Last week the Cincinnati Reds designated outfielder Delino DeShields for assignment. After he cleared waivers the Reds outrighted him to Triple-A Louisville. On Monday night he officially declined the outright and chose to instead become a free agent. This was first reported by Mark Sheldon of Reds.com, who beat the other beat reporters to the “send tweet” button by a few seconds.
That refusal was not at all surprising and was just a matter of time. Delino DeShields now gets to test free agency and see what’s out there for him rather than remain with just one team. The Reds could always re-sign him this winter if they are still interested and after looking around he feels it’s the best situation for him.
After spending much of the 2015-2020 seasons in the big leagues – mostly with the Texas Rangers, but also 37 games in 2020 with Cleveland – Delino DeShields spent almost all of 2021 in the minor leagues. He played in 66 games with Triple-A Round Rock in the Rangers organization before he joined Worcester, the Boston Red Sox Triple-A team in August. The Reds acquired him on August 31st when they purchased his contract from the Red Sox. Cincinnati never sent him to the minors and activated him at the big league level for the final five weeks of the year.
While Delino DeShields was solid, but unspectacular in Triple-A in 2021, he performed better with the Reds than he had in the minors after he arrived. In Triple-A he hit .252/.385/.366. Down the stretch with Cincinnati the outfielder played in 25 games and hit .255/.375/.426 with 9 walks and 11 strikeouts. He found a little more pop once he was back in the big leagues than he had shown while in the minors.
There are more moves to come. There are currently 42 players on the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster. 39 players are now “active”, while 3 players are on the 60-day injured list and don’t count towards the 40-man roster until the end of the season. That 39 number does include Mychal Givens and Michael Lorenzen, both of whom are free agents unless the Reds sign them within the next month. There are also some non-tender candidates that could clear up some spots when December gets here and those decisions need to be made.