Steve Delabar was officially granted his unconditional release by the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week, ending what had been at times a successful four year run with our AL neighbors to the north.
RHP Steve Delabar has been given his unconditional release.— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 29, 2016
Delabar struck out an Aroldis-y 14.1 batters per 9 innings as recently as the 2012 season, but his K rate has declined precipitously since then while his control - never a strong suit - has stayed relatively inconsistent. As a result, the 2013 All Star's K/BB ratio has plummeted to an iffy 1.55 since the beginning of the 2014 season, which has seen him bounce between AAA and the majors as his value has decreased.
So, what's that have to do with the Cincinnati Reds?
Well, during Saturday's broadcast of the game in Indianapolis between the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, Jim Kelch mentioned on radio that Delabar - a Kentucky native and Elizabethtown resident - was with the Reds, and Reds fans in attendance at the game began wondering on Twitter who the guy warming up with the team in the Delabar jersey actually was.
There's no denying that the Reds' bullpen has been largely in tatters this spring, and despite the late additions of both Alfredo Simon and Ross Ohlendorf, the largely injured pitching staff has yet to take any substantive form. The addition of Delabar, 32, would add a veteran arm who's seen great success to the mix, and while his results haven't been as great in recent years, his arm still appears to have some life left in it - his 93.4 average mph in 2015 isn't that far below the 94.7 mph posted in his 2013 campaign. Considering the Reds still have space on their 40-man roster, it's an addition that could be both feasible and cheap (given that they'd only owe him the MLB minimum should he actually sign.)
There's been no official announcement yet, but something smells of a transaction. Stay tuned.
UPDATE [7:05 PM ET]:
Yep, the Reds have indeed inked Delabar to a minor league deal after he threw for them in Indianapolis on Saturday, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Enquirer.
#Reds officially announce signing of RHP Steve Delabar to a minor-league contract. He was with the team in Indianapolis today— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 2, 2016
That it wasn't a big league deal means there's no guarantee he's on the Opening Day roster, of course, but with his home just some 35 miles south of Louisville, it's likely that he wouldn't be opposed to proving he's still got it with the Reds' AAA affiliate.
Welcome to the fold, Steve.