As the baseball calendars flip to November, it becomes full-on transaction season. Rosters get shuffled immediately as some players reach free agency, but just as important is the kind of roster maintenance required to free up places for the younger minor league players who need roster spots of their own to stay within the system.
Unfortunately, that often comes at the expense of more established veterans, and that’s exactly what happened with the Cincinnati Reds today. As the club announced today, four players cleared waivers and were outrighted to AAA Louisville, highlighted by Derek Dietrich.
The #Reds today announced that the following players have cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Louisville.— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) November 4, 2019
IF Christian Colón
IF/OF Derek Dietrich
RHP Keury Mella
RHP Jackson Stephens
The 40-man roster is now at 35 players.
Each of the four players above has seen time with the Reds over the last two seasons, with only Jackson Stephens not logging time at the big league level in 2019. Fortunately, though, each cleared waivers and remained in the system for the time being, meaning the Reds at least maintain their depth.
For Dietrich, it marks the latest in a series of unfortunate developments following the kind of May that few around the Reds will ever forget. He swatted 12 homers in that month alone, sporting a 1.241 OPS for the month, but his precipitous fall kicked in the moment June rolled around, and in 59 games from June 1st through the end of his season he posted just a .520 OPS with 2 homers. Of course, he was dealing with a shoulder injury that ultimately required season-ending surgery in September, which likely fueled the decline in production (and, indirectly, his ability to clear waivers unclaimed).
As mentioned, the Reds 40-man roster now only has 35 players on it, which is good considering the pile of players who’ll need to be added this winter to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft and/or reaching minor league free agency. That group is highlighted by Tyler Stephenson, Alfredo Rodriguez, and Chadwick Tromp, among others.