The Cincinnati Reds finally made a roster move on Tuesday, as the club announced that they’d signed right-handed reliever Jared Hughes to a two-year contract with a club option for the 2020 season. Hughes, now 32, spent his 2017 season with the Milwaukee Brewers, and that paired with his six year stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates means he’ll continue to ply his trade in the NL Central. The Reds themselves announced the move on Twitter earlier today.
Hughes fired 59.2 innings of 3.02 ERA ball in 2017 for Milwaukee, his 1.22 WHIP in-line with his career mark of 1.27. And while his 7.2 K/9 certainly doesn’t jump off the page for a reliever, his 62.2% groundball rate ranked as the 7th best in all of baseball among the 150 relievers who threw at least 50 innings. That’s a trait the Reds will hope to see in earnest in their home games in GABP, assuming the infield defense can hold up its end of the bargain after Zack Cozart’s departure in free agency.
(For what its worth, Hughes owns a career 2.11 ERA in 21.1 IP in GABP, which would be a damn fine trend to continue.)
Notably, this is the second consecutive season in which the Reds will look to capitalize on a move at the direct expense of the Brewers over the matter of some $2 million. Last year, of course, the Reds plucked Scooter Gennett from Milwaukee off waivers since the Brewers wanted to move he and his roughly $2 million salary off the books and turn 2B over to Jonathan Villar; this year, they opted to non-tender Hughes instead of tender him the roughly $2.2 million contract predicted by MLB Trade Rumors, and the Reds have now added him to the fold for the forseeable future for $2.125 million in each of 2018 and 2019, a source told The Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan.
Nothing like the old inter-divisional challenge, eh?