After having a pretty quiet off-season, the Reds have finally begun making moves to put some finishing touches on the roster before the team heads for Spring Training next month. A week after trading Dan Straily to the Marlins for a package of prospects, the Reds added a veteran righty to help shore up their pitching staff.
Source: RHP Scott Feldman to #Reds on one-year, $2.3M contract. Deal could max out at $4.5M with incentives. Has passed physical; deal done.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 26, 2017
A signing like this shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise to Reds’ fans. Although the Reds have a stable of young pitchers on the cusp of being MLB ready, many of them aren’t quite there yet. The loss of Straily leaves a hole in the rotation, and The Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan reported in the aftermath of the Straily trade that the Reds would be looking for a veteran to fill that void. The question that remains is if Feldman is the one that they will look at to be that veteran in the rotation, or if they will continue to look at the short list of free agents that are still available and just use Feldman out of the bullpen.
Feldman spent much of the 2016 season in Houston, where he made 26 appearances and pitched 62 total innings. He pitched decent in Houston, putting together a 2.90 ERA over those 62 innings. He made 5 appearances as a starter, going 1-2 with a 3.65 ERA over 24.2 innings. He struggled with control over those outings, walking 11 batters while only striking out 15. He was sent to the bullpen at the end of April, where he had much better control, improving his K:BB from 1.36 to 5.13. He was traded to Toronto on August 1 and was immediately shelled upon his move to the AL East. He was not the same pitcher for the Blue Jays, as he put up a 8.40 ERA in 14 appearances.
This is a pretty low-risk signing for the Reds. It gives him an opportunity to return to the rotation, and it provides an innings eater that will allow the likes of Amir Garrett, Robert Stephenson, and Cody Reed to hang out in Louisville for a little while before they make their way to Cincinnati. Who knows? Maybe he pitches well enough to be flipped for a future Cy Young winner at the deadline.