The Cincinnati Reds are bringing back another pitchers who was with the club in the past. Connor Overton, who underwent Tommy John surgery in May of 2023 and has pitched 44.0 innings for the Reds in the previous two seasons but was outrighted after the end of the season and became a free agent, has signed a minor league deal with the team for 2024 according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America.

In 2022, Connor Overton found some success with the Reds as he posted a 2.73 ERA in six games. He made four starts and pitched in relief twice, throwing 33.0 innings and allowing just one home run. The peripheral stats weren’t ideal as he walked 11 batters – a solid rate – to go with just 14 strikeouts – a very low rate.

In 2023 he was with the big league club from the start. He struggled in his season debut, giving up five runs in 4.0 innings against the Cubs. His next two starts came against the Philadelphia Phillies and he struggled in those two games as well. In Philadelphia he allowed four runs in 4.0 innings. Five days later he faced the Phillies in Cincinnati and gave up five runs in 3.0 innings. That would turn out to be his final game of the year as he then went on the injured list and a little more than a month later would undergo Tommy John surgery.

With a typical recovery from Tommy John surgery being 12-16 months, don’t expect to see Connor Overton in spring training participating in games. But it is possible, though not guaranteed, that he could be able to get back on the mound in games – whether that is in the minor leagues or the big leagues – before the end of the first half of the 2024 season.

44 Responses

  1. BK

    It’s likely a sign that the Reds believe his surgery went well and that rehab is progressing nicely. Even if he can pitch for Louisville in the back half of the season, it would be a plus.

    I would also like to see the Reds sign Mahle to a 2-year big-league contract. Trent Rosencrans reported that Mahle lives near Goodyear, so there’s a potential fit. Giving him a 40-man roster spot over the offseason is a slight cost aside from the contract itself, but with so many outfielders currently on the roster, it’s affordable.

    • MK

      Sounds like Overton and Sanmartin are going to get to know each other and the rehab pitching coach much better in Goodyear next summer.

    • Optimist

      Mahle would be a very interesting signing. Load up on the ip incentives, and even a 3 year deal with opt-outs, and it might work. He’s a proven mid-rotation, effective innings eater. Lower AAV but with the opt-out may work.

      • Jason Franklin

        This is really a smart idea. With how injuries can occur, it would be pretty great to have someone like Mahle there mid-season. I assume that is his ETA?

      • PTBNL

        Maybe but he hated pitching at the GASP.

      • Tom

        I’d go all in on Shane Bieber and he’s a bargain at 12.2 million, he’d slide into the #1 ahead of Greene, then Lodolo…

    • Stock

      A Mahle and/or Woodruff signing would be great.

      • Greenfield Red

        I guess one way to avoid your pitchers from getting injured would be to sign a bunch of pitchers who are already injured. Why didn’t I think of that. Brilliant.

    • Grand Salami

      Mahle costs no prospects and has legit potential. They should bring him back, if possible.

      It makes their need to a top end guy very much a one year thing. And that’s fine.

    • greenmtred

      Remember that Mahle did poorly at GABP.

      • Pete

        Yes, unfortunately it’s not a good fit.

      • 2020ball

        He still improves the roster, thats pretty much all that matters to me. One of the younger guys might pitch just as effectively sure, but now they have two of those players instead of just the one.

      • greenmtred

        I see your point, but Mahle would take one of the 13 roster spots allotted to pitchers: why sign a guy who would only be effective on the road? Maybe he would do better at GABP this time around, but how would anybody know unless the commitment was made?

      • 2020ball

        Hes an improvement on one if those 13 spots as things stand, and thats literally all that matters to me. Of course, id prefer a larger signing for the rotation, but id have no problem with Mahle as depth.

        A lot of the guys they used last year werent very good in GABP either. I personally dont like the micro-analyzation that a lot of the Reds fans do over the ballpark effects, i just want good pitchers. The park effects will work themselves out.

  2. LDS

    You had low expectations of his performance before the last TJ. I doubt that expectations are any higher now. He’ll be 31 before he ever pitches again.

  3. DaveCT

    I hope he’s not viewed as a starter if/when he pitches again. His career high in innings pitched is 88, in 2021, split between two minor league teams and three major league teams. His other highs for IP are 47 in 2018 and 59 for us in 2022.

    That said, I do like what he could bring to the bullpen as a ground ball guy (40.9% vs. 24.9% fly ball, a ratio of 0.69. He just doesn’t have the durability to start.

  4. JC

    Agree with BK on signing Mahle. That would be some quality depth if he is recovering well. Cueto on a minor league deal but assume someone like the Pirates, Nats, Royals or Tigers will sign him.

  5. JayTheRed

    Not excited, not impressed with adding him back. I thought Krall said they were not going to do deals like this, this year.

    This pick up is basically not worth anything. The guy probably will help the AAA team late next season. If he makes it to the big-league team in 24′ The reds have some major problems.

    • Doug Gray

      Helping the Triple-A team next season has value. And every team in baseball does stuff just like this.

    • Greenfield Red

      They had 3 available spots on the 40 man. In years past those 3 spots would have been filled with Rule 5 picks and from 15 or 20 guys signed to minor league deals. This year 2 of the three have already been filled with major league free agents. I suspect the third will be as well. That is a big change.

    • 2020ball

      Confused why some fans think every signing needs to be some flashy hot stove fodder, especially if theyre scouring the news wire for tidbits as it is. Turn off ESPN, itll do ya some good.

      • JayTheRed

        If you are referring to me, I don’t expect every move or even most moves to be flashy as you say 2020ball. I just feel like Overton really doesn’t have much to offer. It’s not hurting the team at all. It’s a minor league deal no harm, unless he is making the team.

        If I were to guess I am thinking the Reds have around 20 to 25 or so million left to play with. If they are planning to go over 100 million then maybe more. As I have said in past posts here, I am expecting the payroll to land between 90 to 100 million.

        Trades may change the amount the Reds have remaining to spend. This team doesn’t have a lot of high payroll players, left that they could trade.

        Unfortunately, the team is paying several players still to not even play for them anymore. Really, I am hoping for a good right-handed batter for the outfield. Then maybe 1 more reliever and maybe a frontline starting pitcher.

      • 2020ball

        “Its not hurting the team at all.”

        Yup, thats exactly my point.

  6. Kevin Patrick

    Overton has already written and contributed to the story of the Reds. It’ll be interesting to see should he remain part of the story. One of the reasons I follow the Reds so closely are the abundance of stories like his that I find compelling… My dad once told me that …”baseball is a soap opera for men…” He goes on to say that “you can miss a few weeks or even months…tune in again…and not that much has changed”. This Overton stuff just validates his point.

    • Votto4life

      Kevin, your father was a wise man.

    • Rednat

      Beautiful comment. As an old reds fan I was spoiled by the great reds teams in the 60s through the 90s. But the last 20 years not so much. But you are so right, the sentimental stories are what keep me attached to the game now!

      • Kevin Patrick

        Thanks guys…I texted my dad a screenshot of your comments.

  7. Ron

    There’s a decent chance the Reds may go after a starting pitcher to add to the rotation. They could make a trade for one or they could go the free agent route. Here’s a list of the pitchers whose names have been mentioned the most. The first 3 are said to be on the trading block. The last 3 are free agents. The stats are from each pitcher’s last 5 starts.

    1 Dylan Cease – 28 ip, 9 runs, 8 bb, 38 k
    2 Shane Bieber – 27 ip, 13 runs, 7 bb, 30 k
    3 Tyler Glasnow – 25 ip, 17 runs, 14 bb, 36 k
    4 Michael Wacha – 27 ip, 14 runs, 8 bb, 28 k
    5 E. Rodriguez – 28 ip, 13 runs, 15 bb, 20 k
    6 Lucas Giolito – 27 ip, 15 runs, 13 bb, 36 k

    Any of these 6 would help the Reds. It comes down to what it would cost (money wise or player wise). It will be interesting to see what the Reds do.

    If you could choose one of the pitchers above, who would you want the most? I couldn’t decide.

    • SR

      I would be curious about Wade Miley. I know he has spent time on the DL but when he is healthy, he still gets people out and goes deeper than 5 innings. Plus he is likely cheaper than the others above and costs no prospects. finally, he is a proven veteran who knows how to pitch. Abbott, lodolo, and Williamson would all benefit from his wisdom.

      • Votto4life

        Sounds like Miley is finalizing a contract with the Brewers.

      • TR

        Wade Miley has been around a longtime as a member of eight teams, and at age 37 he still has something to offer.

    • Votto4life

      I am OK with anyone on the list. All things being equally, . I would choose Cease. But, he is going to cost a lot in terms of prospects. I have a feeling it will be Bieber. Which is fine. He won’t cost as much in prospects/money.

      As long as the Reds improve their rotation, I will be happy.

    • Optimist

      Oh my – just looking thru trade simulator and believe that India and Glasnow have roughly equal values – a 3-team deal with the Mariners would hit all 3 teams needs, if the M’s trade a young pitcher to the Rays. Most of the young SPs, though, have much higher value, so there would need to be additions from the Reds and Rays.

      Just heating up the stove.

      • Doug Gray

        The Trade Simulator is absolute garbage. It says the Reds should be able to trade Fernando Cruz and Victor Acosta for Juan Soto.

      • Optimist

        True enough Doug, but the important point is the 3-teams have complimentary needs. Still don’t want to move India, but the SP need is the big one yet unmet.

  8. Votto4life

    According to MLB.com Otani has received multiple offers over $500,000,000.

    • Jason Franklin

      Not a surpise at all. I think we have to look at just how much dough that man will bring to any team in terms of advertising dollars, tickets sold and more. Just insane. Also, you automatically gain a great grasp on the Japanese fanbase, too.

      I wouldn’t be suprised if he doesn’t get a $600,000,000 or more contract.

      • Harry Stoner

        What would his agent’s percentage fee be on a contract like that?

    • MBS

      I’ll believe it when I see it. $500M is stupid money for anyone. I could see it a bit more if the arm was healthy, but without that, he’s a great DH.

    • JayTheRed

      I saw this too and shook my head. Contracts are getting so out of hand. I know he has a great track record but honestly, he needs to prove he can be healthy enough to earn that large contract.

      If you take 500,000,000 and figure out how long it would take the Reds to spend that as a whole, it will come to around 6.25 years before the entire Reds team payroll as assuming they spend 82 million each year. That is just nuts. Baseball is broken. Rich team with large markets can just spend whatever. Look at LA, NYY, NYM, hell even Toronto is spending over 200 million a year now. Baseball shouldn’t be looking at expanding teams it should be looking at retracting team that can’t support at least 120 million payrolls with today’s asking prices.

      I know Ohtoni is a superstar player, but the prices have just gone too far.

      • Kevin Patrick

        Years ago, before the Expos had settled on Washington for their new digs…I had wished that when the Expos moved…that it would be right across the street from Yankee stadium with a neon light that kept blinking “Expos” …shining into Cashman’s office. The Mets new owner may need two neighbors…next to Citi Field…The Rays AND the Marlins. Move both the Yankees and Red Sox to the Bronx. The Bronx sox if you will… They could be cross town rivals. The Dodgers should be mandated to move to Vegas…and the Mariners should move in to where Dodger stadium is. The Padres can move across the street from the Angels. Since Vegas now has the Dodgers, the A’s can move to Mexico City.

      • Old Big Ed

        I used to believe that, but I don’t any longer.

        The Reds at about $90 million payroll are going to be better this year than the Yankees at about 3 times that amount. The Rays are pretty much as good or better than the Yankees every year. The Yankees have won 1 AL pennant in the last 20 years. The Dodgers are swimming in money, but in the last 35 seasons, they only have the Putt-Putt championship of 2020.

        One ironclad rule of life is that if a person or entity has too much money, the money is spent foolishly. The Yankees always buy the All-Star team from 6 years ago. The Nats give Stephen Strasburg $230 million to pitch 31 innings. Sinclair buys regional sports networks just when cord-cutting starts taking hold. Time Warner buys AOL, and Mercedes buys Chrysler. Jeff Bezos dates a plastic surgeon’s retirement annuity. The government builds bridges to nowhere. And now, some team is going to pay $550 million for a DH.

        Meanwhile, the actual game of baseball has completely changed over the past 10-15 years. The pitchers throw much harder, and it has become much, much more of a young man’s game, because it takes a young set of eyes and reflexes to hit than it did 30 years ago. (And yeah, there are a few 30-something unicorns.) The new rule changes favor speed, which is another young player’s advantage.

        The game’s financial structure, however, generally only players with 6 years’ time — usually guys about 29 years old — to earn a big contract. The Yankees and Mets throw tons of money at these guys, and they pretty much end up eating most of it. The Mets, for example, are paying something like $41 million this year to Verlander+Scherzer to pitch elsewhere.

        In “Money Ball” terms, the big market inefficiency now is youth. Fortunately for the Reds, all teams get pretty much the same amount to spend on amateur talent, both in the “domestic” draft and in international signings. The Reds also tend to get extra competitive balance picks in the draft. In other words, the large-market teams have no advantage over the small-market teams in signing and developing young players. The Yankees won’t let themselves get young and dynamic talent, because they spend money on guys 10 years older.

        The Reds and teams like them still need to make trades and sign some players to fill some needs. Let the big teams overpay for old guys.

      • LarkinPhillips

        @OBE, This is a pretty interesting take and I agree with a lot of it. However, I would argue, that while hitters over the age of 30 seem to be regressing. It is as important as ever to have “shut down pitchers,” in particular starters and closers. Those cost money to get, develop, and/or keep. Young pitchers have to learn how to adapt and pitch which takes time and health.