The trade that officially sent Brandon Phillips to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday opened up a spot on the 40 man roster of the Cincinnati Reds. On Monday, the team quickly moved to refill that roster, adding RHP Lisalverto Bonilla, a talented yet injury prone hurler who had been designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates just last week.
Bonilla is quite well traveled for a 26 year old. Originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an 18 year old out of the Dominican Republic, he was sent to the Texas Rangers as part of the trade that brought Michael Young to Philly, and he's since signed and spent at least some time in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and with the Pirates. His lone cup of coffee in the big leagues came with Texas in 2014, where he posted a 3.05 ERA in 20.2 innings, but Tommy John surgery then wiped out his 2015 season.
The Dodgers, opportunistic as they usually are, picked Bonilla up on waivers while he was rehabbing, and he rewarded them with overall solid numbers split between AA-AAA, posting a 3.97 ERA and 9.6 K/9 in 111 innings in the hitter friendly Texas and Pacific Coast Leagues. He reached free agency following the 2016 season and signed a guaranteed deal with Pittsburgh shortly thereafter, but he lost his roster spot when the Pirates acquired Pat Light from the Minnesota Twins last week.
Bonilla has split time as a reliever and starter in his minor league career, both before and after his surgery. He's long been able to miss bats - his 10.1 career K/9 in 201 MiLB games attests to that - and owned a fastball that sat 90-94 mph in his big league performances in 2014. In all, it adds up to a solid waiver claim to add depth to the pitching rotation, one that mirrors many of the moves made by the Reds' front office this winter.
Finally, the Reds also made official Bronson Arroyo's return to the team, as the veteran righty put pen to paper while in Goodyear, AZ earlier today.
It's a no-frills, no-risk deal for the Reds, as it's a minor league pact with no guarantees. In fact, Arroyo will only make the MLB minimum should he actually make it back to the big leagues, which may suggest he's really there with something to prove - not just to ride into the sunset.
Welcome to the fold, Lisalverto & Bronson.