The Cincinnati Reds had several transactions this afternoon. The team completed their trade from last month with the San Francisco Giants, getting an undisclosed amount of cash in return for sending the Giants outfielder TJ Hopkins. He was designated for assignment but traded before he had a chance to go through the waiver process.

The Reds also lost outfielder Bubba Thompson on waivers this afternoon after he was claimed by the New York Yankees. Picked up on waivers earlier this offseason from the Kansas City Royals, Thompson was designated for assignment when the Reds needed a spot on the 40-man roster to re-sign right-handed reliever Buck Farmer on December 28th. Thompson didn’t clear waivers for the third time this year – he was designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers in the middle of August and claimed by Kansas City.

The final move today was that catcher Austin Wynns did clear waivers and he was outrighted to Triple-A Louisville. The Reds signed Wynns to a big league deal with a split contract. When they needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster to sign right-handed pitcher Frankie Montas, the team designated Wynns for assignment. No one claimed him and now he’s likely to head to Triple-A. Wynns does have the option to become a free agent if he would like, but in doing so he would be forgoing the $300,000 he’ll get as a part of his split contract with the Reds and it’s very unlikely that he would do better than that.

Update

Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Wynns did accept his outright and will head to the minor leagues and remain in the Cincinnati Reds organization. He will also be getting an invitation to big league camp now that he’s no longer on the 40-man roster.

70 Responses

  1. Greenfield Red

    There are several on RLN who are very critical of the Reds front office and ownership. However, it’s not lost on me the Yankees, The New York Yankees, have claimed one of the Reds cast-offs, and I read today that the Braves… the Atlanta Braves, are looking for a 5th starter. The Reds have between 6 and 10 depending on how you count them.

    Bravo cheap ownership and inept front office.

    • DaveCT

      I think I prefer waiting two weeks for Baseball America to come in the mail so I could read the minor signings, transactions etc as a group instead of death by 10,000 monkey bites.

    • Justin T

      But once again, where did it get them? They get to hang a banner that says the Yankees like our cast offs? Small victories i guess…

      • DaveCT

        I believe the point is we have talent that other teams — and very successful teams — want. Alejo Lopez to the Braves. Eduardo Salazar to the Dodgers. TJ Hopkins to the Giants. Thompson to the NYY. If we have to DFA Barrero, teams will be all over him. Same with Legumina, Stoudt or Roa if we have to clear more space out of the pitching staff. All of this represents an enormous gain in scouting and development as well as the acquisition of talent. As for Bubba, the least of the transactions IMO, he came in as a waiver claim, he goes out as a waiver claim. He served a purpose as having depth, increasing talent, etc., should he lose a similar player somewhere. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    • Justin T

      Im also curious on how many “starters” the Reds have that have thrown 150 innings in a big league season?

      • Greenfield Red

        I did not know that was a criteria.

      • Rob

        Not many. But doesn’t this translate to that we ought to trade 1-2 of our young starters? Golly, they should be worth a lot of value in return. The return could be an innings eater under contract for a couple years. Just thinking ahead what are we going to do in August when these young guys cap out. Roll out the calvary of Kennedy, Spiers, and Richardson again? If you tell me we are going to compete in 2024 and that we will have first string starters not capped out, then I don’t have a problem.

      • DaveCT

        Rob, seems like a low blow on Richardson and Spiers to be lumped with a 30-something Indy Leaguer as chaff on a wheat field. Both are very solid prospects and were clearly not ready for the show. Also, keep your eye on Spiers this year, he could break out more. He started the season at AA in the bullpen and ended up being very successful starting. He was the closer at Clemson and has transitioned into a legit starting pitcher. There are Kyle Boddy comments out there that are very encouraging. Richardson is just a beast.

      • AllTheHype

        @old

        They have Lodolo as the team ERA leader, and WIlliamson as the laggard. I feel strongly that Lodolo will bounce back (not sure if team leader) as his stuff is too good, and I also agree Williamson is due for sophomore regression. These numbers are not unreasonable. I think Ashcraft will be better than they have him though.

      • Old-school

        @ATH

        I have no idea but its fun to think about in january! I do think folks are minimizing the addition of quality depth. Cubs will do something big eventually but cards brewers and pirates have collectively done nothing x for old friend Sonny gray and theres risk there at $75 million

    • Oldtimer

      Off topic but this may fit in here. Photo of Steinbrenner accompanied the Facebook post.

      … A group of investors, headed by shipbuilder George Steinbrenner, purchases the New York Yankees from CBS for $10 million, January 3, 1973 …

      Reds were sold by DeWitt to group of investors in January 1967 for $7 million.

      Now neither $7 million nor $10 million would sign a good free agent.

      • Dan

        Wow!! Yankees franchise sold for $10 million??? That is mind-blowing! Not a bad investment there, Steinbrenner family…

        Thanks for the tidbit, Oldtimer!

      • greenmtred

        Possibly 70 million in today’s bucks.

      • Old Big Ed

        Green Mt, I think we went through this before, but the CPI (inflation rate for goods and services) is now roughly 700 with respect to 1973 prices.

        Financial investments are evaluated differently. Assuming an 8% annual return, and applying the Rule of 72, the investment would double every 9 years, or between 5 and 6 times. The $10 million would be worth somewhere close to $375 million.

        $10 million invested in a S&P 500 fund on January 1, 1973 (with dividends reinvested) would on December 31, 2023 have been worth almost $1.6 billion.

        The Yankees are worth a lot more than $1.6 billion, so it was a great investment. Bear in mind, too, that the Yankees are owned by a group of investors in a limited partnership in which a Steinbrenner is the general partner. As one of the limited partners once said, “There is nothing so limited as being a limited partner of George Steinbrenner.”

    • David Brown

      But none of the pitchers are top notch most are average at best. They have made some bone headed moves in the past few years

  2. Grand Salami

    And the Wynn signing looks so much smarter now that they cleared him to AAA without any drama.

    • Mark Moore

      Had exactly the same thought. It works out well for the present and provides some level of hedge against what might happen in 2024 with our catchers. Wynn is still “living the dream” and making far more then MiLB standard.

  3. mauired

    It seems like Thompson was the second coming of Billy Hamilton. Elite speed and defense and not much more. When used appropriately off the bench its not a bad weapon to have. I remember when Hamilton made his September debut during the last Reds real postseason clinching run in 2013. He was strictly used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement. Although limited he was used daily and made a huge impact in September and scored the tying run or winning run in many key victories. Reds should bring Hamilton back on a minor league deal.

  4. Crestwood Craig

    Doug, will the Reds receive anything from the Yankees on the claim of Thompson?

    • Colorado Red

      Waiver claim, Reds do not get anything.

  5. Melvin

    The Reds didn’t need Thompson and don’t know why he was brought here in the first place. No way was he going to make the 26 man roster and as we’ve seen was not going to make it through waivers.

    • 2020ball

      Then why bother worrying about it?

      If he isnt a guy that will make it through waivers then he’s worth rostering and he took up a literally empty spot, the only actual reason i can come up with not to do it is to appease some whiny fans. Lets ignore at the same time that the Reds were one of the winter’s most active teams.

      • Melvin

        It’s no big deal one way or another buddy. just a comment. 😉

  6. LDS

    I saw the Reds’ official transaction message: they “recieved” cash. That says it all about the Reds FO. They can’t even spell correctly on an official tweet.

    • Doug Gray

      Photoshop doesn’t have spellcheck and let me tell ya – I really hate that it doesn’t.

      • CI3J

        Doug, Photoshop does have spellcheck.

        You can find it in the “Edit” menu (Check Spelling).

    • greenmtred

      It doesn’t say it all: it says that whoever wrote it made an inconsequential mistake. I guess that a perpetually half-empty glass is better than a perpetually empty one, but to say that is to praise it faintly.

      • LDS

        On the contrary, it is careless and unacceptable in professional communications. And with the technology available, it is simply negligent. All of us here screw up frequently, but this is basically a closed community of highly opinionated yammerers and fanboys. That’s not the same as a company press release. So yes, the mistake though trivial does reflect the Reds culture.

      • greenmtred

        Do you know whether the miscreant faced repercussions for his typo? It doesn’t surprise me in the least that you would draw broad conclusions from an incident about which you know very little.

  7. MK

    Seems Reds are buying into the Billy Beane type A’s players. Within the organization they added Martini and Moll last year and this off-season have added Capel and Montas.

    • DaveCT

      MK, maybe you can help me out. When they picked up Capel, I thought he was a kid we’d drafted before but didn’t sign. Then I saw he signed out of high school so that was that. But I’m trying to remember an outfield out of the Seattle area, I think, that we drafted, went to college and then signed elsewhere. Connor Capel’s name reminds me of his name.

      • MK

        Can’t recall. I looked back at about 8 drafts and it didn’t make a connection.

      • DaveCT

        Conor Costello is the one, I think. OK, not WA state.

        Interesting to look that far back. Two names, Chad Rogers and Milton Loo make interesting discussion topics, don’t they?

      • Tom Diesman

        Funny, I did find this one that met your previous criteria:

        Colin Curtis
        Positions: Leftfielder, Centerfielder and Rightfielder

        Bats: Left • Throws: Left

        6-1, 200lb (185cm, 90kg)

        Born: February 1, 1985 (Age: 38-337d) in Issaquah, WA us

        Draft: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 50th round of the 2003 MLB June Amateur Draft from Issaquah HS (Issaquah, WA) and the New York Yankees in the 4th round of the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft from Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ).

        High School: Issaquah HS (Issaquah, WA)

      • DaveCT

        Tom Diesman, thank you! Colin Curtis is the exact player I was trying to remember!

  8. Indy Red Man

    Why are we bringing back Farmer anyway? He’s not bad, but he’s not good either. I guess you could make an argument for him over Cruz, but Cruz had a 4.00 era with .191 allowed on Sept 22. Cruz’s stuff is better. Gibaut is def better then Farmer. Idk? Maybe they feel the need to start Williamson at AAA, but I’d like to have another lefty. Young is still in the mix too plus the other lefty they just got. I guess depth is good, but hate to see seniority draw the big league check when AAA is more talented

    • DaveCT

      It’s almost a certainty that someone will deal with a spring training setback or otherwise be held back. My candidates are Sims and Antone. Lodolo and Ashcraft are also candidates, coming off injuries. So, yeah, depth is good. Plus, they didn’t hold fast with Myers, Newman and, later, Renfro and Bader, for too long either, showing a willingness to promote talent when its ready. In other words, it all comes out in the wash, IMO.

    • Oldtimer

      Farmer had 109 ERA+

      Crus had 93 ERA+

      • Justin T

        These stats are funny. Did you watch him and think he was above average? I can find stats to back up either case just wondering if you feel like he is a solid relief pitcher that will help the Reds in 2024.

        Stats can be used in alot of ways, good ol fashioned ERA and Batting Average usually tell a good enough version of the truth. I also dont care what anyone tells me to think, batting average still matters. Its no fun watching someone hit .220 all summer regardless of plus and minus signs.

      • Oldtimer

        Farmer is a decent relief pitcher. Cruz was a good reliever in September.

      • Dan

        Here are the stats for hitters batting vs. Buck Farmer the last 2 seasons:

        2023 vs. Farmer – .214/.296/.402
        2022 vs. Farmer – .211/.313/.298

        That covers 122 IP (or 508 PA, if you want to keep thinking of it like hitting stats). So that’s not a small sample.

        MLB averages those 2 seasons:

        2023 MLB avg – .248/.320/.414
        2022 MLB avg – .243/.312/.395

        So yes, I would say quite confidently that Buck Farmer has been an above average pitcher, for at least the last 2 seasons.

        He doesn’t move the needle a ton, but I’m very glad to have him back.

      • Dan

        Btw, here’s hitters vs. Fernando Cruz (combining 2022 and 2023, since 2022 was a pretty small sample):

        2022-23 vs. Cruz – .203/.295/.347

        2022-23 MLB avg. – .246/.316/.405

        Cruz is unusual, being almost 34 years old now, but I really like him. Devastating changeup. He’s looked really good at times, IMO.

        (And K rate isn’t everything, but it’s a lot… and he’s K’d 34.7% of batters he’s faced. MLB average K rate is 22.6%.)

    • BK

      Because he makes the bullpen deeper at a reasonable cost and the Reds will need depth throughout the season. Cruz has options and as Oltimer points out, Farmer outperformed Cruz, at least by some metrics.

    • MBS

      I wanted a difference maker in the pen. If we can’t have that, depth is also good. Pagan has some solid closing experience that should help when Diaz has been overworked.

      Diaz 149 ERA+
      Sims 148 ERA+
      Pagan 144 ERA+
      Moll 142 ERA+
      Gibaut 137 ERA+
      Duarte 125 ERA+
      Martinez 119 ERA+
      Young 109 ERA+

      That looks like pretty solid depth. Add in Antone, Cruz, and one of the presumed starters, and we’re getting really deep. Then the shaky AAA starters like Spires, Roa, and Stoudt for good measure. All in all I’m pretty excited for 2024.

      • Oldtimer

        Alexis Díaz 149
        Ian Gibaut 137
        Buck Farmer 109
        Lucas Sims 148
        Alex Young* 119
        Fernando Cruz 93
        Derek Law 127
        Daniel Duarte 125

      • MBS

        @Old, Moll’s season total was 142 ERA+. To give a little perspective

        Hader 321 ERA+
        Williams 282 ERA+
        Bautista 280 ERA+
        Bedner 222 ERA+

        So Moll was dominate as a Red with a .073 ERA, and .633 ERA+ over 24.2 IP. The 142 ERA + is probably a better indication of what he’ll do next season, but if he could land in the elite range like the guys listed above, that will be one of the best trades we’ve made in recent years.

    • Justin T

      “Not bad but not good” is right up this organizations free agency alley.

      • 2020ball

        Right up the players who will actually sign here’s alley too.

      • greenmtred

        Justin: if you and LDS combined your half-empty glasses, you’d have a full glass. Something to think about.

      • LDS

        @greenmtred, are you one of those people who think any action is a good thing regardless of the strategy or consequences? Even Bowden, a Reds fanboy if ever there was one, doesn’t rate the Reds off season as higher than a B. And others, such as Rosenthal, are still scratching their heads over the signing of Candelario. Spending money and acquiring league average and injured players is not a winning strategy. And thus far, no one is forecasting the Reds as a competitor for the division title. So. I guess your motto is “yeah the Reds didn’t win anything but they’re fun to watch” . Afterall, that fan strategy paid off well for Castellini and his old boys club last year.

      • Tom Diesman

        I see the Hee Haw Jug Club (#HHJC) is donning the suspenders and hoisting their moonshine jugs today. Let me help you get started:

        Gloom, despair, and agony on me
        Deep, dark depression, excessive misery………

        That was fun, thanks for letting me join in boys…..

      • BK

        For those who don’t subscribe to the Athletic, Bowden gave exactly one “A”. Unsurprisingly, it went to the Dodgers. His “B” to the Reds was very positive.

        Rosenthal doesn’t believe the Dodger’s contract indicates a structural problem with MLB. He doubled-down after the Yamamoto signing. I’m not sure that leaves his analysis with much credibility.

      • greenmtred

        I’m certain you’ve already decided that you know the answer to your rhetorical question, LDS. What I can say is that I am one of those people who has learned to pay little attention to preseason projections.

      • Jason Franklin

        I think it is important to have some who share half-full views while some share half-empty views. It gives balance. You can learn from both crowds.

      • Indy Red Man

        LDS? I don’t know what you expect? Thry swept a series from Texas, Houston, and Arizona last year. They also won the season series vs LA and won a series in Baltimore too. Ton of young talent that should mature eventually and Candy led the league in doubles 3 years and would’ve led the Reds in extra base hits last season. No more Minors or Weavers or Kunkels or Wil Myers. Lodolo’s season also can’t be worse. By any metric they should be improved. Now if everyone hits a sophomore slump and Candy hits .206 and we get buried then I’ll buy you a free case of I Told You So’s

      • greenmtred

        Perhaps surprisingly, I agree, Jason.

      • DaveCT

        Lest we forget our school grades, B is above average. And its not even on a bell curve, though with the market and resources here we might move to B+ or A-.

      • Old Big Ed

        LDS still can’t forgive the 1972 Reds, because back-up catcher Bill Plummer only had a .495 OPS. Ruined the season for him.

        And don’t get him started about Luis Quinones on the 1990 Reds.

  9. TC

    Wow LDS. I’m just a long distance lifelong fan from NC. You just busted my hope bubble already. I guess we will not be traveling up there again this year.

  10. redfanorbust

    Glad the Reds secured some decent catching depth, important IMO. Loose ends are being tied up right now. I for one am excited about the upcoming season despite the questions marks associated with many of our young players. We have a real chance at being something much more than the the bad and mediocre teams we as long time Reds fans have militantly suffered for over THIRTY years.

  11. Oldtimer

    (Clipped from Reds.com on MLB.com)

    The veteran starter signed a one-year deal with a mutual option for the 2025 season. Although Montas pitched in just one September game last year for the Yankees after recovering from shoulder surgery, he’s proven himself capable of being a top-of-the-rotation starter. From 2018 through 2022, Montas’ 3.70 ERA was the fifth-lowest in the American League among pitchers with at least 500 innings, including a sixth-place finish in AL Cy Young Award voting in 2021.

  12. Buffalo Red

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but if we have so much talent appealing to other teams, why not package several of these guys together in a trade for a top-tier starting pitcher instead of DFAing them and letting other teams snag ’em for free?

    • BK

      Because the players that are getting DFA and the prospects other teams covet are not the same players even though they are parts of a strong farm team.