Just hours after wrapping up a deal with the New York Yankees that landed them Luis Cessa and, to whatever extent, Justin Wilson as bullpen reinforcements, the Cincinnati Reds were back on the transaction ledger again Wednesday morning.
This time, it was for Colorado Rockies reliever Mychal Givens, a 31 year old righty who has pitched to a tidy 2.73 ERA in 29.2 IP so far this year. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand had the early news, though MLB’s Thomas Harding later added the news that Case Williams - formerly of the Rockies - would be heading back as the return.
The Reds are finalizing a deal to acquire RHP Mychal Givens from the Rockies, per source.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 28, 2021
Per source: When deal of RHP Mychal Givens to #Reds is done, #Rockies will reacquire RHP Case Williams, their fourth-round pick last year. He went to Cinncinnati with RHP Jeff Hofman in the deal that brought RHP Robert Stephenson. Williams is from Douglas County (Colo.) HS. https://t.co/B1Es0Kuzul— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) July 28, 2021
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman later added that a second Reds pitcher would be on the move, an A-ball hurler who was eventually named by Feinsand as Noah Davis.
Givens goes to Reds. 2 pitchers including RHP Case Williams, go to Rockies. The other is another A level pitcher. Williams in earlier deal had gone the other way, from Colorado to Cincy.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 28, 2021
Formerly a Baltimore Oriole, he’s in the final year of team control making a hair over $4 million in total this season, meaning the Reds will be on the hook for just under half of that for the rest of 2021 before he reaches free agency.
Of course, there are some underlying aspects of Givens’ game that aren’t necessarily screaming that he’ll be the bullpen fix. He owns a 4.67 FIP, 1.32 WHIP, and 4.2 BB/9 so far this year, his 10.3 K/9 still impressive but below where he was during his best days in Baltimore. He’s also leaned on his changeup more this year than ever before, perhaps an indication that he’s been tweaking his approach given that it’s his first full season pitching with Coors Field as his home park.
That latter aspect won’t be the case any longer, of course, so it will be interesting to note how his pitch-mix evolves. On a related note, his splits outside of Coors so far this year have been tremendous - .490 OPS allowed and nary a homer in 44 PA.
The Reds now look like they just might have enough bullpen depth to bridge the gap until Tejay Antone, Lucas Sims, and Michael Lorenzen get back.