It appears that the Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Albert Almora. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Sunday afternoon that the outfielder had a locker in the clubhouse. The team officially announced it as a minor league deal with an

No one has any contract details yet, but it would be beyond shocking if this were a big league deal. Albert Almora hit .115 last season in 54 plate appearances. In 2020 he hit .167 in 43 plate appearances. Back in 2019 he hit .236 in 363 plate appearances. That’s just not the profile of a guy who lands a big league deal. The 27-year-old is likely to be defensive depth in the minors (if he doesn’t have an opt-out clause that he takes if he doesn’t make the team). In 2021 in Triple-A Syracuse, playing in the Mets organization, he did hit .270/.331/.428 in 41 games played.

Cincinnati’s outfield situation is still a bit of a big question mark. On the 40-man roster the outfielders include Nick Senzel, Tyler Naquin, Max Schrock, Aristides Aquino, Shogo Akiyama, TJ Friedl, Jake Fraley, and Allan Cerda. There’s not much of a chance that Cerda, who has yet to play in Double-A is going to make the team. Everyone else, though, has a shot. But not a single one of them has ever played a full season worth of games in the outfield at the big league level. It sounds like both Senzel and Naquin have their spots mostly locked in, but who makes up the remainder of the outfield on the 26-man roster when the season begins remains very uncertain. It is worth noting, though, that Aristides Aquino is out of options, while everyone else is not.

Lucas Sims likely to miss opening day

Last week we learned that Lucas Sims was a little bit behind the other pitchers when he arrived in Goodyear. While he is pitching now, it doesn’t seem like he is going to be ready to start the season on time according to David Bell, via reporting from Bobby Nightengale.

This article was updated to include contract information on Albert Almora.

40 Responses

  1. Tom Mitsoff

    There won’t be enough roster spots for all of the platooning that is likely to be needed to maximize the offensive output of this team.

    If you could go with all of the names currently on the roster:

    vs. right
    1B: Votto
    2B: India
    SS: I’d give Barrero first shot to start, not Farmer
    3B: Moustakas
    C: Stephenson
    LF: Fraley
    CF: Naquin
    RF: Senzel (I would give him the chance to start everyday if healthy)
    DH: Schrock or Moran

    vs. left
    1B: Votto sometimes; someone else unknown when he needs a breather)
    2B: India
    SS: Farmer
    3B: Solano
    C: Stephenson
    LF: Aquino — short leash on him
    CF: Almora — same, needs to show something quite early offensively
    RF: Senzel
    DH: Barrero

    Interesting point after I completed this is that there is no spot for Akiyama. But he’ll be on the roster because they aren’t going to cut him and pay him to play for someone else. Fraley his two minor league options left, for what it’s worth.

    • MK

      Guess I do not understand why Barrero starts at short vs righties and not lefties. Seems to me you should want some continuity at that position especially. If you are trying to save Senzel from injury by moving him to a corner outfield spot why not DH him against lefties. Farmer has played some left field and Aquino right.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        They don’t have a righthanded hitting DH currently, so I moved Barrero there and Farmer in at SS.

    • Josh G

      I would definitely take Shogo over Almora….

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Based on what we know, playing Shogo against lefties is not a good idea.

    • MBS

      Barrero’s bat may or may not come around, time will tell. 1 thing that he does have is a glove, and he should never be the DH. Even if you split up SS between him and Farmer, put Barrero in the OF like they did last year. Personally I don’t care what position he plays anymore, just as long as he plays 140+ games.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        They don’t have a righthanded batting DH currently.

      • MBS

        To say this team has holes is an understatement. Saying that, i wouldn’t take a players best weapon away from him, and for Barrero right now it’s his glove. Stephenson would be my DH, or the backup catcher even.

      • MuddyCleats

        Agree w/ Stephenson as RHH DH. He can’t catch every day. Haven’t talked much about the back up catching position which is an oversight IMHO. Knapp was a high draft pick, but his ML career has yet to “catch up” to his draft position. Both he and Garcia starting hot w/ the bat

    • tim

      solano is a right handed hitting DH candidate.

  2. wkuchad

    Based on current roster construction, I love this. Maybe Senzel in CF vs RF, but overall agree. Stephenson probably needs to DH a couple of days a week to keep his bat in the lineup when he’s not catching.

    • wkuchad

      This was a reply to Tom’s post above.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Yes, agreed on Stephenson. He’ll need at least one day off per week. Same for Votto, but moving Moustakas to first against lefties doesn’t help to optimize offensive potential.

  3. Old-school

    Its looking Sims and Barrero wont be in the line up Opening day due to injuties with barrero wrist

    Senzel article says hes 100% and both krall and senzel say cf is the position he will play

    Barrero would seem is behind and no reason to hurry

    Get healthy play some rehab in AAA and let Farmer play every day in April.

    Things will sort themselves out.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    If Sims will not be available on opening day, my question is who would be the closer? Art Warren? Tony Santillán?

    • Votto4life

      The Reds most likely won’t be in the position of needing a closer on most days.

      Sims meets the definition of a closer for this team, but let’s face it, he probably wouldn’t be closing for most major league teams.

      I knew the fire sale was coming, but I am still sad about it.

      Eight days ago this team needed some help, but with a couple of key free agent signings or trades, the Reds would be challenging the Brewers and the Cardinals. I don’t recall a single
      week ever changing a team’s outlook so dramatically.

      Worst still, is for all of the talent that the Reds have given up this past week, the return has been very underwhelming.

      I really wish the Commissioner would step up in these situations where it is clear that a team is tanking. It’s not good for sport to alienate fans within one of the league’s market.

  5. Josh G

    If Almora is anywhere near the starting line up …

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Hey, no argument there. But what else do they have in terms of righthanded bats at the moment? We know their lefthanded hitting outfielders all have poor splits against lefties.

    • Votto4life

      I don’t think it hurts for Almora to be in the starting line up if Barrero is not ready to go. The Reds are clearly punting on this season and probably next. I agree with you though if Almora starts ahead of Barrero when healthy it would be almost criminal.

      • Josh G

        almora will not be in the major leagues.

  6. MBS

    Ok this is my everyday lineup / order with what we have.
    2B India
    1B Votto
    C Stephenson
    RF Naquin
    CF Senzel
    3B Moustakes
    SS Farmer
    DH Moran
    LF Barrero
    C Knapp
    U Solano
    U Lopez
    OF Fraley

    Solano platoons with Moustakes
    Lopez gives the middle infield days off
    Fraley rotates all 3 spots in the OF
    Knapp spells Stephenson

    • Tom Mitsoff

      If Barrero can handle OF defensively, then that might be a good option. DH is still a gaping hole.

      • MBS

        I was a never move Barrero guy, but I’ve come around for 2 reasons. 1) the Reds seem committed to keeping Farmer at SS. 2) McLain and De La Cruz will be up soon. So Farmer is more of a stop gap for one of these 2 guys to supplant.

      • Kap

        Another defense first guy. I have a feeling the Reds are trying to shed akiyama’s contract.

        My prediction: the Reds and Phillies sway him for Scott Kingery

      • Chris Holbert

        Reply to below posts. If people are not sure about Barrero, who has performed in the minors, then why are people so sure about McClain…who has barely even been in the minors

    • Bdh

      Fraley will start and play a lot hopefully. I think he is being slept on. He’s potentially a 20/20 guy in GABP.

      • Votto4life

        Yeah, It’s going to be nice having someone who can steal a base. I think knowing the Reds are not going to be in a position to contend for at least 3 or 4 years, they should fill the rosters with players like Farley. Fans will like his hustle, speed and occasional power. He is Ryan Freel with more pop. A good 4th outfielder on most teams but he will rightly start for Cincinnati.

    • Votto4life

      I am hoping TJ Friedl makes the team, but I think you have pretty much nailed it.

      Non-Reds related thoughts …the Minnesota Twins and the Seattle Mariners are going to be fun to watch this year.

      • Josh G

        I like Friedl a lot, if he hit right handed he’d have a spot

    • Josh G

      Fraley will be the Starting left fielder

      • MBS

        I like Fraley, but he’s the add on in the trade, not the centerpiece. He has potential, but he hasn’t put it together yet. We also have a lot of LH bats with this scenario listed above.

        I like balanced lineups, i don’t like a LH or RH heavy lineup. Baseball is 9 innings, most starters pitch 5 innings in todays game. That leaves 4 innings of who knows who you’ll face. A lineup of all LH or RH makes it easier on the other team to shut you down in the back half of the game.

  7. LDS

    The Reds front office continues to “impress”.

    • TR

      Especially when Almora’s recent batting averages hit you: .115 last season, .167 in 2020 and .236 in 2019. And the chase to replace Castellano in right field goes on.

      • stuckonthenorthshore

        Geno Adkins and Carlos Dunlop said they can replace Castellano

  8. Votto4life

    The most important story here is Lucas Sims

  9. Kap

    Another defense first guy. I have a feeling the Reds are trying to shed akiyama’s contract.

    My prediction: the Reds and Phillies sway him for Scott Kingery

  10. Jimbo44CN

    Rollin, rollin, rollin, keep those has beens rollin, keep those signings goin, rawhide!