The Cincinnati Reds have signed free agent infielder Colin Moran. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic was the first to report that he was in the Reds clubhouse and had a locker set up. Moran signed a 1-year deal with the club and he will get $1M as first reported by Mark Sheldon of Reds.com
After getting cups of coffee with the Houston Astros in 2016 and 2017 where he played in a combined 16 games, Colin Moran was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 5-player deal that saw Gerrit Cole head to Houston. In his four seasons with the Pirates he played in 444 games and hit .269/.331/.419 with 71 doubles, 2 triples, 44 home runs, 124 walks, and 338 strikeouts.
The left-handed hitter has hit right-handed pitching much better than left-handed pitching throughout his career. He’s posted a .223/.284/.341 line against lefties over the past three seasons. Against righties he’s hit .277/.339/.447. That’s not exactly a stellar line, but it’s not bad, either. Just don’t put him in the lineup against left-handed pitchers.
The question of where he plays does come into question, though. The 29-year-old has mostly played first base over the last two seasons – only playing third base for a total of 36.0 innings since the start of 2020. He’s not going to be playing first base in Cincinnati. And at third base he’s probably not starting over Mike Moustakas or Donovan Solano. It’s possible he could be in the designated hitter mix – but again, only against right-handed pitching given his splits.
The move puts Cincinnati’s 40-man roster up to 39 players. It’s been a wild week so far as the team has been making trades and signings nearly every day since Sunday. After jettisoning Sonny Gray, Eugenio Suárez, Jesse Winker, and Amir Garrett the team has added Donovan Solano, Mike Minor, and now Colin Moran. One spot is still out there for the taking if a non-roster invitee to spring training wins a spot, but the team can also create another spot if needed by placing Tejay Antone on the 60-day injured list when it becomes available as he will miss the entire year after having Tommy John surgery.