The Cincinnati Reds made a pair of roster moves on Monday, something many baseball teams do on many Mondays now that I think about it.
Large human righty Joel Kuhnel was officially outrighted off the Reds 40-man roster, but will remain with the organization after successfully clearing waivers. In a separate transaction, IF/OF Robel Garcia was claimed off waivers by the New York Mets.
The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans had the news.
From #Reds: RHP Joel Kuhnel cleared waivers and was outrighted to Louisville, IF Robel García was claimed off waivers by the Mets. The Reds’ roster is at 35 players, plus RHP Tyler Thornburg on the 45-day injured list.— C. トレント・ローズクランズ (@ctrent) October 26, 2020
Considering he did not allow a single minor league run in 2020, it’s probably a good thing that the Reds managed to keep Kuhnel around, even if I’m making a poor joke here given the lack of a minor league season. In reality, he was tagged for a pair of earned runs in his trio of big league innings, that on the heels of some decent work in just 9.2 IP at the big league level in 2019. The 25 year old pitched to a stellar 2.27 ERA in 35.2 IP in his last decent-sized sample anywhere, however, that coming for AA Chattanooga in 2019, and he backed that up with equally impressive work for AAA Louisville that year. Considering he stands 6’5” and owns a 96+ mph fastball, he’s absolutely an arm the Reds will like to continue working with, and now can do so with an additional roster spot freed.
As for Garcia, well, we hardly knew ye. Claimed off waivers in July of this year from the Chicago Cubs, he never played in a game for the Reds and, like Kuhnel, was deprived of the chance to ply his trade for the Reds at the minor league level in 2020. A versatile 27 year old who saw time with the Cubs in the bigs in 2019, he’s obviously got some value, but it would appear the Reds valued their newly freed up roster space a tad bit more at this juncture.
As C. Trent mentioned, the Reds 40-man roster now has 5 openings, pending their decision on what to do with the injured Tyler Thornburg, who is on the 45-day IL (the old 60-day IL) until the end of the MLB season. Ideally, they’ll add him back given that he’s been a valuable relief arm when healthy, but today’s moves continue their path towards freeing up roster spots prior to the free agent window and the inevitable additions to protect current minor leaguers from exposure to the Rule 5 Draft this winter.