Remember “Mark Payton, Cincinnati Reds outfielder?”
You’ll recall he was selected by the Reds last winter in the Rule 5 Draft, back when the world was only somewhat chaotic. He stuck with the club all the way through the postponed play, and even participated in the club’s intrasquad games in the run-up to the modified regular season.
As The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans relayed Friday evening, Payton - who was sent back to Oakland after clearing waivers in July - has been reacquired by the Reds, this time for some cold, hard cash.
From #Reds: The Reds have re-acquired from the Athletics OF Mark Payton for cash. On July 21, the 2019 Rule 5 draftee cleared waivers and was returned to the A’s.— C. トレント・ローズクランズ (@ctrent) August 7, 2020
Payton brings an intriguing lefty bat to the table, and this time he won’t be beholden to the roster rules dictated by being a Rule 5 selection. That means, roughly, that he’s now in the Reds system, but does not have to be kept on the active roster anymore. That’ll allow the Reds to keep him around as depth and continue to work with him developmentally, and he’s certainly an intriguing enough bat to want around.
It’s just somewhat interesting that if the Reds wanted Payton around this badly and Oakland was this willing to let him go that there wasn’t a more concrete transaction decided two and a half weeks ago. That said, welcome back to the Reds, Mark, and it’s somewhat fitting that there are a ton of pictures of him as a Red in a green uniform, since that’s effectively the line he’s been walking all year.