Kevin Gausman has an unsightly 6.19 ERA this season, and the Cincinnati Reds have played a part in inflating that. Gausman just started against the Reds on August 2nd, yielding 5 ER in 4.2 IP, continuing a run of poor form that has spanned an IL stint, and in 6 starts dating back to May 29th he’s the owner of an unsightly 10.04 ERA.
Nevertheless, he’s become the biggest name moved this August in the inaugural season with a lone July 31st trade deadline. As ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan broke earlier this morning, Gausman was claimed by the Reds, meaning they’ll simply be taking him and the nearly $3 million left on his 2019 salary and calling it a day.
Right-hander Kevin Gausman is headed to the Cincinnati Reds, sources tell ESPN. He was claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves. The 28-year-old has one more season remaining until he hits free agency following 2020 though could be a non-tender candidate this winter.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 5, 2019
It’s certainly an odd move given both his struggles and the team’s enviable starting pitching depth. but perhaps it’s simply a case of buying low on a one-time solid asset. Though each of his last 111 appearances have come as a starting pitcher, he does at least have some experience as a reliever, and while his ERA has been ugly this season, his peripherals - namely his 4.20 FIP - suggest perhaps he’s been a bit unlucky.
Factor in that he’s under team control for the 2020 season, and the Reds just picked up a potential bounce-back candidate that needs some work, but one that could pay dividends down the road. And if he does, his team control for next year means the Reds could then use one of their other pitchers as trade bait to fix the offense, if so inclined.
Gausman, 28, is also a former 1st round pick of the Baltimore Orioles out of LSU, where he pitched in the SEC against current Reds pitching guru Derek Johnson’s Vanderbilt Commodores, and I’d be shocked if DJ isn’t at least partially behind this move.
There will need to be a roster move to account for his addition, of course, which we’ll find out once he reports to the club.