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.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.