Cincinnati Reds left handed pitcher Amir Garrett, who I’ve mistakenly and repeatedly said would be out of options after the 2017 season, will qualify for a 4th option year. On Saturday afternoon a reader pointed out that they believed Garrett would get a 4th option year because no seasons prior to 2014 actually counted as a “season” by the rules.

Options are weird. Usually, players get three option years before they must remain on the 25-man roster or be exposed to waivers. Every so often a player can qualify for a 4th option year. In order to do so, the player must have used up three options by their 5th professional season. Amir Garrett was drafted in 2011. He didn’t play until 2012. Either way you slice it, he’s been playing for either six or seven seasons. But, that’s where the next part of the rule comes into play. Major League Baseball defines a season, in the sense of a minor league season, as one that needs to be 90-days on an active roster. That essentially eliminates any season in rookie ball as counting as a “season”, since they don’t last 90 days.

What that means is that Amir Garrett only has played in four “seasons”, with 2014 being his first one. That means that Garrett will have used up three options before his fifth “season” and will indeed qualify for a 4th option year. I reached out to several people and had this confirmed just to make sure that I was reading the rules properly and that there wasn’t something that I was missing about the rules.

TJ Friedl has an MRI on his thumb

On Sunday I wrote about how TJ Friedl hit the disabled list with an injured thumb. On Monday he was in Cincinnati to get an MRI on his thumb and made his way to Dayton to take in a Dragons game and see his former teammates. He was rocking a thumb-stabilizing type brace in his visit to Dayton. At this time there is no update on what the MRI showed.

Eli Marrero out for the rest of the year

Daytona Tortugas manager Eli Marrero is no longer with the team. His last game managed was on Friday night in a win over Palm Beach and has taken a personal leave of absence from what I’m told. Bench coach Ricky Gutierrez has taken over as the manager for Marrero, who is not expected to return this season to the Tortugas according to one source that I spoke with on Monday.

Joey For Prime Minister T-Shirt

41 Responses

  1. SteveO

    Great news for Garrett. The Reds don’t have the pressure of having him on the 25 man roster. If he deserves a spot, great. But, if he still needs more seasoning, another year in Louisville as an option is always good.

    • Greenfield Red

      It’s very good news for the Reds. I doubt Garrett sees it as great news.

      • Colt Holt

        This is one of those areas that can go either way to a player. For Amir, if no option meant sticking on the 25 man via the bull pen, whereas one more option could help him to stick in the rotation, it isn’t necessarily bad news. Right or wrong, starters get paid. For players, it is as much about timing and opportunity as it is about talent. If this gives him the chance for everything to click and land as a starter, both sides should be better off. For a utility guy who would be satisfied making the show as a bench bat, or a bullpen arm with no expectation of starting, the option limit is extremely valuable.

  2. SteveO

    Tough blow for Mes. Broken foot and another trip to the DL. Ervin getting called up again? Or a pitcher? Wait for the end of the week after Schebler does his 3 game rehab? What will the Reds do tomorrow?

    • Simon Cowell

      Does Mesoraco have bones of glass or what? Some people just cannot stay healthy. Now I suppose we will see Turner earn that 25 man roster spot. He currently plays what once a week? Maybe they can move Mesoraco to the 60 man roster opening up another 40 man slot? Would the Reds even advantage that?

    • Norwood Nate

      Maybe they’ll call up Blandino since they have the 40-man roster space open and he’ll have to be added this offseason. If Ervin comes up I hope he gets some playing time. But with Price there it’s doubtful.

      • greg

        What is Price supposed to do about it? He’s already going to have 4 outfielders ahead of Ervin should he be called up, assuming Winker isn’t going anywhere.

      • Norwood Nate

        Not let prospects rot on the bench like he and his predecessor did all the time. Like when Hamilton had to come out of the game the last time up, put Ervin, who is an actual CF, in to replace him. Instead Kivlehan was put in, who’s not a CF. Or when Winker was up earlier, one of the Reds best hitting prospects to come along in a long time, instead of giving a start to him in the corner OF he put Gennett out there, an infielder masquerading as as an OF’er. It does not help development at all to have prospects rot on the bench and not play for 5 days. If you’re going to call them up play them at some point and see what they can do.

      • MK

        I believe they will need to keep a roster spot open for a catcher. With Mez out, Barnhart will be going on Paternity leave when wife has her pregnancy induced birth on August 30. Would leave just Turner for a while.

      • Greenfield Red

        Hey MK. I don’t think most of us knew Barnhart would be out for three days at the end of the month. Thanks for the heads up.

        I guess Turner will be getting some playing time throughout the rest of the year. I’d rather the Reds have kept Torrens from last year’s rule 5 draft, but I’ll be happy to see him play probably about 10 games between now and the end of the year.

      • MK

        They talked about the birth issue on TV the other night. I think he can actually take a couple weeks, which does not mean he will but he could.

      • greg

        Everyone on the roster has to play, Nate. That’s how it works.

      • greg

        And who among Winker, Hamilton, Duvall and Schebler should be benched for Ervin?

      • Norwood Nate

        Greg, you’re making my point for me. Yes, exactly, everyone on the bench needs to play. Ervin sat on the bench for 5 days last time and didn’t play. Even when it made more sense to enter the game for Hamilton over Kivlehan because Ervin is a solid CF and Kivlehan is an emergency type guy. Winker came up and was relegated to PH duties only and Gennett played RF when Schebler got the night off. Why not give Winker a start while he’s up. He’s going to play a lot more future games in the corner OF than Gennett.

        If you’re paying attention I never said anything about anyone getting benched. I said I hope he gets some playing time, and play them at some point. I never said Ervin should start. Just don’t go out of your way to not make the more obvious choice when playing guys off the bench. Especially when they’re guys who may/probably will be part of the future.

      • greg

        So you’re upset over one start that Winker didn’t get, and 5 days of Phillip Ervin… got it.

      • greg

        This reminds me of when people were actually losing their minds about Chris Heisey not starting every night.

      • Bill

        I think there are at least a couple of other ways to look at the prospects remaining on the bench during their earlier short stints with the Reds.

        One thought is that the Reds intentionally brought them up with a goal of exposing them to the ML environment and with an understanding that they would be the last player used. This scenario would have been an organizational decision, not exclusively a decision by the manager. With playing time available and Winker producing results at AAA, Winker was recalled and has played nearly every day; an organizational decision that Price is executing.

        A second consideration is that Price understands its a huge challenge for the bench players to stay sharp with limited in-game opportunities on a team that has maintained a fairly consistent lineup. Both Winker and Ervin have played nearly everyday in the minors, and could afford a few days on the bench. To say they “rotted” is an overstatement–there stays w/the Reds were pretty short and they were quickly back to playing everyday at AAA.

        Third, there’s a pretty big difference in what the data says we should expect between Winker and Ervin at the ML level. While Ervin has played very well over the last month or so, he does not have the track record that says he’s a better bench option over Kivlehan or Garrett. Winker is getting his shot; he earned it. In my opinion, Ervin has more to prove before he’ll be given playing time over Peraza or Kivlehan.

        While I would have enjoyed seeing both players play when logical opportunities arose, I don’t think it reflects poorly on Price that he went a different route, nor does it prove that he has a bias against playing prospects when appropriate.

      • Norwood Nate

        No, I’m not upset about those situations in a vacuum. Those are called examples. I’m frustrated with Price because it’s his MO not to play the prospects off the bench. Price and Baker both have the same history and it has gone on several years. Especially in a rebuild we need to see those guys get opportunities, especially over guys who won’t be on the next good Reds team.

        And you continue to bring up starting with Heisey. Did we not go over this? Do you have a reading comprehension issue?

    • CP

      Starting to see the wisdom of hanging on to Turner now though….

  3. Simon Cowell

    Bryan Price,s era is currently 0.00 and his batting avg is .000 he doesn’t play he just does what he is told to do and fills out the roster card. The Reds still need to see if Peraza is worth 2 cents so pretty sure that is going to be the big roadblock in seeing Blandino suit up. We need an additional outfielder if anything. Spring training next year is going to result in a few new faces on our roster and one of those may be Blandino but who’s spot is he realistically going to take?

    • Wes

      I didn’t think anyone out there that gave Price more of a benefit than me, but he has to go. He does way more than just fill out cards- he leads and dictates the atmosphere. He’s failing in both those regards. He was also suppose to be this great pitching coach…..

      Peraza (younger than Blandino) has been earning his stripes in MLB. He’s pretty far from washed up. I like Blandino but maybe he has to beat out Scooter to start 2nd next year? Doubt he can do that, but we will see. Then Senzel will be pushing those 2 or Peraza out.

      • Simon Cowell

        Hard to say Price has failed in leading the team. He didn’t train our starters nor did he give them the injury bug. If our starting 5 was healthy and turned out to be half as good as anticipated we’d be looking at a playoff bound team. Is Price responsible for that failure?

        I’m not a fan of Price, I don’t think he is a hall of fame type of coach. But then again hall of fame coaches are made by hall of fame players. Just saying…. the stinky factor doesn’t get to be put on Price this year. At best he cost us 3 to 5 wins how would that affect our playoff chances?

      • MK

        Not hard for me to say, he is not very good at it. He looks like a deer in the headlights most of the time

    • Norwood Nate

      Not sure, just proposing a possible call up. Beyond Ervin there’s not a lot of options on the 40-man, as Aquino is the only other healthy position player and he won’t be called up.

  4. Wes

    So what would the transfer to bullpen process look like? Do guys stay down in minors for a while to get in a rhythm or are the just more than likely thrown out there? Guess they wouldn’t have to worry about it until the first month of 2019 season if he can’t figure it out?

    What about Stephenson and Reed too? When are they out of options and have to stick in rotation or be moved to pen?

  5. Rick

    He’s going to be 26 in May. He is getting crushed in the minors and got destroyed in the majors. He could have 12 more options years left, he is not very good. He will likely never pitch for the Reds MLB team again.

    • Doug Gray

      He also hasn’t exactly been healthy for parts of this season, Rick. I know it sounds crazy, but we should probably give guys, even ones who struggle, more than 1 year before deciding they’ll never be good.

    • marc

      As Doug said above, Not exactly healthy.
      Some look really bad, then they figure it out.
      Just wait a bit (hard to hear for all of us)

  6. MK

    Doug, Billings went to the playoffs when Amir was on the roster, that could push them close or a little over 90-days.Do the playoffs count? Additionally Amir was leaving early in those days to start college. That might come into play as well.

    • Doug Gray

      Playoffs apparently don’t count. I’ve spoken with multiple people with the Reds over the last two days about it.

  7. Arnold Ziffle

    Good news. That gives him more time to work on that third pitch and to get more movement on his fastballs. Give him rest all winter so those nagging injuries go away. Hopefully he’ll be ready for spring training and be like he was this past spring. The Reds sure need a lefty SP to step up their game. Finnegan and Reed have both succumbed to injury and/or ineffectiveness. Both may be destined for the bullpen too. That leaves it to Garrett, or a trade to go get a LHSP. Reds really lack LH starting pitching now that Reed, Lamb and Finnegan haven’t panned out so well.

    • Bigredsfan

      Ask Jeff fasserro, pitching coach in Louisville out of all the starters, garrett has the best 3rd pitch.

      • Arnold Ziffle

        Garrett has a better change up than those at Louisville. I don’t doubt that. But Garrett said himself that there was something with his slider he needed to work on. He has confidence in two pitches, but just a little less in that third pitch. I can see where he would want to work on it more and be more confident in that pitch.
        FWIW, “That third pitch” does not = “a third pitch”.

  8. Bigredsfan

    Doug your wrong about Garrett’s option year. I’ve talked to Garrett about his last option while in Louisville. He said his agent talked to the union about a 4th option, which he doesn’t qualify for. Idk how people are giving up on Garrett he has a career Era of a 3.3, 1 bad year, and everyone thinks he isn’t good. The person we’ve seen in the past years and at the beginning of the year is going to come back, and remember I said it. I believe in Garrett.

    • Doug Gray

      I’ve talked with people who work for the Reds who are telling me otherwise.

      I’m not sure how the union is coming up with the part where he doesn’t qualify – reading the rules, it seems quite clear, unless there’s an additional part to the rule that I, and the Reds, are missing. If you know how they are interpreting the rule incorrectly, I’m all ears. But right now, reading the rules and talking with multiple people that work in baseball front offices, they seem to think that Garrett is absolutely eligible for a 4th option year. Until I can find a rule that suggests why he wouldn’t get one, I’m going to lean with what I’ve got here.

      And yeah – people are going a bit far with where Garrett stands right now. He’s had a down year, in which we know he’s been dealing with a hip issue. I believe it’s an overreaction by many fans simply because, well, it’s been painful to watch the pitching as a whole – so each guy is getting more pushback individually because of it. Garrett’s got quality stuff. It’s been down a little bit this year at times. We’ve probably got a good idea as to why (injury). Patience is a key and it just seems a lot of people don’t have any of it right now for anything related to the Reds.

      • Kinsm

        For the purpose of determining eligibility for a 4th minor league option, a player accrues a “full season” when he spends at least 90 days on the Active List of an MLB and/or minor league club or clubs in a given season, or (in seasons prior to 2012) spends at least 60 days but less than 90 days on the Active List of an MLB and/or minor league club or clubs followed by a Disabled List assignment where the combined time spent on the Active List and Disabled List equals at least 90 days or (beginning with the 2012 season) spends at least 30 days but less than 90 days on the Active List of an MLB and/or minor league club or clubs followed by a Disabled List assignment where the combined time spent on the Active List and Disabled List equals at least 90 days.

  9. Patrick

    Garrett showed a lot of promise in the majors
    He had 6 of his 12 starts where he went 6 or more and gave up two or less runs.
    He was very good or very bad reminded me of Arroyo