The Cincinnati Reds are signing infielder Donovan Solano and reliever Buck Farmer. First reported by Mark Sheldon of that while the moves had not been announced yet that both players had lockers set up in the clubhouse in Goodyear. Jon Heyman of MLB Network is reporting that Solano signed a 1-year deal for $4.5M.

Let’s start by talking about Donovan Solano. He’s a 34-year-old who has never been a full-time player. But he has been quite good in the last three seasons in San Francisco as a utility player. Since 2019 began he’s played in 236 games and hit .308/.354/.435 – good for a 113 OPS+. Last season, playing in 101 games, he hit a career high seven home runs. In that same time he’s also played plenty of second and third base. He’s played a handful of innings at shortstop over the last two seasons, too, just in case of an emergency – he’s got some experience there in his career and could probably cover you for a few days if absolutely needed.

This move may start to make a lot of sense when you look at how he’s performed against left-handed pitching over the last three seasons. He’s picked up 309 plate appearances against lefties in that time and hit .326/.367/.472 with a 15.5% strikeout rate – making plenty of contact, showing a little power, and hitting for a high average. With Mike Moustakas hitting just .156/.258/.247 against lefties since joining the Reds, this seems like a perfect platoon situation at third base for Cincinnati.

As for Buck Farmer…. well, he struggled quite a bit in 2021. Pitching in 36 games out of the Detroit Tigers bullpen he posted a 6.37 ERA over 35.1 innings. He gave up a bunch of homers – nine of them – and walked 21 batters while striking out 37. After pitching well in 2019 and 2020 (3.74 ERA, 11 homers and 29 walks allowed in 89.0 innings), Farmer resembled the pitcher he had been from 2014-2018 when battled consistency and posted a 5.87 ERA while walking 103 batters in 196.1 innings.

Buck Farmer was signed to a minor league contract and will be in big league spring training as a non-roster invitee.

69 Responses

  1. AWA85

    Farmer deal is a Non-Roster Invite. Had multiple options and chose the Reds. Word is he has revamped his Slider which was well below average in the past to a very nice pitch with sweep. Change up is looking really strong.

  2. LDS

    So much for the youth movement. Solano at 3rd, Farmer at SS. Seems like there are better uses of the money.

    • Tar Heel Red

      No, David Bell is his infinite wisdom has already named Moustakas the starter at 3B. Solano will probably be used against left-handers as he hits them well.

      • LDS

        Bell named Winker his starting LF’er. What Bell or Krall for that matter, says doesn’t mean much.

      • MK

        I kind of thought Farmer would be the right handed option at third.I really see Moose as DH so maybe Solano and Farmer share third.

  3. SultanofSwaff

    Positive move—you go from -0.7WAR with Geno to 1.1WAR with Solano while saving money. He’ll pair nicely with Moose in a 3B platoon.

    • MuddyCleats

      Moose moved like a Moose at 3rd last season. Anything but smooth and nimble. Not sure why they wouldn’t give Senzel a shot @ 3rd considering he hasn’t stayed healthy in the OF ?

  4. Johnny Sofa

    And some of the comments here explain why Reds management can continue to do what they do best: create long-term messes for the fans and spin them as artwork.

  5. MK

    It will be the second time the two Farmers have been on the same team. They were both on the Midwest League Ratern All Stars when Buck was a Whitecap and Kyle was a Loon.

    • Craig Z

      They’re going to bring back Farmers Night.

  6. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Solano sounds like a decent pickup. Not so sure about Farmer. Maybe they were thinking that was our Farmer.

  7. Tom Mitsoff

    Solano is the first move in quite awhile that makes good sense with no apparent downside.

  8. SOQ

    Quote from David Bell today. “We’re getting better in a really weird way”

      • Johnny Sofa

        And the management team is texting each other at this moment:
        “You won’t believe it.”
        “Believe what?”
        “The fans are buying that line about getting better.”
        “No way. Already?”
        “I know. Crazy.”
        “Keep it up!”

    • Votto4life

      Maybe what David Bell meant to say is “They are getting weird in a better way”

  9. RedsFaninPitt

    Reds working on a deal for Cueto to return supposedly.

    • Johnny Sofa

      In true Reds fashion: shipped him away for three rusty nails at the prime of his career … then willing to bring him back seven years later during a tear down.

      • RedsFaninPitt

        Those rusty nails sure looked pretty shiny at the time though. You never know how these things can turnout. Castillo was a great trade and Suarez sure looked good too until 2020.

    • Votto4life

      I wasn’t planning on attending any games but I will definitely go to see Johnny Baseball.

    • Redsfan4life

      I hadn’t saw the Cueto news. But it doesn’t surprise me at all. I called this last week. Cueto is all but done as a major league pitcher. So he will fit right in.

      • Votto4life

        Sounds like it’s a one year deal. it won’t break the bank and it gives me a small rooting this season. He will get 20 starts at most.

        I am pretty sure to be eligible for revenue sharing, the Reds are required to field a team.

      • LWBlogger2

        Rijo contributed when the Reds brought him back MUCH more than I thought he would. It was nice to see him on the mound in Cincy in person again too. Maybe with Cueto it will be the same way. Maybe.

  10. Johnny Sofa

    The three rusty nails were named John Lamb, Brandon Finnegan, and Cody Reed. They never looked good — not then, not now.

    • greenmtred

      “Never” is a difficult word, isn’t it? All three of those guys looked good, or they wouldn’t have been signed, and wouldn’t have moved up through the minors. I know it’s fun and easy to be a nattering nabob of negativity, though.

    • LWBlogger2

      Not true! A lot of the pundits liked that deal for the Reds at the time. It worked out woefully but the deal, when first made, was not considered highway robbery by most. A couple analysts had serious questions but the overall baseball-world reaction was positive for the Reds’ return in that deal.

  11. JayTheRed

    What a positive signing WHAT! How can it be. So far still not excited one bit about this season for this team. I used to like Minor but the past 2 seasons have not been very good. I don’t get signing a 8.5 million guy just after trading away a 10 million guy. Does 1.5 million mean that much in Cincinnati’s budget. This team is so confusing.

  12. Kevin H

    Jesse Winker continues to throw shade toward Cincinnati organization. Good for him, and I am excited to see him and Geno to shine this year. Go Mariners…

  13. Hanawi

    Solano seems like a decent pick-up and at the very least a platoon partner for Moose or Schrock. Most of the moves are pretty meh to me. Maybe Minor pitches better or one of the prospects pans out. I don’t know what the outfield plan is however. Senzel, Naquin, and what else? Can you count on either of those two to stay healthy at all?

    They might end up with a better defensive team with more overall speed, which could help the pitching. But hard to see where the offense is going to come from.

  14. Kap

    I wonder if they move India back to third and Solano/schrock/lopez play second

    • Mark Moore

      I hope not. But if they do, I hope they don’t jerk him around.

  15. Dennis Westrick

    In this WOKE age it’s time to change the name of this former MLB team from The Reds to The Clowns or The Comedians or The Jokers! What the FO has done in the past couple of weeks is comical to say the least! I am a lifetime Reds fan (since 1960) and have seen a lot of bad trades over the years but Krall & Castellini are the modern-day Laurel & Hardy!

    • Alex

      Nice. Absolutely nonsensical post just to bring up woke culture for no reason. I bet this boomer is a blast at parties.

  16. Mark Moore

    Well, we won’t see Kris Bryant in a Reds uniform. I can only imagine the extra carry he’ll get at Coors Field.

  17. DaveCT

    Wouldn’t Kyle Farmer have been a similar platoon-mate at 3B with Moose?

    And saved a few mil?

    And allowed Barrero to make it break it. In a non-competitive year?

    Making the team one step closer to younger and better?

    The Krall to the end continues. Maybe a t-ball league president can be given a shot at leading the ship of fools.

    • Hanawi

      Farmer isn’t good. He’s a bench piece that had one good month and that’s about it. Barrero should be in the starting lineup every day.

      Does make one wonder if they’ll play McLain at 3B some this year. He could be the future.

      • Jpser05

        Sadly, Bell has said Farmer is the starting shortstop…..

  18. Votto4life

    Rockies sign Kris Bryant – 7 years for 26 million per. That’s a lot of dough.

  19. Johnny Sofa

    I’m not giving a pass to Krall, but Jocketty still has the ear of big Bob. And Jock has a history of making/approving terrible moves.

    • Votto4life

      At some point, you would think Bob would stop listening to Walt. I mean his advice hasn’t exactly led to multiple championships.

      I bet they get together and bitch about agents and player salaries. Wishing it was the 1950s again.

  20. Jon

    If the Reds indeed sign Cueto, what are the odds that either Mahle or Castillo get traded? With Minor, that would only leave one spot in the rotation for all the rookies.

    Suppose the Reds traded Castillo. They would still have a full, albeit shaky rotation with depth in the minors. It would also certainly free up enough cash for a proven outfielder who can hit- Nick Castellanos perhaps?

    • Votto4life

      Why would any decent free agent sign with this team? Would take a massive over pay.

      Apparently, Nick Krall stated today the Reds were not going to trade Castillo or Mahle. I suspect they are safe until at least the trading deadline. But then again, it’s Nick Krall so…

      • Jon

        Why did Bryant sign with the nowhere close to contending Rockies? And there’s a rumor the Orioles have a ten-year, $300 million offer to Correa on the table.

      • Votto4life

        I think it was an overpay for the Rockies, Bryant slashed .266/360/485 for the past three seasons. Not bad, but worth $26 million dollars a year for the rest of the decade?

        He will put up some decent numbers at Coors but the final few years of the contract will likely be fugly.

    • Melvin

      I’m certainly not ready to believe Krall won’t trade Castillo and/or Mahle. I’m like several on here and don’t know if they even have a plan but instead play it by ear day to day according to what Big Bob had for dinner the night before or something. To me if they do sign Cueto that will signal a trade coming more than likely of at least one of the above mentioned. As for these thirty something free agents they like to sign, if it comes down to them playing or a young rising potential star we all know pretty much about what David Bell thinks about that. It’s almost like the “Powers That Be” of the Reds like to mess with the mind of their own fans. Mind boggling.

  21. LDS

    Just read Sheldon’s article quoting Bell & Krall. Do they really believe that the fan base is that stupid? Are we? A 34 year old player, on a 1 yr contract, who is primarily a 2nd baseman (although he has a few games at 3rd & SS). But he and Minor do not make the team better than last year – not even in a weird way.

  22. RedBB

    Solano is a solid pickup but why a 1-year deal if we are tanking this year? Maybe gives me hope they haven’t completely given up on 2022…..wishful thinking I know. Maybe they give Conforto the money they saved with Suarez, et al.

    • TheCoastMan

      If they think we have a chance of competing this year, then I want some of whatever they are smoking or drinking.

  23. RedsGettingBetter

    “long-term success” and “sustainability” is in accordance with acquiring two 34-year- old players for only this season?

  24. Kevin Patrick

    I wonder if Minor and Cueto were friends in KC…might be a bit of backdoor negotiations…”bring my buddy and I’ll come back to Cincy…” Frankly, I would take a rotation of Mahle, Castillo, Minor, Cueto, and somebody else the Reds already have. I tend to think we’ll see a lot of different starters this year regardless. I also expect there will be many bullpen days. What the Reds need most right now is a left fielder as long as Moose is healthy…and if he is healthy…and Senzel is healthy…and Shogo is healthy…I’m a lot more comfortable with how things could play out.

  25. Michael B. Green

    Don’t tell Bob or Nick that Stephenson is about 961 days away from arbitration eligibility. He’ll trade him for Wayne Krenchicki. No offense, Wayne.

    • wallyum

      The Chickster passed in 2018, so no offense taken. Still doesn’t rule out a trade.

  26. GreatRedLegsFan

    The starting rotation and infield, as it stands now, look deep enough. Not sure who’ll backup C Stephenson. Bullpen will be again a big question mark and OF looks really in trouble with many inconsistent and/or unproven players.

  27. Votto4life

    The Cubs have signed Seiya Suzuski. Looks like it will be the Reds and Pirates fighting it out for 4th place. Barring any substantial changes the Reds are looking at 70 wins or so in 2022.

    This front office drives me crazy. They trade some of their best players and get maybe 1 or 2 solid prospects. Then instead of extending Castillo or Mahle, with the savings, they go out and waste $8 million on a veteran pitcher who has had an ERA north of 5.00 the past couple of seasons.

    It’s truly as if the Red’s front office has decided they are going to make every mistake possible this off season. There doesn’t seem to be a plan at all. It changes day by day.

    “Sustainability” is Reds speak for no long term contracts, keep all contracts under $10 million a year and increase bobble head production.

  28. Bill

    In a weird way Bell is still the manager.Minor is no upgrade. It’s going to be long season for The Cincinnati Pirates. Thanks Bob your doing a great job in destroying this franchise. How long is it until the Bengals season begins? It can’t go soon enough

  29. GreatRedLegsFan

    The 2022 and 2023 seasons will be lost ones, 4th places at best. After Votto and Moustakas contracts become off the books, and Bell’s has also expired, then there should be room for improvement pairing with the younger players coming along.

  30. greenmtred

    On the bright side, think of all the time you guys will save by not watching baseball this season, inasmuch as you already know what will happen.

  31. James K

    When I try loading, I get this message:
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  32. Mark Moore

    Freeman in Dodger Blue. I’ll be on the lookout for the 4 Horsemen any day now.