The New York Mets designated infielder Matt Reynolds for assignment on Wednesday night when they signed Todd Frazier and needed a roster spot. Reynolds has some big league time, playing in 115 games over the last two seasons. In that time he’s hit just .228/.300/.351 in 226 plate appearances.

Where Matt Reynolds has been of value in the Major Leagues, though, is on the defensive spectrum. He’s played at shortstop the most, getting action in 31 games. At third base he played in another 30 games. He’s also had limited action at second base, first base, left field, and right field. Reynolds is basically a Swiss Army knife of fielders.

The Cincinnati Reds currently have one shortstop above Double-A and it’s Jose Peraza. The Reds don’t seem to think that Alex Blandino can handle the position since they’ve stated that Phil Gosselin, who rarely plays shortstop, is the backup shortstop. Beyond those two, who it would seem the team shouldn’t be, or isn’t counting on as an option, you’ve got Calten Daal who hasn’t played since 2016 and probably won’t be ready to begin the 2018 season on time either (though, could be ready early in the year). You’ve also got Blake Trahan, but he struggled to hit in Pensacola in 2017 where he had an OPS of .585 (and a .589 OPS in the Arizona Fall League after the year).

All of that to say that the Reds desperately need to find another option at shortstop. Matt Reynolds can play shortstop. He can also play a lot of other spots on the field. In the Minor Leagues he has hit much better than he has in the Majors. During his time in Triple-A, granted it’s been in Las Vegas in the Pacific Coast League, he’s hit .289/.348/.419 over four seasons. In 2017 he hit .320/.396/.484 for Las Vegas in 144 plate appearances.

As long as the Reds scouts believe that Matt Reynolds can play a better shortstop than the other in-house options, this seems like a no-brainer kind of pick up. It would require a 40-man roster move, and the Reds roster is currently full. For a true improvement at shortstop, making a roster move is a must. The Reds won’t be the first team to get a chance to pick Reynolds up. They aren’t that far down the list, though. It seems to me that this is a small move that could really benefit the organization.


69 Responses

  1. RandyG

    Can’t believe our bench could possibly consist of Gosselin and Kivlehan.

    • GM Nep O'Tism

      We’ve got Jack for that.

      Anything is believable after that.

  2. MK

    Would not hurt to bring him in but I am not sure there is room on 25 man if they keep 13 pitchers again. leave 4 bench spots . Mez, Winker, Herrera(out of options) would seem to be three of them. Would seem like you need a righty with some pop in that last spot since they are reluctant to use their bench catcher to pinch hit. I would like to see them keep 12 pitchers so there is room for a guy like Reynolds or a utility guy who could also be a third catcher.

    • Matt Bruggeman

      I can’t imagine them going with just 12 pitchers given the likelihood that our starting 5 will either be made up of young guys who haven’t logged a full season of innings or recently injured pitchers that have.

      The fact that they’re so willing to have a marginal backup at shortstop (and possibly marginal starter) shows how much they expect to compete in 2018. Should we start rooting for that number 2 pick again already?

      • IndyRedsFan

        I could see them going with 12 if they fill the long reliever role by basically rotating the Louisville rotation thru it. Price hinted at this last year, but really never did it due to the injuries. With all 5 of the Louisville starters having options remaining, they could keep one in Cincy until he is used and then swap him out for a fresh arm. (I would hope they would also send him down if 10 days went by without using him)

        Regarding the shortstop, I’ve been surprised they haven’t made more minor league signings. There have been a number of good field, no hit guys signed to minor league deals around the league. For example, Darwin Barney signed a minor league deal just the other day.

        For now, I don’t think I’d drop anyone from the 40 man for Reynolds. I think there will still be guys cut prior to opening day…..particularly if some of these free agents start to sign.

    • Bill

      He should have an option and could start the year at AAA. If Mets don’t push him through waivers until Feb 13, the Reds could place Rookie Davis on the 60-day DL and add Reynolds. I’m not sure who else I would want to drop from the 40-man roster to make room.

      • AirborneJayJay

        That is a good point about Davis to the 60 day DL. The Mets have 10 days to do something. The first 7 days they can try to work a trade. The last 3 days usually take up the waiver process if no trade was worked out. It might be a week before anything is known.

      • victor vollhardt

        BILL almost always has good ideas and thoughts—and his points about an option left and the 60 day DL for Davis are a good way to go. If the stars all line up to to make this happen this would be the way to go.

  3. Daryl

    I’d really like to see a run at Alex Cobb. H should be getting a little desperate at this point.

  4. Shawn

    I wouldn’t claim him. There will hopefully be someone better come along Bwfore spring training is over

    • Doug Gray

      If there is, then you could just DFA him at that point in favor of that guy.

      • Shawn

        I really hate to DFA someone for him. Not sure what kind of upgrade he would be over Blandino

      • Doug Gray

        Well, if the scouts think he can actually play shortstop, he’s an upgrade because Blandino isn’t someone they seem to think can handle the position defensively on a daily basis. But, if the scouts don’t think that Reynolds can, I’m with you 100%.

    • MK

      Suarez has been a big league shortstop. He would be a better back-up option there as Alex really isn’t a shortstop.

      • Wes

        He’s listed in depth chart as back up. When I checked there were a lot of teams who didn’t have their depth charts updated or complete so I believe he is and i believe reds are content and not looking to add a guy.

        I think peraza is gonna have a super long leash while also potentially preparing in house options to replace/platoon if need be

      • Doug Gray

        Unless you got the depth chart from Dick Williams or Bryan Price, you shouldn’t pay much attention to the depth chart that you saw.

  5. Greenfield Red

    I’d say no to a major league contract for now. There is no one on the 40 that I would DFA for him regardless of the current SS situation. There are no regular season games to be played for almost two months. Once they can use the 60 day DL, it would be ok if he was their guy and still available.

  6. Colorado Red

    Need to have a legit backup SS on the roster.
    Need spring training at bats, working with 2nd basement, etc.
    I think a claim would be good at this time.
    If it does not work, or someone better is DFA’d out, DFA him latter.

  7. AirborneJayJay

    The Reds are in discussions with the devil, the Yankees, about INF Thairo Estrada. Yankees want a SP. Someone like Stephenson, Romano, or Garrett.
    I’d give up Garrett, but neither of the other 2.

    • Greenfield Red

      I wouldn’t mind the Reds acquiring Estrada, but I would not give up any of the 3 for him.

      • Colorado Red

        I might consider Garrett.
        However, I would not mind seeing what he can do when healthy.

    • Norwood Nate

      Estrada was a guy many wondered if he’d be protected for Rule 5. Not because he’s not worth protecting, but that the Yankees have a roster full of good players and guys ahead of him where he plays. I’ve wondered about his availability since.

      The Yankees missed out on Frazier for their infield needs. Wonder if they would be interested in Gennett. He’d be a nice stopgap at 2B and can provide a LH positionally flexible bat off the bench when their prospects are ready to take over. I’d quickly pass on a 1:1 of Stephenson/Romano for Estrada, but would be more likely inclined to discuss Garrett. I’d hate to sell low on him, so I likely wouldn’t do that either as a straight up swap.

    • Wes

      Be hard to think that he’d be in plans for this year since he’s going into age 21 season.

      Reds seem like a great trade partner for yanks. Hopefully they can fair trade in whatever goes down.

      Perez Estrada and Medina/sauer for scooter and bob Steve.

    • MK

      Estrada committed 17 errors in 90 games at shortstop last year.

      Rosell Herrera has played about 130 more games at shortstop in the minors than Estrada. They got him for nothing.

      I might give a Jackson Stephens quality pitcher for Estrada, not much more.

    • Phil

      I’ve been thinking that the Yankees could line up as a good trading partner.
      They could be looking for young starting pitching. If I were the Reds I’d make anyone other than Castillo potentially available.
      Yankees could also be looking to upgrade 2B and 3B. They have a top-10 MLB prospect in Gleyber Torres ( has him at #6) that can play SS and is projected to be MLB ready in 2018. Torres is blocked by Didi Gregorious at SS so they are looking to find room for him at 3B or 2B.
      A deal built around Suarez for Torres could make sense. Could also send Scooter to the Yanks. The Reds would then have 2 top-10 prospects ready to come to the big leagues together at 3B and SS in Senzel and Torres. The Yankees would now have established starters at 3B and 2B to go along with their already stacked lineup.

  8. CP

    Doug I agree this guy represents a potential upgrade to our backup SS situation, but I’m curious who you would be willing to lose of the 40 man roster to get him?

    • Doug Gray

      If push came to shove, I’d DFA Rookie Davis. With his performance last year, and the hip surgery that means he won’t be ready to start the year, I think the odds of someone picking him up would be very low. And if he is healthy again one day, he’s still pretty far down the depth chart both as a starter and a reliever.

      • CP

        Yeah I could see that I suppose. If someone picked up him though, I’m not sure the potential value of a backup SS would match the potential value Davis might bring. Even if he only ends up in the bullpen, I would like to think his stuff would play up and be somewhat valuable.

        The Reds seem pretty committed to giving Pereza every opportunity to prove himself, which means I wouldn’t think whoever plays back up SS this year is going to see much action. Just a thought.

      • Doug Gray

        Sure. I’d also be fine letting Stuart Turner go.

        While I agree that Peraza is going to get a long leash, the issue isn’t finding someone to replace him (though I would have no problem with that plan), but who plays if he gets hurt? Because right now, it’s Blandino if you want a bat but very bad defense at shortstop, or a bad bat and bad defense if you want Gosselin. If you want an actual shortstop who can play there defensively, you’re looking at guys who literally couldn’t hit in Double-A or Advanced-A last season to the tune of a .600 OPS. The Reds need someone to fill this role in the organization.

      • MK

        Just have to wonder what is behind what seems to be a rash of hip injuries among Reds. Mesoraco, Garrett, and Davis. Wonder if it could be part of their training program or lack there of.

  9. MK

    There are some non-roster bullpen pieces that I believe will need a roster spot.

  10. Scott C

    I don’t see any downside to picking up Reynolds. I really don’t think Gosselin is a real option to back up short, and Reynolds bat would not be any worse than his and possibly better. If worse comes to worse you can always DFA him. They can put Davis on 60 Day DL or take a chance and DFA him.

  11. MK

    Sorry to see Travis Wood signed a minor league deal with Detroit. Think he could have helped Reds.

    Was also surprised to see ex-Red Xavier Paul released by Rangers. Not surprised he was released but was surprised he spent a year in minors last year as a pitcher at age 32.

    • CP

      Reds lost him to Seattle I believe. I can’t remember if it was Rule 5 or waivers, but he is gone…

      • victor vollhardt

        Claimed on waivers by Seattle and a few weeks later(very short period of time) put on waivers by Seattle–not claimed –sent to a minor league team in the Seattle organization. The Reds moved him to clear roster space. But he had options left–so the Reds did not use that method–they chose to expose him to waivers, but even when he came back on waivers a few days later–all of the AL and all of the NL (including the Reds) passed on him, which allowed Seattle to assign him to their minor league. By virtue of their won/loss record the Reds could have been one of the first teams in the NL to put in a claim. Whatever the reason was–The Reds had at least two times to reclaim(and not use a roster spot) him and they chose not to. There maybe be a logical reason and it would be nice to know what that reason was.

      • Doug Gray

        They couldn’t claim him without using a roster spot. If you claim someone, they go onto the 40-man.

  12. HavaKlu

    I keep throwing the name Daniel Castro out there as a pick up for SS. He’s only 25 and in 2 cups of coffee with the Braves (2915-16) he played 30 games at SS, 22 starts, and didn’t make an error. His lifetime minor league fielding % is .975 with a .276 batting average. It seems to me that he could step right in at SS

  13. Colorado Red

    As an aside, the Cubs have signed YU Darvish.
    Division gets better. Reds not so much.

  14. Kap

    Darvish signed with the cubs for 6 years. They’ll only get 3 years of elite production out of him then he’ll have 3 mediocre years as his age and durability will catch up with him. Mark my words

    • victor vollhardt

      Mr.Gray–In regards to Vincej–Seattle claimed him—put him through waivers—no claims–optioned him to minors. Could not have the Reds claimed him from Seattle and put him on the roster (at that point they had a open spot)—sent him back through waivers(or DFA)—if he was claimed then they would be out the expense of the paperwork, but if no one claimed him they could of (like Seattle did) option him to the minors and he would then still be in the organization. Was that a possibility?

      • Doug Gray

        They could have claimed him and put him back on the roster. They could have tried to then DFA him again, but someone could have claimed him back at that point. If he went unclaimed, there would be no option needed – he’s outrighted to the minors at that point.

    • Wes

      Darvish hasn’t been elite since before tommy john. I see that he’s replacing arrietta as the ace and it’s a step down from arrietta in his prime. Cubs are going to keep getting older w a ton of max contracts. End up like Yankees did a few years back and have no farm. When their window shuts- it’ll slam w a boom!

      • Doug Gray

        Or they will just keep spending on free agents and keep winning.

      • Hal

        Cubs may keep winning as Doug stated, but they had a chance to build a mini dynasty and blew it imo. I will take bets they don’t win another WS with Rizzo on team even if they do get Harper.

        Throwing money at pitching is a fools journey. At least Reds have a chance of getting that piece right.

  15. DanD

    If they could come come cheap how about Stephen Drew or JJ Hardy? I know their best days are behind them but they would be better options than Gosselin or Reynolds. Only if the price is right.

    An option down the road if Peraza doesn’t work out is to trade a starting pitcher to Colorado for Trevor Story with Peraza as a utility player.

    Any thoughts?

    • Colorado Red

      Do not want Story, Jose batting average is higher.
      Story strikes out a ton.
      Story tries to hit everything to the moon.

  16. Patrick

    If they needed a back up shortstop there are guys like Janish out there.

    • Doug Gray

      While this is true, my question is this: Why haven’t they grabbed one of those guys yet? They clearly need a guy like that.

      • CP

        The Reds have to know something we don’t I would think. Either there is a guy on the roster that they have most confidence in than we currently think they do or something else. It doesn’t seem consistent with the FO to completely ignore a need such as this. There must be some kind of plan in place. I hope….. :)

  17. Jim Delaney

    Darvish sets Cubs up to have arguably best rotation in NL- Lester, Darvish, Kendricks, Quintana, and Chatwood… they have a lot of depth in there bullpen but will need someone to become closer or have Madden migrate a closer by committee. Morrow, Cishek, Edwards, Wilson, Montgomery, Duensing, Grimm, Butler, etc…
    Will be interesting to see if Nationals or Dodgers feel need to make move NOW to counter balance this move.

    • Greenfield Red

      Still like my Dodger trade for the Reds. Iglasias to LA for Kemp (and his 43.5 million dollar contract) Verdugo, Alvarez, K Ruiz, and Dustin May. That give the Dodgers an elite arm in the back of the bullpen (good compliment to Jansen and capable of going 2 innings) and free up big money for another addition this year. For the Reds, it puts the rebuild over the top for about 2019.

      • CP

        I would love to get a haul like that for Iglesias, but we will have to see how desperate teams get. Best chance is the trade deadline this year IMO. That’s when the market is depleted of FA options, and being a little more willing to pay the prospects for a big trade is more likely. That’s when the Dodgers (or someone else like Washington) will feel like they are just that one big piece away from a championship, and then they might payout a big prospect package like that…

      • HavaKlu

        Dodgers can’t be that desperate to get rid of Kemp that they would give up all those prospects for Iglesias.

      • Bill

        That would be a lot of talent moving from the Dodgers, but I think the concept is solid. The Reds could use their BAMTech money to boost the return in a trade by taking on a contract that has little value to either the Dodgers (Kemp) or Yankees (Ellsbury–3 years left on his contract would create some bigtime pause). Something the Reds have not done in the past, but another way to increase the talent within the Reds system.

      • Greenfield Red

        Iglasias is worth two of those prospects mentioned. The 43.5 million is worth the other two. In my opinion, it’s not too much for the Dodgers to give up. Also given the Reds were willing to spend much more for Luis Robert, according to Dick Williams himself, they can’t claim the price is too high.

        With this, the Dodgers could add two high quality pieces (Iglasias and a free agent) for the next 2-3 years. They have to believe that if they get through the National League, there is a very good chance the Yankees, with all that right handed power, will be waiting for them. Iglasias and Jansen at the back end of the pen, swings the advantage to them.

        It would be a bold move for both organizations. The Reds have done a lot in the past couple of years, but does anyone think it is enough to win a World Series in the next 10 years or so? I don’t. This gives them a much better chance. It would make the Dodgers the favorite for the next couple of years.

  18. MK

    Just do not see the Reds picking up Kemp’s contract regardless of the prospects. Think it would definitely put the business in the red.

    • Greenfield Red

      They were willing to spend $10 million more for Luis Robert.