This seems like an interesting signing:

The Reds added an infielder/outfielder to their 40-man roster on Thursday, when Arismendy Alcantara was claimed off of waivers from the A’s. To make room, the well-traveled Patrick Kivlehan was designated for assignment.

Alcantara, 24, batted .278/.325/.467 with 12 home runs, 56 RBIs and 32 stolen bases in 108 Minor League games — mostly at the Triple-A level — in 2016. He began the season in the Cubs’ organization and was traded by Oakland for Chris Coghlan on June 9.

So long, Patrick Kivlehan, who played only three games for the Redlegs. (Kivlehan will likely stick with the organization, I’d guess, assuming no one claims him.)

Back to Alcantara: there was a time when this guy was a somewhat highly-touted prospect. To me, that makes him a much more interesting option for the Reds bench than the Jack Hannahans of the world. Read what Doug Gray has to say about him:

If the name sounds familiar it’s because Arismendy Alcantara is a former top prospect from the Chicago Cubs organization and has seen playing time in the big leagues with them (and a very small amount with the Athletics). After 2012 he was their #10 prospect and after the 2013 season he was their #7 prospect and the #100 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America. He was ranked as highly as #83 that season by Baseball Prospectus.

Read the whole thing. This isn’t the difference between winning the 2017 World Series and missing the playoffs, but it helps. More depth, and a chance for a high payoff if the 24-year-old Alcantara can recapture some of the old magic.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at

Join the conversation! 33 Comments

  1. I like this pick up. Low risk and high reward. Seems he can play several positions and has some speed, so that makes him an ideal bench piece. He’s young too, so he’s got some time to right the ship offensively.

  2. This is an interesting pick up. Alcantara is 3 years younger than Kivlehan, and is also a switch-hitter. They had fairly similar stats, but with Alcantara’s former prospect status, that makes him having a little higher ceiling. It’s not like the Reds have an abundance of 2B prospects. If he is going to be more of an OF, then this doesn’t bode well for Tyler Holt and YorRod.

  3. He can’t possibly have lower upside than whoever is #40 on this roster.

  4. Based on some educated guessing of his likely future BB%, K%, ISO, BABIP, and Def/162, I ran the numbers and Alcantara’s top 10 MLB comps are…

    Tyler Flowers
    Drew Stubbs
    Eugenio Suarez
    Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    Will Venable
    Melvin Upton Jr
    Sean Rodriguez
    Travis Ishikawa
    Justin Ruggiano

    Not exactly awe-inspiring… but room enough to be useful.

    If he could cut his likely K-rate from 30% to 20%, Jhonny Peralta gets onto the comp list, which is a fine player to have.

  5. A clear shift in GM strategy…….no Cardinal history for Alcantara.

  6. Maybe we should view this as a sign of regime change, that the Reds will now pursue one time Cubbie properties instead of all guys former Cardinales 🙂

    More seriously, per BBRef, Alcantara’s MLB offensive stats are very similar to what Phillips were at the same age in both sample size and results with a slight edge to Alcantara, OPS AA=.587; BP=.556, OPS+ AA=62; BP=48 .

    • This could get confusing. In a couple of years the Reds might have two AA’s, Arismendy Alcantara and Aristides Aquino!

    • This looks like a Wayne Krivsky move to me.


      And he stays in the mix until somebody better comes along.

      I like Jorge Cantu moves that incrementally improve (or work to improve) the team

      • Yes, I think Alcantara sticks on the Reds 40 man roster across the winter over all internal alternatives. Otherwise, why would the Reds bothered to claim him?

        He is out of options but seems to profile to at the least replace DeJesus on the 25 man roster as he plays everywhere (but catcher) including CF.

        Can’t help but wonder what this means for Dilson Herrera who appears to have 1 option year remaining.

        • I think you answered your own question there. 1 option year means he starts in AAA unless he breaks down the door to be brought up.

        • RE: Fish, If BP and Zack Cozart are both not with the Reds in 2017, what happens? Do they bring in a veteran or carry both Alcantara and Herrera on the 25 man? And if both AA and DH are on the 25 man who has top dibs at the 2B job?

        • I think the Reds are planning on BP being on the team, since he can’t be traded. Cozart can’t veto the trade so he is most likely moving on. Alcantara is probably getting a chance to take a bench spot with his versatility. If BP changes his mid Herrera gets a shot to start, with Alcantara there as the utiltity guy and emergency option if Herrera can’t stick.

  7. The Reds could have a pretty versatile roster next year with Suarez able to play several infield positions, Peraza able to play short, second, and possibly the outfield. Duvall needs to be working at third this spring so that he can play all the corner positions. And now Alcantara who seems to be able to play all the up the middle positions. Versatility is something the Cubs really value and it has worked for them.

    Now if they would just get with the times on lineup versatility. They need to start using platoon splits and batter success against certain pitcher types to determine the best possible lineup on any given day. The often cited number is that an optimal lineup will only get u 15-20 extra runs over a regular lineup. But that assumes that the same 9 players are in the lineup every time and that the lineup is never changed. I think having a different lineup for lefties and righties plus utilizing individual matchups, such as using a good fastball hitter vs a pitcher who throw mostly fastballs or a flyball hitter vs a groundball pitcher, would get you a lot more than 20 extra runs.

    Its gonna be a while before the Reds have more talent than the Cubs or Pirates. They need to squeeze every win they can out of the roster.

    • Agreed.

      Beyond the versatility of the players, of course, is the necessity of the manger to understand and utilize the versatility! I hope we end up with that in 2018.

    • 15 or 20 runs could translate to a few wins, too, so really nothing to sneeze at.

      • Yeah. I know. That’s why I don’t understand the analytic community’s general stance of “lineups don’t matter that much.” I think when sabremetrics first started they were expecting lineups to have more impact. Then when Tango did his research and they saw it was “only” 15-20 runs they became kinda indifferent. But 2 wins is 2 wins. That is an average major leaguer and it costs you nothing. And I think it could be more than that if you factor in platoons, pitcher types, batted ball types, etc..

  8. This transaction by the Reds reminds that we are now in waiver season. Teams are passing players through waivers to figure out where they stand on 40 man roster spots across the winter. Some guys, like Alcantara, will come to light because they are claimed. Many others will clear the “secret” waiver process without us immediately or ever knowing (if they are not eventually outrighted). Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Reds war room about now. 😉

  9. There is a fascinating article out yesterday at Conte Injury Analytics about the high cost of player injuries and DL days, and what it costs MLB and the teams every year. Conte is a former Dodgers team athletic trainer. Very informative. A quality article that resembles many on RLN. It is a staggering amount of $$$.
    Take a read.

  10. It seems the WJ years were defined by always having 2-3 guys(sometimes more) on the 25 man roster who were not MLB players/pitchers- Valdez/Hannahan/Cairo/half the pitching staff this year……. and we could have a fun trivia challenge with the many others. It would be refreshing to have a GM and manager that created and used a 25 man roster such that when an outfielder went down, we had a credible replacement for 10 games….or a bullpen arm hits the DL its a minor hiccup. OR its the Wednesday afternoon get away day…..and the lineup is still good. I like Duvall as a 10 game a year player at first base to give JV a break. Big Papi defied father time, I think JV can as well.

    • Totally agree Old-School! And I would add that Papi has had some chemical assistance in his age defiance.

  11. Love the move. I coveted this guy back when he was with the Cubs. Granted he’s had about 7 hits in the majors since then, but maybe he can get it together to be useful

  12. he is horrible. we are wasting our time talking about him

  13. Just saw where is projecting Dan Straily as an absolute ‘tweener as a Super2 this off season at 2.126 years of service. The article linked below calls him out as maybe 1 day short; but, their list of arbitration eligibles includes him at 2.126 service time. The money difference? MLBTR projects his likely salary at 3.39M if he is arb eligible. If not, he’ll be somewhere south of $1M.

    The article linked below includes a link to the full list of they project as arb eligible.

  14. Also, from C.Trent (@ctrent), Reds 40 man roster paring is underway:

    “Reds transactions: Tyler Holt, Patrick Kivlehan, Rafael Lopez, Matt Magill & Jon Moscot today cleared waivers, outrighted to Louisville”

    “Holt, Magill, Lopez will become minor league free agents after World Series”

    • Not bad and not very surprising. Glad Moscot and Kivlehan are staying in the organization. The signing of Alcantara and a healthy YorRod make Holt very expendable. With Magill out, close the door on the Heisey trade.
      A few more 40 man roster spots to go. Getting down to the brass tacks now.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at


2016 Reds, 2017 Reds