When the Cincinnati Reds claimed Scooter Gennett off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers just days before the start of the 2017 season, it’s safe to say they had modest expectations for his performance. They liked him well enough, of course, as taking on his $2+ million in salary obligations was certainly significant, but he was initially penciled in as a bench bat behind everyday 2B Jose Peraza.
27 dingers later, Gennett enters this year as the presumptive starter at 2B, off a 2.4 fWAR campaign and set to pull down some $6 million in salary. As it turns out, that wasn’t just a fine claim made by the Reds (regardless of how this year turns out) - it stands as the single best season by a player claimed off waivers in all of baseball over the last three seasons, as FanGraphs’ Carson Cistulli looked at earlier today.
What Cistulli was looking at primarily, though, was what teams can generally expect to get out of a waiver claim, which is obviously not typically “27 dingers and a lovely homecoming story.” In fact, the initial data suggests that it’s damn near a likelihood that said waiver claim won’t ever actually play for the claiming club, which I suppose makes good sense given that he was exposed to waivers in the first place by a previous club.
For the Reds, that’s no different despite Gennett’s surprising success. The likes of Juan Graterol, Kyle Crockett, Richie Shaffer, Tyrell Jenkins, Christian Walker, Micah Johnson, Gabby Guerrero, and DJ Peterson have all been claimed by the Reds in recent memory, none of whom have actually received a call to the bigs in Cincinnati. Rather, they’ve been fringe, procedural depth moves as almost insurance policies, and haven’t been in a situation where said depth was needed by the Reds.
It’s an interesting concept, one that is of particular importance to lower payroll teams that are always on the look for undervalued bargains. For the Reds, they certainly landed one in Gennett, though that sure seems like the outlier.
In other news, we looked at five big questions facing the Reds last week as 2018 approached. Yesterday, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon also looked at five questions facing the Reds in 2018, and since there are several obvious ones Cincinnati is trying to figure out, we’ve both identified them pretty clearly.
It somewhat hard to believe that Cinergy Field has been gone for a full 15 years - not just out of use, but physically gone - but that’s absolutely the case. The Enquirer took a look back at the implosion of the storied stadium just before New Year’s Eve in 2002, and it’s worth a read.
It looks like there might not be a reunion between the Cincinnati Reds and RHP Scott Feldman after all. The team’s Opening Day starter from 2017 had been rumored to be interested in coming back to the Reds for 2018 if his surgically repaired knee bounced back, but it appears the San Francisco Giants are keeping tabs on the California native, as The Chronicle’s Hank Schulman relayed yesterday.
Finally, MLB Trade Rumors took inventory of the Reds’ current roster yesterday, identifying which pieces on the current roster might well be worth moving. Nothing groundbreaking - has anything been in all of baseball this month? - but still a worthwhile reference.