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Reds sign Desmond Jennings to minor league deal

The veteran OF will be in camp in Goodyear.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds and veteran free agent outfielder Desmond Jennings had been close to reaching an agreement for several days, but on Thursday they finally came to terms on a minor league deal, the team announced.

Jennings, now 30 years old, owns a .245/.322/.393 career line in 567 career big league games, all of which have come as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. Knee and hamstring issues have limited him to just 93 games over the last two seasons, however, and have largely been behind his dismal .222/.295/.347 line in that time.

At least, that's what the Reds are banking on, since prior to those rough seasons Jennings had been a versatile, above-average regular capable of manning all three outfield positions.

Personally, I think it's a perfect move for the Reds to make at the moment, and I detailed my sentiments in wordier form here earlier this week. In short, he's always hit much, much better away from his cavernous former home park, and his righty swing and platoon splits make him a great potential complement to the lefty-heavy OF corps currently on the Cincinnati roster. If he's truly healthy - again, that's the key in all of this - I like his chances to rebound in 2017 in a 4th OF role slash platoon role.

If the Reds had guaranteed him money and playing time as part of this deal, that'd been a risk probably not worth taking, but that's not at all the case here. It's a minor league deal, yet it comes with an invite to Spring Training in Goodyear, AZ to show everyone he's healthy enough to fill the role laid out above. If he does, he'll earn around $1.5 million, according to The Enquirer's Zach Buchanan, a completely palatable number should he prove to be 100% again. And if he doesn't, the Reds won't be on the hook at all.

According to the Reds' tweet, he'll wear #27 for the time being. With that the case, here's to hoping he's more Scott Rolen than Ross Ohlendorf while repping that number.