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Seattle Mariners claim OF Jose Siri off waivers from Cincinnati Reds

Adios to one of the toolsier prospects the Reds have had in recent memory.

2019 Cincinnati Reds Photo Day

In their post-2018 write-up of the best prospects in the Cincinnati Reds system, the fine folks at FanGraphs - Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel, to be precise - had this to say about OF Jose Siri, who ranked #7 in the system in their update:

Siri is a superb talent who can’t help but take max-effort swings at just about everything.

There’s a bit more in his blurb, which you can read here, but that one sentence pretty well defines exactly the kind of tantalizing prospect Jose Siri is for the Cincinnati Reds. Well, the kind of tantalizing prospect Jose Siri was for the Cincinnati Reds, rather, as he was claimed off waivers today by the Seattle Mariners. The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans had the news, as it came just a week after Siri was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for OF Nick Castellanos.

It ends what has been a see-saw tenure with the Reds for Siri, as he bolted up prospect lists after his brilliant two-way 2017 campaign, one that saw him flash power, speed, and premier defense in a way that truly showed how special he could be. He fell quickly back to a level of frustration, however, and despite reaching AAA in 2019 where balls were flying out of ballparks at an epic rate, he couldn’t rekindle the kind of potent offense he once showed.

At 24 years old, there’s still certainly a chance he can put things together, and that’s precisely why Seattle opted to bring him in. Even if his offense never truly reaches the level we hoped it once would in CF for the Reds, that CF defense should still allow him to reach the big leagues in a lesser capacity at some point, perhaps even in 2020 with the rebuilding M’s.

No, this doesn’t really do much of anything to impact the 2020 Reds, as the current crop of big league OFs is already quite potent and crowded, as you well know. If anything, Siri’s departure opens up a future path to showing off CF skills at the AAA level - and, therefore, be on the cusp of a call-up themselves - for the likes of Stuart Fairchild and T.J. Friedl, both of whom have flashed plus skills at the position at points in their minor league careers.

That said, it’s never fun to see a player with that kind of potential claimed. At least this time around it’s because the Reds have dug deep into their pocketbooks to make sure the roster is well stocked anyway.