2013 Reds

Report: Reds sign utility infielder Emmanuel Burriss

This is not a headline from The Onion. The Reds apparently have signed free agent utility infielder Emmanuel Burriss (27), who played with the Giants last season.

In 60 games with the Giants this past season, Burriss appeared at second base, third base, shortstop and right field. The 27-year-old posted a .213/.270/.221 batting line in 150 plate appearances. Burriss, San Francisco’s first round selection in 2006, would have been arbitration eligible this offseason if the Giants had kept him on their roster.

If you thought it was impossible for the Reds to sign someone who had a worse 2012 at the plate than Miguel Cairo, you underestimated them. Of the 401 major league players with at least 150 plate appearances, Burriss had the sixth worst OPS (Cairo was seventh worst). On the other hand, Burriss is an OPS upgrade over Wilson Valdez (second worst).

Singles hitter, oh yes. Literally. Burriss had the least power of any major league position player, with only one extra base hit (a double) out of 150 PA. He stole five bases but was caught stealing 3 times.

Before we jump to all-out criticism of the move though, it may just be a simple addition to organizational depth, not a presumptive slot on the 25-man roster.

41 thoughts on “Report: Reds sign utility infielder Emmanuel Burriss

  1. What will be interesting is if Henry Rodriguez gets a shot at the IF utility role for 2013. I hope he does but that would be very contra-indicated by past efforts to fill the IF utility position on the major league roster.

  2. Another thing I’ve seen today is that Rolen is thinking about coming back, and the Reds have apparently offered him a job in some form.

  3. The Red Sox agreed to a two-year contract with free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes. According to Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle, it’s a two-year contract worth $10MM. She says it’s about double what the Athletics offered Gomes in September.

    Good for Jonny :!: :D He’s one of the good guys of baseball.

  4. What’s the point of even using this guy for AAA depth? . . . Isn’t there another guy with a career -2.5 WAR available? . . . Evidently, this guy can’t hit and, though he plays several positions, isn’t a good fielder. Other than that, I am sure he is a great player.

  5. @Jason Linden: @CI3J: I’m with you guys. Blogs tend to overreact to minor league signings. Having him at AAA will not interfere with promoting Rodriguez or Gregorius, once they’re ready.

  6. @Jason Linden: I don’t understand this line of thinking. Any player needed for “organizational depth” is a person that could (however unlikely) find himself on the big club. Burriss is an awful player. This isn’t going to keep me up at night, but why couldn’t they have gotten someone else?

  7. If Burris makes the roster out of Spring Training, I guarantee he’ll have a career high in AB’s, which is 240 set in 2008, simply because of Dusty. You know it’s true.

  8. As for Rolen: please no. It’s Frazier time plus The Dusty-Factor of leaning towards Rolen scares me. However, he’ll be on the DL by May 15th with lower back strain getting out of bed so Frazer’s going to play anyway.

  9. I like the Burriss signing. A former 1st round pick who appears to have been terribly mis-handled by the Giants organization. Switch hitting middle infielder with a minor league slash line of .284/.347/.346/.693. Good average, decent OBP skills. Very curious how he went from A/A+ in 2007 to ML/AAA in 2008. Didi needs AAA time, the Reds need a MI who can play SS. I’d much rather they pick up a minor league free agent for a bench candidate than overspend on another Valdez type. Sounds like a good take a flyer signing for a backup SS/ bench player.

    • I like the Burriss signing.A former 1st round pick who appears to have been terribly mis-handled by the Giants organization.Switch hitting middle infielder with a minor league slash line of .284/.347/.346/.693.Good average, decent OBP skills.Very curious how he went from A/A+ in 2007 to ML/AAA in 2008.Didi needs AAA time, the Reds need a MI who can play SS.I’d much rather they pick up a minor league free agent for a bench candidate than overspend on another Valdez type.Sounds like a good take a flyer signing for a backup SS/ bench player.

      Why does it matter whether or not he was mishandled? He’s 27 years old, and the last 2 years, in the role that he would have if he were to make the big club, he’s been about the worst player in major league baseball. It’s not like he’s a 22 year old where they might be able to turn around a guy who’s been mishandled.

      We talk a lot here about Dusty proofing the roster, and this is the opposite of Dusty proofing the roster.

      • Why does it matter whether or not he was mishandled? He’s 27 years old, and the last 2 years, in the role that he would have if he were to make the big club, he’s been about the worst player in major league baseball. It’s not like he’s a 22 year old where they might be able to turn around a guy who’s been mishandled.

        We talk a lot here about Dusty proofing the roster, and this is the opposite of Dusty proofing the roster.

        Change of scenery? Boost of confidence from a new team showing interest in him might get him back to the 23 year old that hit .283 with a .357 OBP. SS happens to be the worst hitting position on the ball field, chances are your backup SS is not going to be a good hitter. The Reds will fill Valdez’ roster spot. There’s going to be a crappy hitting backup SS on roster, so there’s really not much hope of Dusty proofing that spot. I guess you had best hope Walt signs him some more competition, because as right this minute, he’d be on the roster heading north. :)

  10. just saw this from BusterOlney.ChrisHeiseyisapparentlyapotential2-3yearextensioncandidate.Meansnothing,but…

  11. One other thing about Burriss, it’s “funny” that Sheldon’s report says that he primarily plays 2nd base, “but can also play short, third, and left field”.

    Left field, what a riot.

    • Just for depth, if that.Means essentially nothing.

      I will say, I could possibly see Dusty making this out to be a pickup of a lifetime, insist he’s on the big club, and bat him 3-5 times as much as any other pinch hitter he has.

  12. I ‘ve seen recent reports that Pagan may be available for $10-12MM annually over three or four years. If I’m evaluating Pagan @ $10MM per year for 3-4 years or Ludwich @ $10MM per year for 3 years, I’m signing Pagan as quick as the ink will dry on the contract. I did not anticipate Pagan being available for anything close to $10MM per year. This is a move WJ could make to prevent any gross mishandling of the major league roster and lineup and without giving up any prospects and/or pitching.

    • Looks like a low risk gamble on somebody with the ability to emerge as a solid utility player, to get sent to the minors, or get released in spring training. A minor league contract makes it premature to assume that he’s the heir to Wilson Valdez or Miguel Cairo.

      What’s the point of even using this guy for AAA depth? . . . Isn’t there another guy with a career -2.5 WAR available? . . . Evidently, this guy can’t hit and, though he plays several positions, isn’t a good fielder.Other than that, I am sure he is a great player.

      Maybe he’ll be a positive influence in on the young players, albeit in the minors. Like with Miguel Cairo and Wilson Valdez the Reds sometimes value things in veteran utility players beyond their ability to hit well.

      @Jason Linden: I don’t understand this line of thinking.Any player needed for “organizational depth” is a person that could (however unlikely) find himself on the big club.Burriss is an awful player.This isn’t going to keep me up at night, but why couldn’t they have gotten someone else?

      They have plenty of time left to add somebody else, somebody better. This is one of the Reds’ first free agent signings of the offseason but it won’t be the last.

      If Burris makes the roster out of Spring Training, I guarantee he’ll have a career high in AB’s, which is 240 set in 2008, simply because of Dusty.You know it’s true.

      You guarantee he’ll have a career high in ABs because he’s playing for Dusty? Maybe it’s worth recognizing of the unpopular Reds of 2012 Willie Harris had his fewest ABs (44) since his rookie season of 2001 under Dusty. Valdez had 194 ABs after getting 273 and 333 in his two years with the Phillies. Miguel Cairo just had his fewest ABs since 1997. Obviously utility players get used WAY more by Dusty than by any other manager. I know the facts sure don’t suggest that Burriss will have a career high number of ABs. You must be expecting a lot of unpredictable injuries and attributing them all to Dusty Baker.

      Why does it matter whether or not he was mishandled?He’s 27 years old, and the last 2 years, in the role that he would have if he were to make the big club, he’s been about the worst player in major league baseball.It’s not like he’s a 22 year old where they might be able to turn around a guy who’s been mishandled.

      We talk a lot here about Dusty proofing the roster, and this is the opposite of Dusty proofing the roster.

      So basically Burriss is about the same age as Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart, just he was rushed and ‘mishandled’ and therefore missed all opportunity to succeed and improve beyond ‘the worst player in major league baseball’ while Frazier and Cozart are up and coming young players.

      We didn’t want washed up veterans like Miguel Cairo and Wilson Valdez so the Reds added a young former first round draft pick who never lived up to expectations. That’s not acceptable either. New rule – the only people who can be signed as utility players from now on are guys who have not been successful in the past and who scouts have never expected anything positive from in the future either. That’s a formula for success.

      Change of scenery?Boost of confidence from a new team showing interest in him might get him back to the 23 year old that hit .283 with a .357 OBP.SS happens to be the worst hitting position on the ball field, chances are your backup SS is not going to be a good hitter.The Reds will fill Valdez’ roster spot.There’s going to be a crappy hitting backup SS on roster, so there’s really not much hope of Dusty proofing that spot.I guess you had best hope Walt signs him some more competition, because as right this minute, he’d be on the roster heading north.

      A change of scenery may have helped Brandon Phillips but Reds fans sure seem unwilling to accept the possibility that it could help any other young player.

      I ‘ve seen recent reports that Pagan may be available for $10-12MM annually over three or four years.If I’m evaluating Pagan @ $10MM per year for 3-4 years or Ludwich @ $10MM per year for 3 years, I’m signing Pagan as quick as the ink will dry on the contract.I did not anticipate Pagan being available for anything close to $10MM per year. This is a move WJ could make to prevent any gross mishandling of the major league roster and lineup and without giving up any prospects and/or pitching.

      Angel Pagan has a .333 career OBP, compared to .312 career for Stubbs. Do you really want to pay $10m for that .020 upgrade in OBP? What’s your plan for Pagan when Billy Hamilton is ready to take over? Trade him to a team wanting to pay $10m for a leadoff hitter with a .333 career OBP? Yikes. Pagan isn’t even a good leadoff hitter, he’s just another name to throw into the pool for the leadoff spot. Pagan is a waste of money and not a solution to anything. At least Michael Bourn has leadoff credibility on his resume. I’d rather offer a one year deal to Ichiro than sign Pagan long term.

  13. @Shchi Cossack: I agree with you about Pagan over Ludwick if the money per year is the same even if Pagan requires a year longer.

    Perhaps it is because of the holiday but I am surprised there hasn’t been much comment about the Gomes signing (with Boston, $10M total over 2 years). I agree good for Jonny; but what does it say about how much more somebody might ante for Ludwick or Pagan et al if Gomes can pull in that type of money. Wondering if the reports of Pagan being available for $10M a year if the term were 3 or 4 years was ahead of or after the Gomes signing.

  14. Less than a week counting down to the nontender date. It seems to me there have been more outrighting and DFA’s of potential nontender guys this year than normally. Still there could be a flurry of activity this week involving guys a specific team does not want to risk arbitration with but who fill a need at projected reasonable value for another team.

    Stubbs could possibly be in this category for the Reds but I think only for above market return; so, he is not likely to be traded or nontendered at this point.

    • Bob Dutton‏, the KC Star beat writer, tweeted that the Royals don’t want to trade Myers or any of their current big-league guys. Much prefer to trade prospects. But willing to listen.

      This falls back into the age old argument of having to give quality in order to get quality. Both the Padres & Royals want quality, cost-controlled starting pitching, the most coveted of all positions, but they don’t want to give up the same quality. This was the dilemma the Reds faced going into last season when WJ bit the bullet in order to obtain the quality, cost controlled starting pitcher he needed. If the Royals and Padres are serious about obtaining a quality, cost-controled starting pitcher and they decide to make Gyorko and Myers available, I’m sure WJ will be listening. Leake, Corcino and Cingrani are sitting there waiting for a chance to shine. Just pick one and then work out the remaining details.

      • This falls back into the age old argument of having to give quality in order to get quality.Both the Padres & Royals want quality, cost-controlled starting pitching, the most coveted of all positions, but they don’t want to give up the same quality.This was the dilemma the Reds faced going into last season when WJ bit the bullet in order to obtain the quality, cost controlled starting pitcher he needed.If the Royals and Padres are serious about obtaining a quality, cost-controled starting pitcher and they decide to make Gyorko and Myers available, I’m sure WJ will be listening. Leake, Corcino and Cingrani are sitting there waiting for a chance to shine.Just pick one and then work out the remaining details.

        The Reds prioritize pitching and defense and they need to add a leadoff hitter. Wil Myers might be a great power hitting outfielder (who strikes out a bunch) but he is NOT a likely target for the Reds, let alone somebody the Reds would trade top pitching prospects (like Cingrani or Corcino) to acquire. Ryan Ludwick is likely to be replaced as cleanup hitter by Frazier or Phillips but I think it’s extremely unlikely that they’ll pull off a big trade for a rookie power hitter – the Reds are contenders, not a team starting a rebuilding process.

  15. @OhioJim: I think the Red Sox paid for Gomes’ cluhouse presence as much as his production against LH pitching. I think the Red Sox managment recognize that they desperately need that clubhouse presence after the debacle of last saeason. Sometimes team chemistry and leadership IS that important when it is completely absent.

    • Todd Redmond signed to a Major League deal. Start of something big?

      Like protecting him from being claimed off waivers? In the spring I think Redmond will be fighting for a Sam LeCure type bullpen spot or else serving as trade bait.

  16. To continue, he was signed to a one year, 490k Major League deal today. I wonder if this means that the Reds are preparing to trade one of their current starters? He was the sixth starter last year…

    • To continue, he was signed to a one year, 490k Major League deal today.I wonder if this means that the Reds are preparing to trade one of their current starters?He was the sixth starter last year…

      I’d say that Redmond entered 2012 behind Jeff Francis on the rotation depth chart. He was promoted to 6th after Francis elected to become a free agent but now he’s been surpassed by Tony Cingrani and returned to 7th. Redmond’s best hope to enter the Reds’ rotation is to hope that Chapman returns to the closer role and two other guys get injured… or hope for a trade to a team that would give him a job.

  17. Regardless, if the Reds believe that Cingrani needs more time in the minors, trade some of their starters, and don’t sign a closer to take over for Chapman, you can bet he’d be the top option for the fifth spot. Naturally, I want Chapman to be given the opportunity to start, but it’s more than likely he’d remain the closer if they don’t sign or trade for someone.

    It might be something as simple as depth though. Curious, does this take up the final spot on the forty man roster? If it does, the Reds can’t draft anyone in the Rule 5 draft next week.

  18. By the way, no offense, but your arguments above are full of fallacies, redsfanman. Specifically, you generalize that most if not all Reds fans don’t believe that “change of scenery” deals can help players despite the fact that it occurred with Brandon Phillips. This is not true. Many fans do believe in these types of deals.

    Furthermore, I can’t quite follow your arguments. Are you supporting or arguing against the signing of Burriss?

    Besides, it’s a low-risk medium-reward kind of deal. If he doesn’t work out, so what?

    Sorry if I sounded arrogant or condescending, I’m just confused about certain things you’ve said.

    • By the way, no offense, but your arguments above are full of fallacies, redsfanman.Specifically, you generalize that most if not all Reds fans don’t believe that “change of scenery” deals can help players despite the fact that it occurred with Brandon Phillips.This is not true.Many fans do believe in these types of deals.

      Furthermore, I can’t quite follow your arguments. Are you supporting or arguing against the signing of Burriss?

      Besides, it’s a low-risk medium-reward kind of deal. If he doesn’t work out, so what?

      Sorry if I sounded arrogant or condescending, I’m just confused about certain things you’ve said.

      I’d agree that my assumptions of homerun loving Dusty-hating disgruntled Reds fan is based more around the 700WLW coverage and such than the people here. But many of those stereotypes, such as Dusty will foolishly pursue the worst decision possibly, is frequently supported here.

      Am I for or against signing Burriss? Best answer is probably that I don’t care about Burriss one way or the other. Maybe he’ll be good for the Reds, maybe he’ll get released after getting reassigned to minor league camp in spring training. Either way his signing isn’t a big deal.

      It bugs me that some people (HankAaronsTeammate for example) seem completely opposed to giving him a chance, writing him off as one of the worst players in baseball. It could go badly, so assume the worst case scenario. Sezwhom is predicting he’ll get a career high for at bats playing for Dusty Baker. Tom D implied that Burriss will have a roster spot unless Jocketty signs some more competition, which should be open to debate.

      As far as change of scenery deals, I frequently seem to see players come to the Reds and exceed expectations or excel. Ludwick, Navarro, and Xavier Paul were fine examples this year. I think they all arrived with similar criticism though, with people complaining that the Reds shouldn’t waste time with such unsuccessful players. The Reds have done a good job of picking guys off the scrap heap and I think Burriss deserves a fair chance in spring training.

      If you were confused, keep in mind I was supposed to be working harder.

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