The Cincinnati Reds have reportedly agreed to a minor league deal with Phil Gosselin. Chris Cotillo of SB Nation had the news first.

In 2017 he played in 40 games in the Major Leagues, splitting time between the Pirates and Rangers. Despite playing in 40 games, he only had 50 plate appearances. Phil Gosselin struggled mightily during the year at the plate. In the Majors he hit just .146/.180/.188 in his limited big league action.

He did hit better in the minors during the 2017 season, but he still struggled. At Triple-A between the two organizations he played in 73 games. In the 292 plate appearances he racked up he hit .260/.299/.326. For a 28-year-old in Triple-A, that’s a big time struggle. He showed no power at all and no ability to get on base.

With that said, he performed much better in 2016. He spent the entire season in the Major Leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Gosselin played in 122 games that year and had 240 plate appearances. He hit .277/.324/.368 that season. It was even better in 2015 when he split time between Atlanta and Arizona. In 44 games in the bigs during 2015 he hit .311/.339/.509.

Defensively is where Phil Gosselin brings his value. He can play all around the infield. In 2017 he played every position on the infield except pitcher and catcher. He’s even seen some limited action in the outfield in his career. When it comes to versatility, he can cover you at a lot of positions with the glove.

His bat was dreadful in 2017, at both the Major and Minor League level. However, he’s hit much better in the past. While there’s not a starter caliber hitter there, he’s held his own at the plate in previous seasons and provided some value as a utility man. The Reds are likely looking at him as depth for the minors right now, but it’s possible he could play his way back to the big leagues if he shows he can hit a little bit like he did prior to the 2017 season.


41 Responses

  1. Hingle McCringleberry

    This is a horrible signing. What the heck?

    I’ve warned you before about the language. You can make your point without it. Don’t get warned again.

    • Bill

      While I agree there’s not a lot to get excited about with this signing, I’m not sure that any minor league signing can be considered “horrible”. There’s virtually no risk on a minor league deal.

  2. Shamrock

    This guy sounds almost as worthless as Marvin Lewis.
    Why the heck can’t a Cincinnati team sign anyone good??

  3. BillyGoat

    Looks good. These are the signings needed to fulfill depth in the infield, depth that isn’t within the organization. This guy is a low risk, medium reward.

  4. IndyRedsFan

    I expect they’ll sign 2 or 3 of these “good field, no hit” shortstops to minor league deals and let them battle it out for the back up SS job.

    One will make the team, one will go to L’ville, and the remainder will be cut.

    • Norwood Nate

      I think you’re on the right track. Absolutely need to find a backup SS for Peraza at some point.

  5. Matk

    I would rather see kivlehan play shortstop than peraza at least kivlehan can rake

    • MK

      I missed that rake somewhere. Maybe Patrick does a nice job of cleaning up leaves I am not aware of.

  6. Arnold Ziffle

    Winners and contenders have much better signings. Losers and bottom feeders have signings like this “for depth”.
    I think we are seeing what the Reds front office is expecting and building for 2018, a house of crap. Again for the 4th straight year.
    What have the Reds and their front office done to improve on a 90+ loss team and a last place team? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Standing pat IS The Reds Way.
    Winning is the Cardinal Way and Cubs Way.
    Here come 90 losses again in 2018.

    • Colorado Red

      wah wah wah.
      Look at the rebuild of the Cubs and Astros.
      Several years of stinking, and then a WC.
      The worst you can be is 81 and 81.
      Is that you are are asking for? It looks like it.

      • Arnold Ziffle

        “The worst you can be is 81 and 81.”
        How do you figure that?
        This Reds team as constructed will have a very hard time winning 75 games, a 7 game improvement on 2017. As constructed the Reds will be lucky to go 72-90.
        Where is the improvement coming from in your eyes? The starting pitching? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. They’ve taken two steps backwards already by having Peraza at SS and Scooter as everyday 2B.

      • Doug Gray

        You don’t want to be 81-81. It means you still had no shot at contending, but also means you don’t get a good draft pick. You either want to get a good draft pick, so you can get better, sooner. Or you want to make the playoffs. You don’t ever want to be in the middle.

        And while Peraza and Gennett up the middle is definitely a step backwards from the defense we saw in 2017 up the middle, the pitching is significantly better. The first half rotation had next to no upside at all in it. None. The second half rotation had plenty of upside to it. And that didn’t even include Finnegan or DeSclafani.

      • Arnold Ziffle

        Sure the Astros sucked for 3 years.
        ’11= 56-106
        ’12= 55-107
        ’13= 51-111
        ’14= 70-92
        ’15= 86-76
        ’16= 84-78
        ’17= 101-61
        No resemblance to the Reds at all. Reds fans have to quit using and citing the Astros rebuild model. The Reds are not following this example at all. Get back with me when we see the Reds make some actual improvement like the Astros. A 19 game improvement from 2013 to 2014. A 16 game improvement from 2014 to 2015. A 17 game improvement from 2016 to 2017.
        The Reds:
        ’14= 76-86
        ’15= 64-98
        ’16= 68-94
        ’17= 68-94
        This is in no way following the Astros model of rebuilding. No improvement shown at all.
        Like I said, when the Reds start showing signs of improvement the way the Astros did, get back with me then.
        That is a lot of weak sauce you are throwing out there CO Red.

      • Doug Gray

        Uh, 70-92 sucks. Yes, it was a huge improvement. But it was also on the back of 105+ losses for three straight seasons. The 2014 Astros were not any better than the 2017 Reds were. If the Cincinnati Reds go out and don’t improve in 2018, start making your claims. Until then, your argument holds no water. The Astros literally got worse from 11 to 12, then from 12 to 13, at least in terms of wins/losses. Weak sauce argument, indeed.

    • Doug Gray

      What have they done? Well, they cut loose Adleman, Arroyo, Wojo, Bonilla and Buchanan, who combined for 307 innings with an ERA of 6.57. If you can replace those innings with just a league average ERA (4.45), it’s good enough for an expected seven win swing. Those innings are likely to go to someone in the Castillo, Bailey, Finnegan, DeSclafani, Stephenson, Mahle, Romano group. I don’t know if it’ll be league average, but I’d bet it is.

      The Reds plan is “standing pat” because compared to 2017, especially the 1st half of 2017, the team is adding these guys internally: Luis Castillo, Robert Stephenson, Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, Jesse Winker and perhaps early in the season, Nick Senzel. That’s not nothing. The Cubs stood pat until they had the young guys ready to go. The Reds aren’t quite there yet. Maybe they will be by July.

  7. Wes

    Wait and see approach needs to start pursuing some of the bigger named free agents. I think Lance Lynn would be a fantastic addition. Instead of loosing prospects to trade sign Lynn. Market is very low and guys are going to start getting nervous with Spring Training so close. Time to see if you can’t get a deal done with a guy who can eat up a ton of innings with a solid ERA. He’d profile as Reds #2 due to injuries of other guys. Can’t ever have too much pitching!

    Also like Cashner. He’d be cheaper, less years, and not cost a pick

  8. Arnold Ziffle

    DG, the photograph you used above, when was that taken? Look at all those empty seats on a nice sunny afternoon. That looks like about 1 actual fan for every 5 empty seats.
    It is tremendously sad, but that is what Cincinnati baseball has been reduced to under the ownership of Bob Castellini and the front offices of Walt Jocketty and now Dick Williams.
    DG, you had a poignant tweet about Marvin Lewis, the Bengals, and what Bengal fans see. That same sentiment might be laid out about the Reds too. Instead of Marvin Lewis, you can substitute Bob Castellini/Walt Jocketty/Dick Williams.
    What do Reds fans actually see? No playoffs since 2013, 2-7 playoff record from 2010-2013, no playoff series wins since 1990, and four straight losing seasons.

    • Arnold Ziffle

      That is 4 straight losing seasons and looking a 5th straight losing season dead square in the eyes.
      Light at the end of the tunnel? No, I hear Johnny Cash singing, “I hear that train a coming. Coming down the line. I ain’t seen the sunshine, since I don’t know when.”

    • Doug Gray

      It was taken several years ago. Probably 2011 or 2012.

      If fans want to toss Dick Williams in with Castellini and Jocketty, at least right now, they are missing too much data. Williams is literally only in his second season as the guy calling the shots. And that second season hasn’t even had a game played in it yet. Jocketty, isn’t just in an advisory role at this point.

      The franchise hasn’t performed well of late. But it’s tough to compare the NFL to MLB. All NFL teams spend the same amount of money. Draft picks come in and play immediately. It’s apples and socket wrenches. You can rebuild in one offseason in the NFL. Unless you are spending $200M in baseball, you can’t.

      • Shamrock

        DG……please tell us why MLB has not followed along the NFL and NBA road of keeping things at least somewhat competitive with a salary cap (and forcing owners to spend within $10 (or so) Million of it………..

        Because yea, we all see that you back BC and DW (you probably have to??)……but we’re all tired of this bs and want to actually see a winner!!

      • Doug Gray

        A big part of it is the arcane television deals. Each team has their own negotiated television deal and those deals started in the 50’s. The NFL shares the tv deal – everyone gets the same amount of money. It’s a lot easier to say “everyone spend the same amount of money” when by-and-large, everyone is getting their biggest chunk of their revenue pie at the same exact level. That is not the case in baseball. And it goes back nearly 70 years on that. If baseball is ever going to do something like that, it is going to be a long-term plan because of how staggered their various TV deals are. Personally, I’d love to see a salary floor and cap, based on baseball revenues (I don’t want a static number because I believe the players deserve their fair share of the revenues and a static number doesn’t necessarily allow for that). But, the small market teams are getting luxury tax/revenue sharing money for basically nothing, so there’s no real incentive for them to push hard for such a thing. And the big market teams can rake in their tv dollars with bulldozers.

        I also don’t understand where this crap has started coming from over the last month that I back Bob Castellini and Dick Williams and the Reds front office came from. I’ve been rather critical of Bob Castellini over the last few years for basically forcing extensions on “fan favorites” despite the deals not being smart baseball moves, for him delaying the rebuild because he didn’t want it to be an issue at the All-Star game, for his forcing the trade of Chapman for PR face despite having Alfredo Simon and all of his baggage on the team, for him not making a statement at all on Pete Rose and high school girls and still having his statue out in front of the stadium. But sure, tell me more about my backing of him.

        With Dick Williams – he’s been the decision make for 14 months. He’s made one big trade – and in that deal he acquired Luis Castillo. He made a pretty good pick up of Scooter Gennett. He didn’t play the Cozart situation the best, though who knows how it would have played out had Cozart not gotten injured the final week of July? Really – what is there to be bothered by with what he’s done? You may be upset that the guy before him didn’t do the job you wanted, but Dick has been calling the shots since November of 2016. Before that, nothing is on him.

    • wes

      I think there’s a slight chance the Reds fall on their face again and have to start rebuild over. They need some guys to continue to grow to get to competition level. You see a lot of players peak and play excellent then take a step back- if that’s Castillo- then reds rebuild effort is in serious trouble. Same w Bobsteve control. And theres a grain of salt taken with Sept success. Peraza, Romero, Schebler, Winker- may take a step back once season starts. If that’s the case- then Reds aren’t going to get back to a competitive level with this group and Votto will get older which means you are going to have to build around next group of Reds.

      How you going to deal with that if that’s the case? That’s why I prefer Reds to loose until they are ready. Maybe that’s this year; maybe they tank, but either way I am not going to give up on management until they show me they are incompetent.

      DW isn’t Jockety. I’m going to give him a chance to turn franchise around and route for him.

  9. Michael B. Green

    If he makes the team, Gosselin seems like a perfect fit for the UT position. I would assume that he has options too. Looks like he saved 2 runs at SS in 2014 for ATL. He can pretty much play all positions but catcher and pitcher too.

    At his age and pedigree, he is not going to block anyone but Gosselin is the type of player to use as a utility player instead of someone like Blandino. Utility players do not necessarily get a ton of PT. That approach would stunt Blandino’s growth and value.

    Above all, I’m sure that CIN has done their homework on Gosselin’s personality. I’m sure they determined that he is a great clubhouse personality and that does wonders for a team – especially a team that should expect to contend in late 2018 and beyond.

    Good luck Phil!

  10. LeRoy

    I think signing minor leagues players that can play SS is a good idea. Backup SS is one of the Reds needs. This is the season the Reds improve and begin to show the fruits of their rebuild. The starting pitching is going to be interesting to watch. By the end of the year, I feel the Reds will have a very solid staff. The bullpen still needs help and any trades or signings should be relief pitching, CF, or SS. I feel the Reds should win 80-85 games in 2018 and be poised to compete for a championship at least for 4 to 5 years after that. Optimistic, yes, but very possible.

    • Colorado Red

      I think you are bit optimistic there. I would see 75 – 81 wins this year.
      That would be a step in the right direction.
      I have thought 2019 was year to start competing for a WC.
      That being said, a break or two, and you might be right.

  11. Michael B. Green

    To Williams’ credit, Reds fans are not confused about the direction. It is a very patient and deliberate rebuild. Other teams look like they are rebuilding one day and then they make a trade that seems to point they are going for broke. Williams is showing is value play expertise from his previous profession.

    I also like some/most of the Reds coaches. They are truly preparing players for the bigs. You are also starting to see some of these coaches climb the ranks along with the players. That allows coaches to continue to oversee these players after promotions.

    Above all, the Reds have an identity. If you go to the minor league or instructional league complexes, you will see Larkin, Davis and the gang teaching young players the game and undoubtedly, how the Reds do things.

    As we approach the 30th anniversary of the Reds last WS championship (perhaps eerily similar to the time the Royals started their path to their own 30th anniversary a few years ago), it truly feels like the Reds are on the verge of showing that swagger that made them an excellent team in 1990 and thereafter.

    Pitchers and Catchers report in about 5 weeks!

    • MK

      It is a process, continually evolving, as we see KC starting the rebuild again

  12. Piggly Wiggly

    Pro or con, there is a lot to say about the Reds rebuild. The thing that has my underbritches in a knot, is wasting more of the Joey Votto peak years. By the time Dick Williams can assemble a reasonable eight position players, most of them will be in their arbitration years. Suarez is 1st year eligible, Duvall will be next year. Gennett is year 2 arbitration eligible, Hamilton is year eligible. Schebler and Peraza have a couple of more years, but are either a future fixture for this team?
    Votto is long term. Suarez should be long term. Barnhart is a long term player now with his deal.
    The rotation and bullpen rank dead last in MLB. Reds pitching has been historically bad in each of the last 2 seasons and Dick Williams is virtually standing pat on this group. This is a big disappointment.
    SS has no long term solution if Peraza is not the answer to filling Cozart’s shoes. And he isn’t.
    2B hopefully has Nick Senzel as long term, but it is occupied by Gennett for the next 2 years.
    All 3 OFers are tradable and supposedly on the market. The #4 OF, Winker, looks as if he is only long term solution in the OF, but has one of the 3 OF already occupying his spot.
    Here we are with Dick Williams firmly entrenched into year 3 of his tenure and questions abound ALL OVER THE FIELD.
    Yet, Reds GM Dick Williams is content to sit out 2018 “to see what he’s got (Again)”.
    What he’s got, mostly, are not the answers to the Reds woes. If Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza are going to be fixtures in the Reds lineup, then those 2 corner OF spots need to be upgraded ASAP. Not in July, and not next winter. This winter is the optimum time. But as usual, the Reds will wait toooooo long to make any significant move(s) for 2018.
    It takes 2 to tango, very true. But sometimes you got to make your own tango go and get out there and be aggressive in your pursuits. Trail blaze and make your own path. The Reds very rarely do this as they are content to follow others’ paths. They always let the market come to them. Needless to say, the market usually looks like a grocery store after a winter storm warning has been issued by the time the Reds decide to do something.
    I was very hopeful that Dick Williams was going to be different and better than Walt Jocketty. Those hopes have been disappointingly dashed.
    Bob Castellini told a bold face lie when he said he was bringing “winning baseball” to Cincinnati, back in 2008. Walt Jocketty lied straight to the fans when he said he was adamant about brining in hitters who could get on base between the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Then he brought in Marlon Byrd, Brennan Boesch, and Chris Dominguez. And it has been a downward spiral ever since. There is very little fan credibility left with this Reds front office and ownership.
    Those that are frustrated by the Reds front office and their inability to build a winning team, they have a right to be very upset with the Reds. I get it. The glacial pace taken by the Reds will only lead to another rebuild and not upgrades.
    The Reds are the Reds, they are who we thought they were. The Cleveland Browns of MLB.

    • Doug Gray

      Dick Williams took over as the decision maker in November of 2016. He’s barely starting in year two of his job. Not anywhere near “firmly entrenched into year three”, as you say.

    • Wes

      Reds were favored to win it all year they were up 2-0 on giants. Not a Jocketty fan but he deserves credit for that.

      You also speculate a lot. If Me or you can think it’s a good move for the reds then you kinda gotta give Dick the benefit of doubt in those situations. If he was out making moves that Miami is making- I’d go find a new a team to root for.

      I think it’s a buyers market for free agents right now but there’s risk w that do to payroll restrictions and lack of need. I don’t want reds to take the contract that’ll come w Cain or any big reliever. Lynn is out there but you are already looking at sending either Romero or bob Steve to Louisville or pen. Also if teams not ready then u can setback rebuild w bad free agent signings.

      I hate to see votto wasted but would hate more to see reds panick. No more bad contracts or terrible trades is what I hope for!

  13. BurgRed

    I believe the Reds may end up with an additional rebuild considering players received in the 2014 purge. Instead of acquiring low minor league talent they settled for older Mlb ready talent. Three years later we are looking to trade off those players for more Mlb ready talent. I think if we had received low minor league talent they would be ready to compete now or in 2019. Maybe we would have a good young SS ready to compete.
    Did the mid level talent obtained help us or set us back?

    • Doug Gray

      It did both, in theory. First, we can’t assume that the “low level talent” would have ever turned into soon to be ready talent. Odds are that a lot of it, wouldn’t have.

      Let’s take a look at a guy like Heliot Ramos – the guy the Giants don’t want to give up for Hamilton. While I certainly think he’s more toolsy than the guy I’m about to compare him to, in terms of their bats, I don’t think there’s any real tools difference – it’s the running and defense that’s the difference. But he’s awfully similar to a guy like Neftali Soto. Questionable strikeout-to-walk ratio, but put up gaudy low-level numbers despite that. Sometimes guys like that overcome that issue. Sometimes they don’t. Soto didn’t. He did reach the Major Leagues eventually, but more advanced pitching always kept him from reaching that upside he showed as a teenager at the plate. There’s something to be said about getting solid, ready guys over upside and far away guys. Ideally, you want a mix of both. It’s very, very difficult to win without a superstar. And those guys don’t often come from the “solid, ready” guys. They often come from those far away, upside guys. You need to get both the Schebler/Duvall types to work out for you, and the perennial All-Star type every so often. Those types aren’t always easy to get, though. Look no further than the Cubs. While they’ve developed Kris Bryant into that kind of guy (or maybe they simply drafted him and he was that guy – either way, you get what I’m saying), they traded for Addison Russell. He was a Top 15 prospect in baseball when acquired, maybe even Top 5. This isn’t to say he can’t or won’t turn into a perennial All-Star, but he’s three years into his big league career and he’s never hit over .242 and his career OPS is .719. He’s still incredibly young, and he’s been a fringe-average big leaguer, which is nothing to sneeze at. But, he’s that upside guy we’re talking about and well, he’s been less valuable than Adam Duvall has in the same time frame.

      Personally, I would have liked to have seen more “upside” guys in a lot of the deals that the team made. While the Johnny Cueto trade hasn’t exactly looked like gangbusters, and the guys acquired were “close”, two of those guys were big upside types with Finnegan and Reed. No problem at all with that deal. Some of the other ones, though, I’d have tried to shoot for more upside and less certainty. Who knows how it would have worked out, though.