The Cincinnati Reds made another roster move on Wednesday, again involving the wheelin’ dealin’ Los Angeles Dodgers. Just a week or so after sending Tony Cingrani to the NL West leaders in exchange for minor league catcher Hendrik Clementina and OF Scott Van Slyke, the Reds acquired RHP Luke Farrell from LA by claiming him off waivers.
To complete the circle of trade life, Van Slyke was designated for assignment to open the 40-man roster spot for Farrell.
Farrell, the son of Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, is more than just minor league fodder, too. He made his big league debut with the Kansas City Royals earlier this season prior to having his contract purchased from KC by the Dodgers, and the former 6th round draft pick owns a rather solid 3.92 ERA and 1.31 FIP in 193 AAA innings over the last two seasons. When you factor in that all of those innings came in the extremely hitter friendly Pacific Coast League - and that he’s got two more option years, as MLB Trade Rumors noted - and it’s easy to see why taking a flier on Farrell was a solid option for the pitching-starved Reds.
Though Farrell’s lone start with Kansas City was a rough one, he’s maintained being a starter for the bulk of his MiLB career, and I’d expect that’s where he’ll remain in the Cincinnati system, too. With Anthony DeSclafani’s elbow setback thinning the ideal pitching staff for more time this year and with Robert Stephenson also on the 10-day DL, there’s a chance Farrell will have a shot at some starts and innings as the season winds down. Also, considering Scott Feldman is likely to return this weekend and will firmly be back on the trading block should he show he’s healthy, his potential departure could leave innings on the table, too.
As for Van Slyke, well, his brutal 2017 season pretty well made him the obvious choice to free up a roster spot. However, considering his precipitous decline from his 2014 breakout with the Dodgers, there may even be a chance he sticks around the Cincinnati system on a minor league deal. In all likelihood, the Reds taking on the prorated portion of his $1.33 million salary for 2017 was a book-balancing in the Cingrani deal in the first place, though any rebound from a guy with great proclivity for smashing LHP would be a nice asset to have stick around somehow, anyway.
Farrell, it should be noted, is technically an Ohio native, too, as he was born in Westlake. As the Reds noted in the above tweet, he’ll head to AAA Louisville for the time being.