We knew last week that the Cincinnati Reds would be making some releases. They, like nearly all other teams, had not released players during spring training before baseball was shut down. Most teams, though not all of them, decided to make those cuts when June began as there was a lift by Major League Baseball on transactions. The Reds are among the teams who did make moves, releasing 48 total players according to Baseball America’s transaction page.

Some of the names on the list stick out a little more than others. We can start out with the guys who got 7-figure signing bonuses that were among the players released. Cash Case signed for $1,000,000 in the 2017 draft and was among those released. Cristian Olivo also signed for $1,000,000, but he inked his contract in July of 2015 – he was the biggest international teenage signing the team had made since they signed Yorman Rodriguez in 2008 – and he was among those players released.

Jose Lopez, who had been on the 40-man roster for both the Reds and the San Francisco Giants in the past, was among those released. He missed most of 2019.

In November of 2018 three Reds prospects in the Dominican Republic were involved in a fatal car accident that unfortunately took the life of Jairo Capellan. Raul Hernandez and Emilio Garcia were both hospitalized as a result of the accident and required extensive rehabilitation. Both Hernandez and Garcia were among those released.

Perhaps the strangest name on the list was left-handed pitcher Misael Lopez. The 19-year-old lefty hadn’t yet pitched for the organization and was signed last summer out of Mexico. He dominated in the Mexican Winter League this past year as an 18-year-old, posting a 2.18 ERA in 33.0 innings with 21 hits allowed, 11 walks, and 34 strikeouts.

With the likelihood of no minor league season, guys that were set to be free agents following the season, who also weren’t going to be in consideration for the “taxi squad/practice squad” if and when Major League Baseball returns this year, were the guys facing the most likely chance of being released. And there were more than a few of those guys that were on the list.

The Reds releasing of 48 players is more than any other team thus far that we know of besides the Arizona Diamondbacks, who released 64 according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The Yankees released 45. Rumors are that Seattle will be releasing over 50, but that has not been confirmed yet. The Reds and Yankees lists are quite a bit larger than others, and the reason for that could be that they have more rookie teams than most teams do, and thus they have more roster spots than most organizations.

14 Responses

  1. MK

    Some very fine young men on that list who I have gotten to know over the years. I’m sorry their dreams have been dashed. Really surprised they gave up on Cameron Warren so quickly.

    • Frank The Tank

      He’ll be 26-years-old by the time he’s on the field again and he’s had less than 50 games in Low-A ball. It’s unfortunate that he never really got a chance, but at 24 in Dayton he hit .236 and slugged .324.

  2. Mike in Ottawa

    An 18/19 year old lefty who dominated winter league seems strange….how does one of the smallest market teams have more rookie teams than most?

    • Doug Gray

      Because they wanted to and found the right opportunity to make it happen at minimal cost since the team they bought, the Greeneville franchise, didn’t require purchasing land and a stadium – just the team name and rights to operate.

  3. Melvin

    Strange in some ways and definitely unfortunate for those players.

  4. MikeD

    Does the savings essentially match what they will pay out the remainder of the players?

    It’s always sad to see something like this happen, and you can only hope that each of these young men will find future success in some form.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s tough to answer your question, but if I’m understanding you correctly – no, this won’t match up. To match up they’d have to basically release the same number of players they kept, which they didn’t. But perhaps I’m misunderstanding the precise question you are asking.

      I imagine that some of these guys are getting baseball jobs next year. Some of them are too good not to do so. They just happened to be free agents at the end of the year, so it made more sense to release them with no season coming than it would to release a lower level guy you still want to get a look at in 2021 who isn’t a free agent. Plus, you can always try to re-sign a guy – though you do have to wonder if they’ll even give you a shot after you released them over $5200 unless they don’t have anyone else calling.

  5. Redsvol

    I find the Cash Case release stunning. After only 2 real seasons of minor league ball to release someone that was so highly thought of to give a million dollars to. Obviously the young man showed no interest in making the effort it takes to reach the major leagues.

    • Kinsm

      That’s “obvious” to you, is it? It’s just as likely, if not more likely, that the Reds screwed up selecting him so high.

      • Greenfield Red

        Those are two guys I circled to keep an eye on when drafted in 2016. Neither has done much. Hansen has battled injury and Okey just hasn’t hit. Hopefully both get off to a good start next year.

  6. Jonathan Linn

    From a non sports perspective, this is a pretty bad move. Just pay the players through the end of the year. In the big picture, it’s not a lot of money…

  7. Doug Schlee

    I was really surprised that Gavin LaValley got released.