The Cincinnati Reds have signed right-handed pitcher Derek Law. The 32-year-old is coming back to the Reds on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

In the 2022 season Derek Law saw action in 17 games in the Major Leagues with the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds. He’s seen action in every big league season since 2016 except for the 2020 season.

Law’s season began with the Tigers in April in Triple-A. He posted a 3.23 ERA with Toledo in 33 games, and allowed a run in 2.0 innings with Detroit after the All-Star break before he was then designated for assignment. After clearing waivers he was outrighted to the minor leagues and elected free agency. Cincinnati quickly came in and signed him.

After making six appearances in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats (1 run in 8.1 innings) before calling him up to the big leagues at the end of August. He only allowed one run in his first 11 outings that covered 14.0 innings, but on September 26th against the Cubs he allowed four runs in 0.1 innings. He didn’t quite recover as he then allowed three runs over the next three outings. In total he’s ERA was 4.12 on the season in 19.2 innings in the Majors while allowing 23 hits, walking eight, and striking out 17 batters.

With the signing of Law, the Reds are now up to 61 players in big league camp. Everyone on the 40-man roster is automatically invited, but there are now 21 players on minor league deals that will be joining them.

  • Andrew Abbott – LHP
  • Silvino Bracho – RHP
  • Alan Busenitz – RHP
  • Daniel Duarte – RHP
  • Tayron Guerrero – RHP
  • Kevin Herget – RHP
  • Derek Law – RHP
  • Ben Lively – RHP
  • Connor Phillips – RHP
  • Jared Solomon – RHP
  • Alex Young – LHP
  • Jhonny Pereda – C
  • Chuckie Robinson – C
  • Austin Romine – C
  • Christian Encarnacion-Strand – 3B
  • Richie Martin – SS
  • Alex McGarry – 1B/OF
  • Matt McLain – SS
  • Matt Reynolds – INF
  • Allan Cerda – OF
  • Henry Ramos – OF

30 Responses

  1. Bdh

    In my opinion there’s 1 spot in the bullpen up for grabs

    4 taken from last years group
    Gibaut (out of options)

    3 returning from injury

    I think that spot would go to either Cessa or Weaver unless they both start in the rotation. If that’s the case then I’d guess it would come down to the following 6

    Cruz (40 man)
    Kuhnel (40 man)
    Legumina (40 man)

    If it’s any of the NRI’s they could just take Gutierrez’s spot on the 40 man roster when he’s transferred to the 60 day IL right?

    • AllTheHype

      Good list.

      1 or 2 of the 3 returning from injury will likely not be on OD roster, just due to nature of pitchers returning from injury.

    • Optimist

      I expect the Farmer and Gibaut spots are also in the “up for grabs” category, perhaps even SanMartin if there’s and sort of LHP competition.

      Also, Cessa needs to be in the pen, so that may eliminate one of the competition spots.

      All the rest, and all the late invitees/MiLB/waiver claims, join in the sorting.

      • MK

        Got to believe the $1.75 million guaranteed contract Farmer signed during this offseason pretty much guarantees his spot over guys on a minor league non-guaranteed contract.

      • MBS

        @Optimist, SanMartin was one of the only effective relievers we had, and he’s a Lefty. His spot isn’t as secure as Diaz’s, but I can’t see anyone else with a more secure spot in the pen.

      • Optimist

        @MBS – true enough about SanMartin’s spot as of today. Clearly, he benefits as a LHP, but there’s a slim chance they bring in some other LHPs, hence the competition comment. Right now, he doesn’t have any competition for the spot – which, of course, is a problem with the organization at the MLB level. Ideally, he’d be the last bullpen spot, and a borderline choice over one or two others. It’s the Reds, so there really haven’t been one or two others for a few years now.

      • MBS

        @Optimist, Sadly the Reds didn’t choose to invest in the pen, or any other part of the 23 team. They did sign another lefty to a minor league deal, Alex Young. Doug has him listed as a RHP above in the article, but I double checked and saw a photo of him pitching, he’s a lefty. Still I doubt he’ll be breaking with the team out of spring. Then you have Williamson, and Abbott. If they are smart, they’ll keep developing both as starters as we will likely need several options for starters this year.

      • Optimist

        @MBS – yes, that’s the LHP bullpen competition list so far. IIRC The Cardinals have a long history of introducing their pitching prospects into a full season MLB thru the pen. Someday the Reds may get there, but this is not the time – need to keep the LH starting prospects as AAA starters, then perhaps late season callups.

      • 2020ball

        @MBS Im not sure he had as good a year as you think (4.81 ERA/1.66 WHIP), though he was more effective over his last month. Hopefully he shows better consistency this year.

      • 2020ball

        nvm, I just saw the comment below that his numbers were better as a reliever. I was just then wondering if him spot starting affected his relief numbers before reading that.

      • MK

        Though Doug has him listed as a RHO above Alex Young is a lefty and I think he has a very good shot to be the second lefty in the pen. He and Law probably have the best chances of the non roster guys.

    • MBS

      Am I the only one who doesn’t like Gibaut? Can someone tell me why he’s breaks with the team out of spring? 2 caveats, no “Options” or “Injuries” arguments.

      • MK

        MBS I really was not that impressed with him. I think he has one of those body-types that is going to look out of shape even when it is in shape. I think if there is a 40-man spot in jeopardy it is his. I liked Law better.

      • JB

        I like Law as well. I can see the argument for Gibault . He has good velocity and stuff. One other thing I like about him is he gets irritated with himself and shows it when he gives up a hit. I like that fire. I don’t think our bullpen will be as bad as that train wreck last year. All depends on Bell and if knows how to use it

      • 2020ball

        I doubt Law is that much better, so I’d prefer the guy with a ML contract get first crack and if it doesn’t work out the guy on a minors contract takes his place at a later date.

  2. MK

    Doug, isn’t it true that Sanmartin’s stats were pretty good as a reliever and the poor numbers were a result of being a starter?

    • Doug Gray

      As a reliever Sanmartin had a 2.96 ERA in 45.2 innings and held opponents to a .694 OPS.

      As a starter Sanmartin had an ERA of 19.85 in 11.1 innings and opponents had a 1.294 OPS against him (with more walks than strikeouts and as many homers as he allowed as a reliever).

      • Harry Stoner

        In 2021 Sanmartin had a couple of stellar starts…against Pittsburgh in what might be considered lower pressure situations.

        His month of April was appalling but for one start against LA…5 shutout innings.

        But the whole ballclub was appalling in April and May.

        What effect might that have had on a young pitcher?

        Sanmartin settled down in the bullpen when he returned from AAA but I’m disappointed he likely won’t get another shot at starting.

        Of course the Reds need a lefty out of the bullpen desperately and he did pretty well.

        The SP prospects look pretty promising. That train might have left the station for Sanmartin.

        The fact that he was the throw in on the Sonny Gray trade only makes me pull harder for him.

        Takes a tad of the sting out of the Chapman trade with the Evil Empire.

  3. redfanorbust

    I always think how difficult it must be for managers to evaluate so many players vying for a roster spot with so little time/at bats in spring training. Also not sure how fair it is for players, who must be under a great deal of stress to perform, again with such a small sample size. Especially for teams like the Reds who need to try out in quantity hoping to find a diamond in the rough. Glad they have at least some double headers sprinkled throughout spring training.

    • Doug Gray

      That’s why you should almost never make your decisions for your roster based on spring training “performance”. The only exceptions are for when there’s a clear change in on-field ability – like when Tejay Antone came out throwing 5 MPH harder than he was throwing the previous season.

      • JB

        You mean like Garcia last spring who was hitting homers and my favorite of all time Brandon Boesch who hit about .600 one spring and everybody was going nuts about him.

      • David

        In fairness to Aramis Garcia, he did have a good Spring, and then David Bell didn’t play him for weeks. When he finally did, Garcia struggled hitting, and then got his finger hurt and was on the DL, as I recall.

        Yeah, Brandon Boesch was a perennial AAAA player. Pretty good for AAA, but never really made it at the Big League Level.

        Conversely, if somebody is lousy in Spring Training when he has to make a good showing, what does that tell you?
        Barry Larkin, who actually is in the Hall of Fame, was usually a lousy hitter in the Spring. Good thing that early on, when it mattered in his career, he did hit ok in Spring Training.

      • Doug Gray

        Unless there’s a change in skillset, then someone performing lousy means nothing to me. 42 at-bats in March should not mean anything when you’ve got years and years of in-season performance to look at and know what kind of player they are.

      • Old Big Ed

        ST stats don’t mean much for 95% of the players, but teams can make solid comparative evaluations of pitchers from things like bullpens, simulated games, and back-field games. They can tell how fluidly the guy is throwing, see any improvements in one pitch that a pitcher has been working on, get feedback from the bullpen catchers, determine any changes in spin rate, etc. Some pitchers may have lost weight or gained some needed strength in their legs, for example.

        It is fair to say that spring training stats do not mean much, but it spring training itself means a lot, aside from the games themselves.

        As for hitters, this will be a great year to go to Goodyear, because the top of the organization has far more athleticism that the Reds have had in years. EDLC (the best Reds athlete since Eric Davis), Marte, Arroyo and other minor leaguers will get plenty of game time, and I think it will be obvious by the end of spring that EDLC is already the best player in the organization, even if he may need about 200 at-bats in AAA.

        A full, traditional spring training is going to be good for the Reds and likely every team, for injury purposes.

    • Rednat

      good point. i feel that is a big reason we get off to such poor starts. IT’s like March is for sorting things out then april is the start of spring training for us

      • MK

        It is really no difference for every other team, and they all don’t get off to poor starts. The ST approach I have always felt was lacking with the Reds is hitting. It seems the whole organization from mlb to Class A seems to get off to a poor hitting start. Last season was the first time zi can remember in a number of years that z dragons hitters looked ready to go on Day 1.

  4. Jim Walker

    I did a double or even triple take when I saw the Reds official tweet announcing the Law signing because in the picture they used Law looked like a facial doppelganger of Aaron Harang.

    Too bad he won’t be mistaken for a pitching double of the 2006-07 vintage Harang.