The Cincinnati Reds began to trim their 40-man roster in preparation to the Rule 5 draft on Friday afternoon. In doing so, they lose both Zach Vincej and Chad Wallach. The Seattle Mariners claimed Vincej on waivers and the Marlins claimed Wallach. The team also placed Deck McGuire and Patrick Kivlehan on waivers. They both cleared and were outrighted to Louisville.

Losing Zach Vincej on waivers is rather interesting. He was insurance, so-to-speak, at shortstop. He can handle the position defensively, and in 2017 he held his own at the plate in Louisville. While his bat never profiled as a starter, he could come up in case of an injury and at least provide defense for you at the spot. As things stand right now on the 40-man roster, there isn’t a back up for Jose Peraza. The team doesn’t seem to think that Eugenio Suarez is that guy based on their words and actions. Alex Blandino is likely to be added to the roster in the next few weeks, but he’s not really a true shortstop, either.

Chad Wallach will be joining the Marlins organization. He was the 4th catcher on the 40-man, so it’s not surprising he was placed on waivers. That he was claimed is a little more surprising. He’s still considered a bit of a work-in-progress as a defender. This past year in Triple-A he only hit .226/.280/.398. There’s more potential in his bat than he showed in 2017, but he’ll also be 26 next season. I’d imagine the Reds were a bit surprised he was claimed.

Deck McGuire is coming off of an outstanding season. He dominated as a starter in Double-A and pitched well in a September call up for the Reds. Despite his age, he’ll be 29 next season, he showed real stuff throughout the year. It’s good that he will remain in the organization and provide some depth and options next season. I am surprised that he went unclaimed. He seemed like a guy who at the least could help someone out as an option at some point in the bullpen.

After spending the entire season with the Reds, where Patrick Kivlehan hit .208/.304/.399, it looks like he’ll probably be heading to the minor leagues to start next season. It’s likely he gets a spring training invitation, but you usually don’t make 40-man roster moves for your 5th outfielder at the end of March. He can provide some depth in the minors, but at his age of 28, things may be working against him in the organization as the youth movement continues at a position of depth.

29 Responses

  1. Stock

    Letting Vincej go is an indication to me that the Reds plan on signing or trading for a SS. My guess is Cozart.

    • wes

      I think Cozart is on the verge of getting paid more than reds should be willingly to pay.

  2. wes

    Pretty balzy throwing McGuire out there. I would have jumped all over him! Give him a chance to break camp and if he doesn’t- send him back

    • Doug Gray

      There’s no need to send him back. This isn’t the Rule 5 draft. If someone claimed him they can send him to the minors if he doesn’t make the team. But no one felt he was even worthy of a 40-man roster spot, even with options.

  3. paul nyhart

    The Reds gave Kivlehan, a guy the league now officially has zero interest in, 180 at-bats. That’s almost the same amount of at-bats they gave Winker and Ervin combined, two guys I’d wager would be on 60%-70% of the league’s 25 man rosters.

    • Stock

      Two things the Reds had to be considering though.
      1. What is better for a true prospect. Part time work in the majors or everyday AB in AAA. Most teams choose the latter for their true prospects. Especially a last place team.
      2. Service time. Why push the clock? If either of them spend 2 month in the minors this year the Reds will retain control of them through 2024. What has more value? 23 weeks in 2017 and 2018 when the Reds will suck or 26 weeks in 2024 when the Reds may be good.

  4. Amarillo

    I’d rather have kept Wallach than Turner. Stinks to lose Vincej, but neither of these players were going to be on our next good team, so the open roster spots were more valuable.

    • MK

      Just what part of Wallach’s game do you like? He never hit above .240 above Class A and is absolutely bad behind the plate. Turner can at least play defense which is what you need from a back-up catcher. Wallach is a back-up first baseman at best. One mistake the Reds made was somehow not figuring out how to keep Rob Brantley.

      The positives of the McGuire is if someone had wanted him claiming him now would have been a lot less hassel than picking him as a Rule 5 pick

  5. James K

    Seattle might be doing with Vincej what the Reds tried with Micah Johnson: Take him on waivers, then immediately offer him on waivers. If no one bites the bait, they easily pick up a good minor leaguer.

    • Norwood Nate

      I had a similar thought about Vincej. Doesn’t seem like a guy that would have been claimed, but maybe Seattle wants to try to stash him like the Reds did with Goeddell and Guerrero last year.

    • Alex Reds

      Are the Reds able to claim him back if Mariners put Vincej immediately back on waivers?

    • RFM

      Claim and DFA again is what most teams do with these moves. If Vincej finishes the month on their roster I’ll be stunned.

  6. Kap

    Very interesting. I guess that means trahan is Louisville next season I’m assuming? I can see the reds signing a backup shortstop type, like jj hardy or Stephen drew. Otherwise, who backs up peraza? Suarez?

    • Alex

      Maybe full faith in peraza and blandino as emergency SS? Or plans on getting someone else?

    • RFM

      Darnell Sweeney, like Blandino, plays a little shortstop, for whatever that’s worth. Probably relevant to backing up Trahan in AAA.

      Last year the Reds were having Suarez do some drills at SS in case of an emergency, and that’ll probably be something they keep up in 2018, whether a shortstop is added or not. The emergency guy and serious backup are different, though :)

  7. Norwood Nate

    So with 7 spots open on the 40-man roster, there’s still the 5 to add that’s been discussed a lot as fairly obvious additions: Long, Siri, Lopez, Blandino, and Weiss. Reyes would be next on my list to protect followed by LaValley.

    The interesting question at this point is, do the Reds leave a spot open in order to select someone from Rule V or fill that spot internally?

    Do they see if they can find a LH reliever? Unless/until Finnegan, Garrett, or Reed head to the bullpen, Peralta is the only lefty option on the roster.

    Do they try to snag a SS with a little upside to back up Peraza?

    Those are the two areas I could see the Reds try to address through Rule V. But then again, I didn’t really see Stuart Turner coming last year.

  8. MK

    Huston Street became a free agent today.He has had a heck of an injury history but he might be worth a look as a middle inning reliever with a low contract with a lot of incentives.

    • Colorado Red

      Would not want to do that, till after the rule 5 draft

      • RFM

        Regardless of who it is I doubt the Reds will sign free agent relievers until well after the Rule 5 draft. They usually target guys having trouble finding jobs and willing to accept a bargain as spring training approaches. I expect the same this year.

        Maybe, just maybe, they’ll have to be more aggressive if they’re serious about a starting pitcher.

    • Kap

      I would be OK with that. Sign him for a 1 year deal, let him do well, then tradenter him at the deadline. By that time, herget Weiss or Rainey will be ready

  9. Krozley

    Juan Perez and Calten Daal were talented high-minors shortstops that could fill the Vincej void at Louisville if they can come back from their injuries. Or Trahan. Or any of several other potential minor league free agents that will be out there.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Spending most of the season on the DL can quickly make fans forget. Despite Perez’ scaulding start to the 2017 season before ending up on the DL, he profiles as a utility player at best, but that does fill the void that Vincej would have filled.

  10. Hingle McCringleberry

    Blandino is the better backup and utility guy. Patrick was awful. I don’t know why the reds accumulate low average hitters to come off the bench. Just like you need a good bullpen to complement a starting five if you want to win it all. Same for a strong bench to compliment a starting 8. A strong bench will keep the starting guys on their feet.

    Keeping underachieving players on the bench is bad for the team.

    • Doug Gray

      Because if a guy is a high-average hitter, he’s not on the bench….. true backups don’t hit in the high .200’s.

  11. Kinsm

    This piece insinuated that Kivy and McGuire would stay in the system. McGuire qualified for minor league free agency, and so did Kivlehan since it’s his 2nd time being outrighted. They’ve both chosen to do just that and won’t be back unless they are resigned.