The Cincinnati Reds announced five signings late on Wednesday night – just after 11pm ET – and just beat the announcement of the lockout that began at midnight.
Of course, much like all of the other signings made by Cincinnati this offseason, none of them were of the Major League variety. Instead the Reds signed four players to minor league deals for 2022 that included invitations to big league spring training. One of those deals we already knew about – Brandon Bailey, who was non-tendered after missing 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery early in spring training. But the Reds also signed right-handed pitcher Trey Wingenter, outfielder Trey Amburgey, catcher Andrew Knapp, and utility-man Allen Córdoba to deals as well.
Brandon Bailey pitched with Houston back in 2020 for a handful of innings, throwing 7.1 innings over five games and allowing two runs. That is the extent of his time in the big leagues. It’s possible he could be back in time for spring training – if it begins on time – but that would be a 1-year turn around, and that would be on the quick timetable.
Trey Wingenter is a large man. He’s listed at 6′ 7″ and 237 lbs. He pitched for the San Diego Padres in both 2018 and 2019, throwing 70.0 innings, allowing just 47 hits, walking 39, and striking out 99. The last two years have been full of injuries. In July of 2020 he underwent Tommy John surgery, costing him the chance to pitch during the shortened season. After beginning a rehab assignment in August with the Padres complex level team in Arizona he managed to pitch in just three games before a back injury cut that short. He would undergo back surgery in September, but is expected to be ready to pitch when spring training begins.
Prior to the two injuries, Wingenter threw hard. He has averaged 96 MPH in his big league career and topped out at 101 MPH in September of 2018. Wingenter mixes in his fastball with a slider at about a 60/40 ratio.
Andrew Knapp has spent parts of the last five seasons in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies. Almost all of his action has come behind the plate as a catcher, but he has played 22.0 innings at first base, and 1.1 innings at second base. The 30-year-old switch hitter has struggled to hit much of his big league career. In 309 games he’s hit .214/.314/.322 with 13 home runs. In 2020 he had his best season, though it came in just 89 plate appearances, when he posted an .849 OPS. But he also had far and away his worst season in 2021 when he hit .152/.215/.214 for the Phillies in 62 games (159 plate appearances).
Trey Amburgey played in two games with the New York Yankees in 2021, going 0-4 in his only big league action in his career. The 27-year-old outfielder has spent the last two seasons in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He’s hit .275/.332/.487 with 54 doubles, 5 triples, and 30 home runs in 195 games (798 plate appearances). In 2019 he played some center while in Triple-A, but during the 2021 season he was exclusively playing left and right fields.
Allen Córdoba hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2017 when he was a 21-year-old rookie with the San Diego Padres. They selected him in the Rule 5 draft from St. Louis and kept him up all season where he hit .208/.282/297. He was making an incredible leap back then, having never even played in A-ball. The infielder was sent back to the minors the next season and somehow hit worse in the California League (Advanced-A) than he had in the previous season at the big league level – though it appears there was an injury-related issue there as he played in just 45 games during the season. In 2021 he spent the entire season in Double-A San Antonia where he hit .299/.392/.446 with 29 walks and 42 strikeouts. During previous seasons he had shown plenty of stolen base ability, but went 6-for-12 during 2021. He has played some shortstop in the past, but was used as a third baseman and first baseman during this past year.