The Cincinnati Reds have added several players to their 40-man roster today, as Major League Baseball has today as the last day in which teams have the chance to protect players from the upcoming Rule 5 draft in December.

Here are the players who were added to the 40-man roster and will not be subject to the Rule 5:

  • Aristides Aquino – OF
  • Barrett Astin – RHP
  • Phillip Ervin – OF
  • Keury Mella – RHP
  • Jackson Stephens – RHP
  • Nick Travieso – RHP
  • Jesse Winker – OF

Some of these guys were absolute locks to be protected. Jesse Winker headlines that list. The former supplemental first rounder (2012) was the easiest guy to predict being added. He’s hit everywhere he’s played and spent all of 2016 in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats where he hit .303. His power was down, likely due to a wrist injury that cost him several weeks of the season, but he walked as often as he struck out, while posting the lowest strikeout rate of his career.

Aristides Aquino was also another guy who seemed like a 100% lock to be protected. While he’s never competed above Advanced-A, what he did in the Florida State League this year was impressive as he took home league MVP honors for his efforts. The outfielder racked up 26 doubles, 12 triples and 23 home runs on the season in an incredible power display for the league. He also had an insane 28 outfield assists for the Daytona Tortugas.

After those two players though, things got a little less certain. Former first rounders Nick Travieso and Phillip Ervin both had a strong set of reasoning to believe that they would be protected, as I wrote last week. It was the grouping of Barrett Astin, Keury Mella and Jackson Stephens that had a little bit more doubt around whether they would make the cut or not. They, along with about seven or eight other players were on that “will-they-won’t-they” part of the list.

Kourage Kundahl and myself sat down just now to discuss some of those guys, including all of whom made the roster and several of the players who didn’t and will be at risk for selection in three weeks at the Winter Meetings.

51 Responses

  1. James Walker

    So, Barrett Astin is the only AFL guy added to the 40 man? A person has to wonder if the guys they sent were being “advertised” as possible back end trade filler or to help divert attention from others also not added.

  2. DanD

    Am I missing something on how Renda was not replaced by Dixon? Was not impressed with Renda on his short trial in September.

    • DaveCT

      I like Dixon but I think he k’s too much to stick in the ML’s next year. Even if drafted I’d say he comes back. I think the jury is still way too far out on Renda and look forward to seeing what he does to
      Improve for his next big league shot.

    • MK

      Jocketty already looks bad for the take on Chapman. Cotham has been released and GMs seldom make moves to add to criticism of themselves. Releasing Renda would add to this criticism.

      • Doug Gray

        I still think the Chapman thing falls more on Castellini than it does on the GM/Pres of BB Ops, but that’s just how I read the situation.

  3. Bradkon21

    Cant fault Reds for non-protecting Guillon. I believe he only has one option left. Anyone who picks him needs to stay on ML roster for all of 2017 AND 2018 on.

    • DaveCT

      Yeah, I had him sticking as a bullpen piece but Stephens made it instead. Can’t really argue as you said. Stephens has always pitched very well as one of the youngest guys in his league.

    • Doug Gray

      If he is taken, he’s got to stick in 2017, but he’d still have that one option available moving forward.

      • Gaffer

        I said last week to protect Stephens. Still think he should be ranked in top 25.

      • Doug Gray

        I’ve got no qualms if someone ranks Stephens in the Top 25. I can easily make that argument.

  4. DaveCT

    Jackson Stephens makes it. That is a bit unexpected but in some ways a great sign that guys with his skill set are valued by the new regime. And, what an awesome recognition for him. Congrat’s young man!

    • Norwood Nate

      He’s the one I’m a little surprised at, but considering his age and production I’m not really that surprised. I had thought the other six of the seven would end up protected but I also thought the Reds would protect Weiss. I’m guessing the Reds don’t believe he’ll get picked up due to the fact he was injured all of last year.

      Congrats to Jackson, well deserved.

      • DaveCT

        There would almost appear to be the use of logic in the decisions. Mella and Stephens, starters (still), the others not; healthy, not injured; younger, more projectable. Astounding!

  5. Bradkon21

    Random Friday thought/math. 2017 Reds roster currently stands at:
    VOTTO $22,000,000
    REST $27,985,200
    BAILEY $19,000,000
    REST $13,100,000
    VOTTO/BAILEY $41,000,000
    REST $41,085,200

  6. Brad

    If Reds still had Ben Lively. Do you protect him? Who do you remove, if so?

    • Norwood Nate

      He’d be ahead of Stephens in my pecking order. Honestly ahead of Davis as well.

      There’s a few bench players I’d take off first though, starting with Renda. He played well in the minors, but I just don’t see usefulness moving forward. Sure he can play a handful of positions so that makes him appealing off the bench, but he doesn’t carry much in the way of power or speed, and can’t really cover any of the tougher defensive spots up the middle (SS, CF).

    • Doug Gray

      Tough to say because I honestly haven’t been following him, so I have no idea how his stuff looks today.

  7. HavaKlu

    Good bye Chacin and Guillon. It will not be surprising if one and maybe both are picked.

    • DaveCT

      No losses last year, though, right? Perhaps the system’s stealth depth will play for us again.

  8. Gaffer

    Doug, who will the Reds lose in Rule V? I guess the follow up is will they be returned.

    • Doug Gray

      I wouldn’t be shocked to see any of these guys grabbed for a look-see (in no order): Weiss, Guillon, Mitchell, Chacin, Crawford. Talked about some of those guys in the video. Wrote about Mitchell the other day –

      Can’t say if any of them stick – some times good players have bad springs. Some years guys just take a step backwards. I would be surprised if any of the position guys were taken though.

      • 2xdiamond

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Routt was taken in Rule 5. He had the best ERA & WHIP of all the Reds pitchers int the AZL with 12K’s and only 3BBin 12 IP.

      • Doug Gray

        There’s certainly a chance, and especially being a lefty plays into his favor. Getting more eyes on him in the AFL doesn’t hurt, but I do think he’s probably behind a few other guys on the “likely to be taken” list. Wouldn’t be a shocker though.

  9. DaveCT

    Mayo has a list up of guys needing to be protected this year across both leagues. It’s partially updated with who was/was not protected. A few interesting names out there. It’ll need quite a bit of cross referencing to see who is healthy, etc. fun to check out the systems that are loaded and see who they might be hiding.

      • Doug Gray

        Just not in a great situation. Back injury that’s going to keep him from being ready to start the year. He was a fringe 40-man guy, and with the injury and a spot needing to be opened…. easier call.

    • Ohiojim

      Yeah, I think that whole deal was one of those arrangements to keep the Reds from having to take the fall for letting him go. It will be interesting to see if he eventually finds his way back to Cincy on a minor league deal.

    • Cguy

      also Josh Smith outrighted by Oakland & Abel de Los Santos designated by the Angels.

  10. Dale

    Hard to argue with the 40 man roster. 1 or 2 players here and there are questionable but I think that for the most part the Reds got it right. There are no “Oh my God, The Reds added him???” So I take that as a solid for the organization moving forward. I think that there is a good chance that we lose a few players but we need to keep in mind they come back to us if they don’t stay on the other teams roster all year. I don’t see any players that are sure fire locks to stay on any roster all year long.

    • redsvol

      What am I missing about Mella? Why protect a guy that had to repeat high A and ended the repeat year with a whip of 1.51? I get that he might be a good pitcher someday but that isn’t going to be this year. Why not risk letting someone take him in rule V – he obviously isn’t going to stick on a major league roster in 2017 with that kind of high A performance. This one makes no sense – they should have protected Guillon – he will definitely get picked and has the recent performance to expect to stick.

      • Doug Gray

        Mella would have been picked and I think he probably would have stuck. He’s an easy arm to hide. That stuff certainly plays, especially in short stints.

  11. HavaKlu

    Appreciate your insights but 20 minutes of talk without a mention of Chacin? Unbelievable!! I’m almost hoping he gets selected to make you guys say something about him. You mentioned Weiss’ 2015 dominance at Pensacola but Chacin arguably had as good or better season this year than Weiss. Oh I know—he just doesn’t have the stuff—-he only gets outs.
    And not protecting Guillon when the Reds have a great shortage of LH bullpen pieces is hard to understand also.

    • Doug Gray

      Literally ran out of time. I had to be out the door 12 minutes after we finished recording. We had 20 minutes (didn’t even plan on it going that long) to talk about a lot of guys.

      But, I’ve written plenty of Chacin and as someone who comments often enough, you’ve probably read it.

      Here’s what’s the great thing about the Rule 5 – the rest of baseball will decide whether they believe he was worth protecting or not. We’ve got three weeks. As I’ve written here, in other years I would have protected him. But this year there were just too many other guys that also needed protected.

  12. Daytonian

    Unreal! Jumbo and his hittable fastball? Adelman? I’d drop them both for Chacin (for sure) and either Weiss or Crawford (if his medical problems are not seen as a real problem). Let’s hope Jumbo is let go if the Reds see someone of value that another organization has exposed.

    I also would not mind seeing Lamb drifting back into the Reds system (just not on the 40-man roster as of now).

    • sandheel

      I suggest you look at Jumbo’s stat line for the REDS after he returned from Louisville.

    • MK

      I don’t get Jumbo either. I did look at his stats and was amazed they weren’t much worse (3.14 ERA, 1.27 WHIP). Seemed like he was much worse. But you have to wonder about his commitment. The talking heads make a big deal about the weight he lost, but it looks like me he has found most of it again. Heck by the end of the season he could not get the bottom button on his jersey buttoned. Hopefully they tell him to come in 50 ls. lighter or lose a good deal of his money.

    • DaveCT

      Jumbo. He’s the 6/7th inning guy on the second worst team
      In baseball. I get why he’s still there, and as a fan I expect he’ll be back to AAA or gone the second another impact arm is ready for his spot. That could have been Weiss this year without the injury. Too bad. Maybe Astin, then

    • Norwood Nate

      Jumbo Diaz has posted an xFIP of 3.17, 3.20, and 4.60 the last three seasons in Cincinnati (2014-2016) Meanwhile, Cingrani has posted xFIP of 4.45, 4.60, and 5.27 over the same three seasons. Cingrani spent most of last year as the team’s closer by default. I’ve not seen any posts wondering why Cingrani wasn’t taken off the roster to add an unproven reliever, yet he’s posted worse numbers than Diaz three years running. Same for Sampson, who Diaz has consistently out performed (4.97 and 5.34 xFIPs in 2015/16).

      Add in that Diaz is pre-arbitration, meaning he’ll make near league minimum, and I’d say he’s a pretty good deal for the production he’s put up. Especially considering he’ll be used as a 6th/7th inning guy, lower leverage type of situations. I’d certainly keep someone who’s been relatively productive in the majors over someone who has yet to prove productive in AAA (meaning Chacin, Routt, Mitchell, Guillon, etc). That’s not to say their future value won’t eclipse what Diaz has done, it’s just that Diaz is far more valuable to the Reds in 2016.

    • Doug Gray

      If Jumbo Diaz were a minor leaguer who averaged 97 MPH and posted an ERA under 3.00 in Triple-A, people would be BEGGING the Reds to take him in the Rule 5 draft. But for some reason they seem to want to cut him after he just posted a 3.14 ERA in the Major Leagues because, what, he’s fat? He had a 4 week stretch of struggles in the beginning of the year? The guy’s been an above-average big leaguer in his career (110 ERA+) with nearly a 3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio (struggles early this year made that not so this year, but after he returned from Louisville, that’s pretty much what it was – and a 2.18 ERA).

      There’s some really weird perceptions around Redsland with Jumbo Diaz and I just can’t get it. Dude has been a very quality reliever who has had some hiccups in very short periods of time that people seem to hold onto and just ignore that he’s pretty much dominated outside of them and posted good overall numbers.

      • Dale

        He is 33 and isn’t going to be getting better. I think his velocity is already starting to drop. I would keep him unless I saw something else better out there on the market.

      • Doug Gray

        That’s the thing though – he doesn’t really have to get better. He’s already good. That he’s not likely to be a closer doesn’t matter much. The Reds had arguably the worst bullpen ever last year. Cutting a guy who had a 3.14 ERA last year doesn’t make an ounce of sense.

        If you want to try to move him in a trade, then that is fine. But simply getting rid of him because he’s 33 next year seems very strange.

  13. DHud

    Don’t get the hate on Renda. Young versatile player who has hit across the minors. I like him a lot as a bench piece

    • Doug Gray

      I’m not sure it’s so much, hate, but that it’s more that he seems to be at best a fringe 25th guy on the roster and people are looking for better options.

  14. DaveCT

    My issue with Diaz isn’t an issue with him, or even an issue at all. It’s that his future is now and never much more. RML is all about the ‘much more.’ Where the eye test does matter to me is how often he seems to flirt with disaster, Cordero-like. None of which is anything but subjective. He sure was not alone last year and that includes as you noted Cingrani. Think he gets a break given he’s still a (younger) work in progress..

  15. Daytonian

    Jumbo Diaz: 5 save opportunities resulting in 4 blown saves. Just looking at those figures, and that old Reds bullpen feeling comes back.

      • mike

        Hey Doug is there anyone who jumps out at you the Reds may select in the Rule 5 draft?

      • Doug Gray

        I haven’t poured over the list yet, but I’d be surprised if they chose anyone.