The Cincinnati Reds activated outfielder Wil Myers from the injured list and his rehab stint with the Triple-A Louisville Bats on Tuesday afternoon. The team then designated him for assignment.

Wil Myers was signed in the offseason and was essentially THE MOVE of the offseason by the club. It ultimately turned out to be a move that simply didn’t work. After a slow start in 2022, Myers went on the injured list with San Diego and missed nearly two months. When he returned he hit much like was expected of him and was a better than league average bat. This year he also started out slowly. On May 23rd he was hitting just .189/.257/.284 with 48 strikeouts in 141 plate appearances. That would be his last game before going on the injured list with kidney stones, and then later he’d remain on the injured list as he dealt with shoulder soreness.

Cincinnati sent him on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Louisville on June 9th. He played in seven games there and didn’t hit any better than he had with the big league club, going 5-27 and posting a .185/.241/.296 line with the Bats.

The Reds had a roster crunch and with pretty much everyone in the big leagues that can play the outfield doing well, the front office had to make a decision between recalling Wil Myers to join the club and sending someone down who was playing well, trying to trade Myers, or designating him for assignment.

The team could have been trying to trade Myers and things just never came to fruition. That theory could hold a tiny bit of water given that they designated someone else for assignment just yesterday in order to activate Joey Votto when they could have just as easily designated Myers instead. At the same time, the team could have kept Myers on a rehab assignment beyond today if they wanted to and opted to instead just designated him for assignment now.

Cincinnati will owe Myers the rest of his $6,000,000 contract for 2023 and they will owe him a buyout of $1,500,000 for the 2024 season unless a team claims him on waivers or trades for him before the waiver claim period is up. Both of those things seem unlikely, which means the Reds are almost assuredly on the hook for the remaining money.

79 Responses

  1. Steve Schoenbaechler

    If we couldn’t pull a trade, this was an easy one to see coming.

    • Mac624

      And probably why we sold Kunhel to Houston to lessen the financial blow.

  2. Tampa Red

    They’re definitely going for it THIS year. Love it!

  3. Rut

    Out of character for this penny pinching FO, but I will take it as a positive sign that anyone can improve their decision making

    • Bill

      How is it out of character? They have DFA’d multiple large contracts

      • Rut

        Out of character in that the FO did not bring him back and ride to the deadline to see if he could get hot and improve value enough to even trade for a bag of balls.

      • BK

        @Rut, Akiyama and Moustakas were let go way earlier in the season. The Reds owed both much more than the less than $5M remaining owed to Myers.

      • Bill

        They got rid of Shogo and Moose before the season even started

    • Mark Moore

      Out of character because it was in the middle of our “we’re not in this at all” season as opposed to an offseason decision. Less money than 4M, but I didn’t expect it.

  4. CI3J

    This was a no-brainer. You can’t have washed-up vets taking ABs away from more deserving young players just because the vet is making more money.

    The Reds in the past year have eaten the contracts of M3, and now Myers. Hopefully they won’t be signing any more washed-up vets for a long, long time.

    Very encouraging that the young outfielders will be allowed to keep playing and gaining experience with an eye on competing in 2024. Now where’s CES?

    • Tampa Red

      They’re not trying to schedule being competitive, because trying to schedule being competitive isn’t like scheduling a vacation — it doesn’t work.

      Dropping Myers signals the games THIS year matter. Otherwise, they would have brought Myers back and attempt to salvage some trade value.

      The Reds FO has finally developed the same winning mentality as the players and I love it!!

  5. J

    Wow! All of a sudden this organization is acting like it wants to win games more than it wants to save face and/or be polite to everyone. I guess we saw a hint of this when they released Moose, but this seems more significant because Myers isn’t 50 pounds overweight.

    • Redsvol

      have you noticed how much weight Moose has lost? Shame that he couldn’t get into shape for the team that paid him all that $.

      • Melvin

        The poor guy didn’t look in shape running to third last night.

      • JayTheRed

        @Melvin Moose just has panda asthma give the poor guy a break.
        Reference – Kung Fu Panda 3 for those who don’t know and don’t have kids.

  6. Optimist

    I commented on the other thread – they should be able to get something in trade. They’ll have to eat the entire salary and option, but I suspect there’s more than a tiny bit of water to the actions of the past few days. A lottery pick A/rookie level, or some other team’s soon to be DFA’ed MiLB 40-man player. There’s enough history with Myers to warrant somebody giving him a free look for a few weeks before the deadline.

    Then again, Hosmer’s been available for about a month.

    • SR

      They really have half of his 2023 left at this point, plus the buy out so they had his early season output, albeit poor, and will flush far less than 7.5 million. Probably less than 20% of what they discarded with cutting loose the Moose. Easier economic decision.

  7. Jeff

    Best news I’ve heard today. This shows me that the Reds are committed to playing those who produce now, not those who produced in the past. The Reds are (rightly) committed to the young players who are showing they belong in the big leagues. Most of all, it shows that those in charge believe this team can win NOW.
    Sorry for Meyers–I’m sure being DFA’d is not a pleasant thing–but a winning roster being more important than the money left on Meyer’s contract makes this year a great time to be a Reds fan!

  8. wolfcycle

    This is needed, he just could not find his stroke with the reds and I hope he comes back and does well somewhere else, he always seemed like a good guy. This was a shot in the dark signing. Just did not work

  9. Thomas Atwood

    I was at his 2 HR game against the Phillies… the lone respectable game of his 37-game Reds career.

  10. Ghm08

    Question, say he clears waivers and becomes a free agent. Two or three teams are interested in having myers as a bench bat and bid his remaining service time up to say 1 million for the rest of the season. First question, would that 1 million be subtracted from what the Reds owe him for the remaining of the season? Second, if another team picked up after he clears waivers would the reds still owe him the 1.5 million dollar buyout. Just mildly curious

    • Optimist

      Trade rumors answers the second question – “Any new team that signs him would only be responsible for paying Myers the prorated league minimum for any time spent on the MLB roster. That sum would be subtracted from what Cincinnati owes him, but either way the Reds will be on the hook for the vast majority of his contract.”

      I believe that includes the Reds responsible for the buyout.

      Don’t know the answer to the first, but believe that would be refunded to the Reds, though if there is that level of interest another team would avoid some of the cost and make a trade with the Reds before the 7 day period ends.

      • Jim Walker

        If a team makes a trade for Myers the whole remaining contract is theirs to pay including the 2024 buyout. However part of the deal could be for the Reds to send “cash considerations” along with Myers. Presumably, this would be at least the buyout; I’d guess given that it is $1.5m.

        If somebody claims him on waivers the Reds are totally OFF the hook for all the remaining value in the contract, including the buyout.

        In the most likely case, that there is no trade and Myers clears waivers and is released, the Reds are ON the hook for the entire remaining contract amount including the buyout.

        Presuming Myers signs elsewhere after clearing waivers and being released, the Reds would get back the prorated minimum salary for the rest of the year but NOT the buyout.

        Myers official new contract with his new team would be for that minimum amount as salary. Any additional amount would be a signing bonus or as a (new) future option. The Reds would get ZERO rebate on the additional.

      • Optimist

        Thanks Jim – the last line is what I was looking for. Still think he may end up traded with the Reds paying everything and getting low level, lottery prospects/MiLB in return.

    • Bill

      The Reds owe everything except the pro rated league minimum. No one is bidding up anything- he gets paid his contract amount

      • Optimist

        But if he clears waivers (certainly) and goes untraded, he’s a FA, 3 weeks behind his old teammate E. Hosmer. Another team cannot “claim” him – they’d have to negotiate. Admittedly extremely unlikely, but what happens if the offer is more than what remains after pro-ration? Do the Cubs or Reds get a refund, or do the players get to essentially double-dip?

      • Jim Walker

        Optimist>>> See my explanation which posted above with your original comment. The short answer is all the Reds can get back once he is released is the prorated minimum for the remainder of the year.

        The Reds contract ended when he was released. But by rule a player must have a contract for the minimum salary to be to play for a team; and, a new contract is done with the new team. The Reds get the remaining minimum because they had already paid it to close out the original contract.

  11. Jason Franklin

    Could this mean that CES is on the way soon? Does his spot free up one for Encarnacion-Strand? What if we dropped a catcher and brought him up? This would be swell.

    • Bill

      It opens a 40 man slot, not a 26 man. Someone would have to be sent down or released off the current roster

      • Jim Walker

        Actually they need 2 spots on the 26 man roster to bring up CES because they are using one of their spots that would normally go to a pitcher for Votto; and, sooner rather than later they will need to go back to a full allotment of 13 pitchers.

        I agree with the speculation they are trying hard to turn a trade that would open a 26 man slot. However the rest of the teams know the situation and are trying to get the Reds to sell short because of it.

      • Votto4life

        It’s hard to make the case that one of the back up catchers or lesser bull pen pitchers is more valuable on the ML roster than CES.

  12. SultanofSwaff

    Astute decision, one that reinforces the youthful change of direction for the organization. Kudos!

    This move partially creates a pathway for CES, with the only remaining impediment being Nick Senzel. Both play 3b and outfield so one would think the better hitter would be the one to keep. We know Senzel is abysmal vs. RHP. CES on the other hand has an OPS over 1.000 vs. both handed pitching in a 200+ at-bat sample size in AAA. Hopefully the front office recognizes this too.

    • CI3J

      I would rather keep Senzel and trade Newman. They are essentially the same player, basically platoon utility bench bats, but Senzel is younger, faster, and plays better defense.

      Keep Senzel to be Fraley’s platoon partner. He’s also useful as a pinch runner, and can spot start at 3B and 2B occasionally.

      • David

        Senzel theoretically could play shortstop…in a pinch. He is an elite fielding third baseman.
        And yes, I would rather keep Senzel and trade Newman, just to open a roster spot for CES.

      • Mark Moore


        Now stop making sense 😀

      • WCRon

        If Senzel can stay healthy that makes sense. Unfortunately the dude is very injury prone

      • SultanofSwaff

        Please show me data that says Senzel is an elite defender….anywhere. I believe the better word is ‘average’.

      • Redsvol

        Senzel and Newman are absolutely not the same player. Senzel’s overall track record in the field and at the plate against RHP are not good. Newman plays passable defense at 4 infield positions, and I’m sure could play a corner outfield in emergency.

        Then there is also the inability to be available.

      • Redsvol

        and then that defense in the outfield…….not elite.

      • Mario

        Agree on keeping Senzel and trading Newman. On the question of Senzel’s defense, I think ESPN has him as negative defensive WAR this season. Even Larkin commented several times about his bad habit of bare handing balls at 3B. I don’t think he was given an error on these feeble attempts but probably should have been.

      • RedBB

        Why? Newman has had several key HR’s hits in this year and during the winning streak. Senzel had a nice HR last nice but that’s about it in the last 3 weeks.

      • RedBB

        Also Senzel isn’t any faster than Newman..both 28.0 according to stat cast sprint speed.

  13. Melvin

    Only thing to do if they want to win. Looks like they do. Bring on Chapman and bring up CES. Let’s win.

    • Jason Franklin

      The couple times I have seen Chapman he has looked erratic. I know he’s hitting some old timey speeds on his FB, but what if the Reds still have a negative on him due to the reason they traded him in the first place?

      • JayTheRed

        Was reading somewhere that Chapman’s last 11 outings he has an ERA of around 1.60 or something like that.

    • Doc

      Rarely is there “an only thing they can do” to win. There are always multiple options.

      • Melvin

        Yes but those are the ones I like most. 🙂

  14. JB

    I’ll be the first to say I didn’t have good things to say about the Castellini’s. Letting Myers go was a no brainer but they owed him a ton. Shogo,Moose and now Myers. Got to handed it to them, that’s a lot of money to send walking. The door has been opened and this team is being run a lot different. Young players and drafting is what this team will do. Tip of the cap to the front office.

    • Redgoggles

      Before giving owners too much credit, keep in mind the owners also did NOT spend much at all this past offseason, and the payroll is dramatically less than last year.

      They do deserve credit for this move, but they are still WAY ahead on the payroll side of the ledger.

      • Votto4life

        Nick Krall deserves a great deal of credit but wasting $17.5 million dollars on Mike Minor and Wil Myers were major fails. Just think if the Reds had an extra $17.5 million dollars to spend right now. Overall though, he has done a good job.

      • Doc

        Had they spent a lot, we would likely not have seen so many young guys brought up. Just perhaps Krall convinced management not to spend so they would be in position to promote, get younger, and get more enthusiastic. This team has been totally transformed in less than a year, and David Bell has transitioned as a manager.

      • JB

        That’s true but they could also be waiting for The Big contracts to go away. I’ve said before I’ll wait to pass judgement until this off season. They will have a lot of money to spend. Whether they do remains to be seen.

  15. docproc

    I hope CES is given Myers’ spot on the 40-man and is the next man up. He may have to wait for an injury, but he would likely come up no matter if the injury is to an infielder, outfielder, or even a catcher. Just shuffle players around or go with two catchers.

    Not meaning to be glib about injuries, but they’re pretty much inevitable. Glad we have a masher in queue.

    • Jason Franklin

      Now they just have to drop Maile, and presto, problem is solved. Bring up the man. (looks at his pile of CES baseball cards… not that I have an underlying reason I want him up!) 🙂

      • Kevin Patrick

        I don’t know what it is about Maile, but I think I’d be more inclined to take the risk of keeping him and allowing Casali (whom I think is fantastic) to stick somewhere else. I wonder whether the Padres might be interested in a catcher. I know we Reds fans are completely committed to Stephenson, but I have to wonder what he might return.

  16. David

    Sorry that Myers did not work out better for the Reds, but from watching him and his approach (and plenty of teams have a scouting report on him), I don’t think he can hit ML pitching (or even AAA level pitching). His bat “quickness” is gone.
    It was hoped he would be this year’s Brandon Drury.
    I think the Reds did the right thing by the team, organization and the fans. Sorry, but time caught up with Wil Myers sooner than others.


    On the bright side, the Reds may get something of their money’s worth from Joey Votto for the rest of the 2023 season….and to me, that’s much more important. Joey Votto is kind of a heroic figure to the Reds and their fans. I hope this season ends up being a real blast for him. He played over shoulder pain for years, and it finally became unbearable last season.

    And I expect a few more “moves” in the coming week or so. With the open spot on the 40 man, the OBVIOUS move is to add CES to the 40 man roster. Let’s see what happens in the next 48 hours.

  17. CFD3000

    It’s disappointing that Myers was never close to his best for the Reds, but this did seem like a no-brainer. First – the money was already spent either way. Second – even though the major league roster isn’t full of “proper” outfielders he was way down the depth chart. Third – he hasn’t been integral to this team in the way Votto apparently has, and Myers would have been a much bigger risk relative to team chemistry than Votto. This was the right call, but I hope Myers catches on with another MLB team and catches fire. In the meantime, Go Reds!

  18. Mark Moore

    I gave in to the need to scrape the 40-man data off the website and put it in a spreadsheet. That way, I don’t have to keep counting on the page and losing my place … 😛

    1 open spot on the 40-man it is. Still 3 catchers on the 26-man, so I have to think that’s going to play into the next move.

    Hope Wil finds his stroke, but a hearty +50,000 to Bull Krall for making this happen. Color me shocked, but maybe the PhilBob Monster realizes they couldn’t just continue sitting on their wallets.

    • David

      Ya’ know, the Reds TOP MEN went out on a bit of limb in signing Myers last year. He didn’t come in with the greatest pedigree….at this point in his career.
      I don’t think the Castellini’s did all they could in the off season, but the team (and the overall weakness of the NL Central) has pushed the Reds into contention, believe it …or NOT!! And yes, I know we all know what the standings are….
      Just remember that there are actually six teams in the NL with better win/loss records than the Reds (and they play one of them this weekend).

      So the Castellinis either look like the Cleveland Indians owner in “Major League”, or they do a few things to make the team better. I know everyone is clamoring for another good starter, but nobody is parting with starting pitching quite yet, unless you really want to over pay for mediocrity.
      As Bob Howsam said when they traded a bunch of young talent for Tom Seaver, you can’t buy coal with ashes.

      • Mark Moore


        I’ve said elsewhere that pitching will be a top target for pretty much all the contenders. Trolley Dodgers have already stated that and they’ve got more money than they know what to do with 😮

        I still view the PhilBob show similar to the owner in “Major League” … but without the charm or potential to look good on the carboard cutout in the clubhouse.

  19. Redsvol

    This was the one reasonable move. I’m sure it hurts the front office to designate someone with a decent MLB track record and not get any value in return though. I wish Myers had put up some decent stats before this point so he would have had some value.

    Hindsight is always 20/20. I hope this doesn’t hurt Krall’s ability to convince ownership to add $ this off-season.

  20. GreatRedLegsFan

    So, next move is to activate Ashcraft and DFA Weaver. Following this one is to activate Greene and option Duarte, maybe. Then, select CES and trade Newman.

  21. Krozley

    His 40 man roster spot will probably be taken by Santillan, who is about done with his rehab assignment. Still have to demote a position player by the 27th when they will need a pitcher in Greene’s spot as I don’t see them sticking with 12 pitchers for very long.

    • Jim Walker

      “I don’t see them sticking with 12 pitchers for very long”.

      Exactly. They need 1 spot for the 13th pitcher and 1 for CES (or whoever else on the position side).

      What they do have now is an open 40 man as Mark said above. Maybe Myers’ departure was to open a 40 man spot for an anticipated arrival who needs a 40 man but will be assigned to the minors on option???

      • Krozley

        Which could be Tony Santillan, who is not counting towards the 40-man right now, but needs to be activated soon from his 60 day IL rehab stint. Maybe he stays in Louisville after that, but will still need a 40-mans spot.

  22. Redsvol

    Something that probably helped make the decision, attendance at home games has been better. Last nights official attendance of 20,344 was much better than a normal Monday evening game at GABP. Monday’s May 22nd game against the Cardinals (before most of the call-ups) attendance was 9,194. And probably half of those were Cardinals fans.

    An extra 10,000 folks in GABP pays a lot of those $ walking out with Wil Myers designation. And it will also pay for some new trade deadline salary! Lets get out and support our Redlegs by going to the park, buying new gear, or buying the MLB TV package.

  23. Hanawi

    Would behoove the Reds to find a trade partner even if they have to pay the remainder of his salary to do it. They are going to pay it anyway. Maybe an A ball player with some projection would be worth it for a team to jump the line for Myers?

  24. Harry Stoner

    The Winter signing of Myers signalled a (relative) confidence in the SP and the feeling that the offense needed bolstering.

    I think a lot of folks are surprised things turned out to be the opposite.

    The cynic in me also read this as management wanting to appear to be doing something after the Disaster of 2022.

    I doubt I’m alone in wondering / second-guessing what if the Myers $$Ms had gone to a SP.

    Of course, such speculation is pointless.

    I admit I’m surprised and pleased that they made this move.

    Of course it’s “obvious” in respect to how folks are performing, but that’s some moolah to walk away from.

    Krall has made some good moves. Minor and Myers haven’t been among them.

    Working our way through a very interesting week.

    There’s more to come.

  25. RedBB

    Like the move as it tells me the Reds are willing to cut already “paid” players to keep or make room for the young guns. Also potentially increases the chances we see CES this year. If the Reds can move Maile before the Deadline and move Tyler back to C for the majority of the time then that could allow CES to slide into the DH spot.

    • Votto4life

      I would rather keep Luke Maile. Curt Casali is 34 year old. Sign him as a bullpen coach in the off-season, but hang on to Maile.

  26. Rcsodak

    Maybe that’ll learn em for dumpster diving?

  27. Jim Delaney

    Myers DFA provides needed roster spot for a pitcher (Santillan, or eventually Lodolo or Phillips), all who would have to be added to the 40 man to be activated to the roster.
    I think they will switch back to 13 pitchers soon but Legumina could be sent down and replaced by Busenitz or another pitcher tomorrow to have an extra arm ready.
    In regards to bringing up CES, two roster moves would need to be made to call him up. One could be trading someone like Senzel or dropping down to two catchers. Barring injury, I think they likely stick with 3 catchers. I think Senzel definitely could be moved even though he does hit LH very well. I think Newman will likely be kept around as a veteran who plays the game the right way and also hits LH’s very well.

    To make a run at the division title and playoffs, adding pitching both starting and
    relief is needed. I would be talking to the White Sox about Lance Lynn, I know he has pitched poorly so far this season and has a large contract but he is a strike out pitcher and veteran. Due to his performance, age and contract he may cost minimal return versus other pitchers that could become available.