The Cincinnati Reds were either so flush with cash that they could not contain themselves, or they simply were not yet satisfied with the depth options within their middle-infield. Considering their entire offseason strategy for their middle-infield void was ‘avoid actually spending money on a bona fide starter and simply accrue as many depth options as possible instead,’ that certainly seems a bit odd.
Regardless, Mike Freeman is now in Cincinnati Reds camp. The club acquired him from Cleveland for cash on Friday, meaning the 33 year old will simply get to switch locker rooms in Goodyear and find a new set of threads.
Freeman, a former 10th round pick out of Clemson University, has logged a total of 347 PA at the big league level spanning stints with 5 different franchises, and had only just re-signed with Cleveland on a minor league deal in early February after being released by them following the 2020 season. His 2019 campaign was far and away his most substantial, as he hit a rather solid .277/.362/.390 in 213 PA with Cleveland.
He’s got experience all over the infield and outfield, though 3B/2B/SS have been his primary spot at the big league level. A career .304 hitter in over 1800 AAA games, it’s clear he knows how to put a bat on a ball, even if slugging the heck out of it has never been his forte.
As I mentioned above, he joins a rather crowded middle-infield mix for the time being, with each of Kyle Farmer, Alex Blandino, Kyle Holder, Dee Strange-Gordon, and Max Schrock all presently in camp duking it out for spots. That’s on top of Jonathan India being quite impressive as he attempts to kick down the big league door this spring, so manager David Bell now has another piece to juggle in his playing time equation.
Welcome to Goodyear again, Mike.