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Reds cut, re-sign Jake Elmore, add him back to 40-man roster

Weird news in the world of the Cincinnati Reds.

Current future former current future Red.
Current future former current future Red.
Jonathan Daniel

Q: How many current or former GMs does it take to decide whether a 27 year old utility journeyman should be on a team's 40-man roster?

A: More than three, apparently.

Perhaps the reason why the Cincinnati Reds are interested in adding Kevin Towers to Walt Jocketty's existing braintrust (that already features former big league GMs Bill Bavasi and Cam Bonifay) is that managing a franchise generally is a freaky-complicated thing.

Look no farther than the club's most recent transaction for evidence, as the Reds reportedly signed IF Jake Elmore today and put him on the 40-man roster.  In a vacuum, it's an odd signing, as teams don't normally fill their 40-man rosters with journeymen at this point of the offseason, usually reserving those final spots for prospects who need to avoid Rule 5 draft eligibility (and guys like Elmore are readily available to sign in the Spring).  Taken in the context of the previous transactions made by the Reds, however, this move is as curious as they come, considering just two days ago the Reds outrighted Elmore to Triple-A Louisville, thereby removing him from the 40-man roster.


As Doug Gray noted in the first link, the Reds' 40-man roster wasn't full, so there was no imminent need to remove a player in order to make sure there was a spot for someone else, so that surely doesn't solve things.  The best I can tell, he shouldn't yet be out of options - especially since the Reds waited until September to call him up in 2014 after they claimed him off waivers from the Houston Astros in June - so that shouldn't be the reasoning behind things, either.

Was he on a major league contract, and therefore was outrighted and re-signed to a minor league deal?

Did someone accidentally delete his name from the Reds' database, and the club had to frantically attempt to get him back?

Are there really two Jake Elmores, and the Reds cut one, signed the other, and faked out me and Baseball Reference altogether?

As melon scratchers go, it's a honeydoodle.  If you've got a clue as to why this all transpired, let us know in the comments.  Even Adam Rosales is confused by this one.