The Cincinnati Reds have signed free agent pitcher Alec Mills to a minor league contract. This is the second free agent signing the team has made of a former big league pitcher in the last week – the team signed Brett Kennedy away from the Long Island Ducks and already has him in the rotation with Triple-A Louisville.
With injuries, releases, and ineffectiveness the already shallow pool of pitching that the Cincinnati Reds had when the season began has just gotten worse. We wrote about that earlier today in the Reds Notebook, and it seems that we weren’t the only ones who noticed it as the club was out looking to made at least one other addition.
Alec Mills, unlike Brett Kennedy, was not pitching anywhere this season. Last year the right-handed pitcher began the season in Triple-A with the Cubs on a rehab assignment after missing the first six weeks of the season with a quad strain. He was activated and called up in early June to join the team in the big leagues, pitching in long relief out of the bullpen for the next month. He got out to a solid start, allowing four runs in 9.0 innings in his first three games, but then the wheels fell off and he allowed 15 runs in the next four games covering 8.2 innings. That led to a stint on the injured list with a lower back strain. The right-handed reliever never returned from the injured list. Following the season he was outrighted off of the Cubs 40-man roster and elected to become a free agent.
The 31-year-old has spent parts of six seasons in the big leagues, but only twice has it been a full season. In 2020 he made 11 starts for the Cubs and posted a 4.48 ERA. The next season he made 20 starts and 12 more relief appearances with Chicago, throwing 119.0 innings and posting a 5.07 ERA. For his career he’s posted a 4.95 ERA in 256.1 innings in Major League Baseball.