With Opening Day just six days away and about a bajillion players still left in Cincinnati Reds camp, it was obvious there would be some significant culling as the team moved towards its day one active roster. After cutting ties with veteran IF/OF Ryan Raburn yesterday, the Reds announced a pile of other significant moves early Tuesday afternoon, as MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reported.
Notable among these moves is the decision to send both Tony Renda and Hernan Iribarren to the minors, since both profile as the kind of versatile bench players the team referenced they were interested in yesterday given the likelihood they break camp with just a 4-man bench. Given the other players left competing for those valuable utility spots on the bench, it immediately came to mind that the decision to option those two guys likely meant that both Patrick Kivlehan and Arismendy Alcantara had essentially made the team in those roles, since they were the lone two guys who fit that bill left in camp.
Not so fast. As The Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans relayed shortly after the cuts were announced, the Reds have claimed another player who profiles similarly - IF/OF Scooter Gennett, formerly of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Reds have claimed IF Scooter Gennett off of waivers from the Brewers— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) March 28, 2017
Welp. If Iribarren and Renda got together all Ghost style and tried to form a clay mold of what their two collective skillsets would look like, it'd come out as Scooter Gennett - only more clay-y.
Not only does the Gennett move draw into question exactly which players will now constitute the team's bench, it also forced someone else to be removed from the 40-man roster. Turns out that news emerged quickly, as the Arizona Diamondbacks claimed 1B Christian Walker from the Reds shortly thereafter.
Also, as Joel Luckhaupt noted on Twitter, the Reds will add a player in Gennett who is making $2.53 million in 2017, which is a hefty increase in pay over the players with whom he'll be competing with for bench at bats. Gennett does come with team control for 2018 and 2019, however, and has posted a respectable 5.0 bWAR and .279/.318/.420 line in 1637 career big league PAs.
Somewhat lost in the shuffle in all of this is the Reds' decision to option RHP Tim Adleman to the minors, as well. Adleman obviously hasn't shown great stuff so far in Cactus League play (who has, really?), but the thought was that he could provide at least a bridge early in the season while younger, more projectable pitchers bided their time in the minors for service time reasons. With that now out of the cards, the likelihood that two of Rookie Davis, Cody Reed, Amir Garrett, and Robert Stephenson increases dramatically, assuming the team doesn't go out and claim the Scooter Gennett of disposable pitching options.
Got all that? Phew.