s need.

      • Jim Walker

        @hype, As things stand now, Stephenson’s 2021 bWAR is 1.9 to Barnhart’s 1.0. in almost exactly the same number of plate appearances.

        To me, this says Barnhart’s WAR is only of value to the Reds in 2022 if he can be flipped in the off season or during the season for equal or greater value because Stepehson will be the clear #1. Barnhart is only going to be catching (and earning WAR) in 50-60 games. That works out to somewhere between .3-.4 WAR for the year which is not worth $7.5M

        So, we disagree since I don’t believe a team will make a $7.5M commitment to a guy just in hopes of trading him for greater value.

      • AllTheHype

        I don’t trust bWAR for Cs because b ref poorly weights the various defensive aspects of that position. fWAR has them closer at 1.6 (Barnhart) and 1.8 (Stephenson), even though fangraphs also has issues weighting defensive of that position. But for comparison, I’m going with fangraphs.

        McCann got 4/40 entering age 31 for consecutive seasons of 2.2 and 1.5 (short season) fWAR. Molina got 1/9 entering age 38 after consecutive years of 1.2 and 0.5 (short season).

        While Barnhart doesn’t compare to McCann, he’s not that far off, and he’s on par in age. And comparatively with Molina, Barnhart’s fWar has been 0.8 (short season) and 1.5. Therefore, Barnhart is both younger than Molina and more productive.

        And consider there are rumors last week that the Cards and Molina are negotiating to re-up for about that same rate for 2022 when Molina has been sub-Barnhart level of 0.9 this year! And much older with more inherent risk of drop off!

        Barnhart would be a starter for many teams given the lack of quality catchers who possess the gamut of pitch framing/defense/pitch calling/offense. His fWAR ranks in the top 15 this year. The Reds are just fortunate to have two catchers that rank in the top 15.

        But you can’t look at “value” through the lens of the Reds’ needs only. Value and market is what determines whether an option is picked up, not need. Barnhart’s option league-wide is a bargain in relation to those aspects, and will surely be picked up by the Reds.

      • Old-school

        Reds need 2 good catchers.

        Anyone remember Devin Mesoraco ? They gave him 4/38
        And he never played .

        I would look at money allocated per position group. Catchers need time off and the Reds need 2 capable catchers. With the DH and Votto at 38- easy to get Stephenson 75 games catching and 35 at first base and 35 at DH

        Give tucker a 2 year $10 mil deal with the second year a Reds option with a $1 mil buyout

        A solid catching core is crucial and if the Reds could nail that down for 2 years at a combined $6 mil AAV thats a solid move. Injuries happen

        Juat ask antone, lorenzen, Votto, winker, Castellanos , bailey, Mesoraco or Scooter Gennett

      • AllTheHype

        @old, agree, Reds need 2 catchers, and picking up Barnhart’s option will take care of that for another year, giving them two top 15 catchers for a total of approx $8.1M.

        There are other positions that need more attention. C is not one of them. Keep what is working very well intact.

        If Barnhart is open to adding a second year, that conversation should take place.

      • Tampa Red

        I’ll be shocked if the Reds blow up the best catching situation in the big leagues over $7 million, minus the salary of Barnharts replacement. They shouldn’t and I doubt they will.

      • Jim Walker

        @Old-School>, I could go for the $5M per year/2 years on Barnhart if the 2nd year was on option at the $1M buyout you suggested. I think it is actually above market but with TS pre-arb at least for the 1st year why not? They also pay Barnhart the $500K2022 buyout in this deal too, right? Might make the difference in him taking it.

        Here is the issue I have with moving Stephenson off C to DH with Barnhart coming in to catch. At that point Barnhart’s offense has to be comped to the guy who sits instead of DHing to open the DH spot for TS, not guy sitting comped to TS. If we are looking at possibly Moose, Winker or Votto sitting out for TB to catch that’s a pretty high bar for Barnhart to measure up to.

        Stephenson should only come out from behind the plate when necessary for him to stay sharp. I’ll stick to 100-115 games behind the plate for him but not over 120.

        Again I am drawing on Posey’s experience, and he did not play nearly as much 1B as I thought from afar. In his career, Posey has only played 1B in 229 games while catching in 1065 games plus another 90 or so as DH/PH. And yes DH figures to be every day now but again, the comp has to be the guy not DHing to the backup catcher. In the Reds case Barnhart does not comp well with the other guys lined up for DH and should only catch when TS needs to be out from behind the plate.

      • Old-school

        I just think the Reds need 2 good catchers and Mesoraco peoves you cant assume anything. Clearly tucker has the confidence of the pitchers and is left handed.

        Also- its not much to allocate 10-12 million for 2 good catchers as insurance once someone gets hurt

      • Jim Walker

        @Old-School> And if Casali (or someone of his ilk) is available for a couple of million?? (CC is on a 1 year deal but arbitration eligible; so probably not but then he got nontendered last year) 😉

        I don’t think batting handedness really matters that much b/c Stephenson is virtually handedness agnostic at the plate. With the Reds crew of LH candidates for DH, a RH hitting back up catcher might actually be preferable.

      • Old-school

        If the reds can get a 2nd catcher like casali great. I just think $5 -6
        Mil AAV is a bargain for a 2 time GG catcher who will get votes again plus a young super guy

        Asset allocation and the Reds are allocating a very affordable amount to the catcher position for (2) good catchers

        Its not the catching position job to make up for bad FO signings elsewhere. Its too important and if Stephenson were to get hurt… a disaster looms….ala Mesoraco

      • Tim

        If the NL has the DH next year the question of keeping both catchers is moot. Tucker is elite behind the plate and solid with the bat. Ty Steve has elite potential with the bat and is solid behind the plate. Keep Tucker catching the majority and have Tyler hitting DH and playing 60-70 behind the plate. That’s cheap offense and some of the best catching defense in the majors.

      • JayTheRed

        Honestly give Tucker his option Stephenson can play some 1b too. and DH too.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I believe one reason why Devin declined was because he was rarely played by Baker. Because there was a veteran that Baker wanted to go with too much. So, Devin never got any playing time.

        I can understand wanting to have 2 good catchers and “injuries happen”. But, then you would/could also be talking about overpaying for a bench player or part-time player. It would be like paying full fare for Realmuto but only playing him half-time to make sure Tyler gets his time in at catcher.

        As well as, “injuries occur”, that could also be a reason why go ahead and maybe take the option on Barnhart then trading him, to get value for him. I mean, in order to get value, you need to give value.

        As long as the Reds were to have what I will call a “Plan B” for catcher, like how Casali served in previous seasons, how Tyler served this year (though he also excelled at it, I believe), I would have no problem letting Barnhart go. Oh, I would hate to see him go, but I would have no problem letting him go. And, again, only if they have a “Plan B” at catcher.

        Again, no “Plan B” at catcher who the Reds were ready to commit to, I would bring back both Tyler and Barnhart. But, if they can commit to someone else, I would have no problem letting Barnhart go. I don’t see how or why they would let Tyler go.

      • greenmtred

        Is my memory serving me poorly, or am I correct in remembering that Mesoraco had catastrophic injuries that accounted for or contributed to his decline? Stephenson is a very promising young player, but I wonder if his future is as a catcher? He seems taller than is common for the position, and I’d think that would increase the wear on his knees and back.

      • Jim Walker

        Just announced catcher Mark Kolozsvary to AAA Louisville. Sounds like a month or 3 week tryout to see if the Olympic experience seasoned him enough for MLB in 2022.

      • Steven Schoenbaechler

        Thank you. That’s good to hear. It’s not that I like to have “winning farm systems” at all. For, I am a firm believer that there are 2 reasons for prospects: 1) Trade bait, and 2) Replace major leaguers. If you aren’t going to do either one of those with prospects, then you are wasting talent, in my opinion.

        I mean, I’ve heard people on here before talking about how we need to keep a strong farm system, which I can agree. But, if a player is ready, either trade him or move him up and trade who he is replacing. But, just don’t keep him down there season and season. That’s wasting value.

      • AllTheHype

        Pretty impressive ranking indeed considering two of top three or four in 2021 NL ROY just graduated from our farm and aren’t considered in the rankings.

        Reds D&D is certainly doing something right!

    • BZAZ

      Steve, you covered many relevant and interesting topics. That was a well thought out message. Still formulating a response to those long-term questions you are interested in.

    • LGR

      I think the biggest priority should be getting Nick resigned.

      After that, you have to get one of the 3rd baseman off the roster with a trade. I think Suarez would hold a little more value, but he’d be the one I’d prefer to keep. Packaging Mahle with Moose/Suarez in a trade would probably pretty easy. Mahle should hold a good amount of value considering his numbers outside of GABP. Can also throw in Garrett with them to add more value. You don’t have to get a ton back, maybe a low end prospect and cash.

      Then finding an actual person to take over 3rd base would be priority. Even if you’re keeping one of Suarez/Moose, you can’t really rely on them to play everyday anymore. Look into Semien again. Look into Corey Seager and see what he’s looking for.

      I’m sorta ok with how CF is playing out with Naquin next year. But Tommy Pham is a FA and I’ve always thought he gave some of the best AB’s. I’d definitely take a look into Pham.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Mahle, Moose, and Garrett for a low end prospect? Any team would take that in a heartbeat. The team giving that wouldn’t be too bright. I’d lock up Mahle. The dude is too good.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    I think the idea is to have the better players available in the active roster so it let the team wins the most of the game as possible. They should weigh keep Santillán during this key week and DFA Doolittle (or somebody else) or option the first and keep the others… Another thing is trying to do some trick as send Garrett to IL while giving another shot to Doolittle and using that spot to Antone… Is it not valid?

  7. BZAZ

    Definitely seems like the bullpen oversupply is coming at the expense of the bench.

    Dollitle seems the most expendable. Not really ready to give up on AG yet. He has the stuff but not the required makeup at this point.

  8. Steven Schoenbaechler

    I will state this, also. . .

    So far, judge the season has been a success or not.

    In my opinion, I believe it’s been a success. When you consider the recent re-emergence by Votto, the success of India and Stephenson, All Stars Winker and Nick C, the success of Tyler N, the way Vlad and Tony stepped up to pitch for starters on the IR, etc. just so many positives to take away from all of this, I don’t see how anyone has been disappointed so far.

    Oh, sure, things could/should have easily been better. But, who would have thunk at the beginning of the season the Reds would be anywhere near this position? Not me.

    • TR

      I’m with you. An interesting, engaging baseball season for me no matter what happens from here on. And the future, with adjustments, looks good.

    • JayTheRed

      I was not on any bandwagon for this team. I really felt like they have done a great job overall and I am sure surprised at some of the players who have performed so well. Surprised to see Suarez and Moose perform so badly and the early season bullpen was ugly. Those are the only negative things I can say.

      Oh Go Reds lets kick the Brewers down!

  9. Ian Riddell

    If Tucker leaves what about Farmer as the backup catcher/super utility guy.

    • beelicker

      You need 2 ‘real’ catchers, ideally. 13o-4o games maximum for the #1 C, catching, would keep him from getting overworked, broke down and/or burnt out from the physical demands of the position. Farmer as the emergency 3rd C that you hope you don’t have to use allows you to not have to carry 3 dedicated catchers on your 26 man roster like some teams have in the past. You don’t want Farmer as your #2 catcher

  10. Klugo

    That was the easy one, right? Now, what are they going to do when they activate Antone?

    • Jim Walker

      Yep. Bet they flew out to Milwaukee a couple of hours ago so the guy may know but when will we 😉

  11. LeRoy

    I’ve wondered if a major league player is struggling and has no options, can he ask to be sent to the minor leagues to try to get on track without being exposed to waivers?

    • Jim Walker

      Interesting thought; but I don’t see how that would ever work out over time. There is an old saying around professional sports that once a season starts, no player is ever again truly 100% until the season has ended and the player has had time to rest and recuperate. So, it would probably be easier for the team and player in your scenario to agree on a legitimate enough injury complaint to IL the player and send them on rehab.

  12. DaveCT

    Major League Trade Rumors is like a game of Duck, Duck, Goose, especially for relievers. Feliz likely has a job lined up already.

  13. Optimist

    I’ve only seen 2 mentions of his possible departure, but the most important off season move may be re-signing Boddy, or enough of his staff for continuity. Success has many fathers, but I wonder if Dick W’s legacy will be the efforts to rebuild the back office, minors staff, and generally realign the organization below the MLB level. Seems the farm system ranking is just one aspect of that.

  14. Joe P.

    It’ll be interesting to see who picks up Feliz. Could it be the Padres? Not sure on the pecking order on DFA waivers.