The post-World Series realignment on the fringes of the Cincinnati Reds roster continues:

Two more players came off of the Reds’ 40-man roster on Friday. The A’s claimed right-handed reliever Josh Smith off waivers, while the Reds outrighted utility player Ivan De Jesus Jr. to Triple-A Louisville.

The 29-year-old Smith appeared in 41 games over the last two seasons, putting together a 5.46 ERA and a 77 ERA+. He always seemed like a good guy, and we wish him the best in Oakland.

DeJesus, I imagine, will have a good chance of making the Reds roster again next season, presuming he clears waivers. He’s been a fairly versatile bench player, if not particularly productive with the bat.

Cincinnati is now down to 33 players on the 40-man roster. That’s plenty of room to protect players for the upcoming Rule 5 draft…or to acquire Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper, Madison Bumgarner, Andrew Miller, and Jay Bruce.

35 Responses

  1. Greatredlegsfan

    The new guy at the helm has a sharper trimmer

    • ohiojimw

      Agree. I would not be surprised to see him go even deeper on pruning and thus longer on protecting first time Rule 5 Draft eligible guys.

      However there can be a downside to rushing guys onto the 40 man roster because their option clock will be started come next spring. So, the Reds will be trying to guess who among the Rule 5 eligible guys they believe wouldn’t be ready for MLB by 2020 anyway that nonetheless somebody else might take a gamble on and try to “hide” on their active roster for a year.

      • DHud

        There’s really no “rushing” onto the 40 man roster to protect from the rule 5 draft. Either they’re on the 40 man after 5 years and are protected or they’re not. That thought process you described is pretty much the down and dirty of it every year with every player

      • ohiojimw

        That’s true. I should have chosen my words better. After 6 years, a guy can become a minor league FA if he isn’t added to an MLB roster. So, essentially the team has a year to play with if they want to risk somebody won’t be taken in their first Rule 5 exposure. That’s what I was referencing with the “rush” statement.

      • lwblogger2

        Actually if you don’t think a guy will be MLB ready for the coming season or perhaps the next, you don’t bother protecting them at all. Guys who get claimed need to remain on the claiming team’s 25-man roster all year or be offered back to their original clubs. Basically, you want to protect guys you think are very close to being MLB ready. Guys who a bad team may claim and keep on the roster in 2017 are the guys you want to protect.

  2. RedsFanForLife

    It seems strange that the Reds had one of the worst bullpens in 2016, but other teams are claiming relievers from that bullpen off of waivers. First DLS, then Smith. The FO should have tried trading them if there was value enough that they’d be claimed. Ramirez last season and now DLS and Smith. The AL West will be represented well by ex Reds

    • ohiojimw

      Like I said on the back end of the previous thread when these moves were first reported, exposing Josh Smith to waivers sets the bar up a bit as to what to expect out of the Reds pen in 2017. Hopefully the expectations will be met and even far exceeded.

    • Michael E

      I am not a bit concerned about losing Josh Smith, Jumbo Diaz, Ohlendorf, Sampson, De La Rosa and any other self combusting non-prospect.

      • RedsFanForLife

        I disagree. Jumbo had a 3.14 ERA and Sampson had 2 or 3 bad games and is worth keeping as a long reliever. In fact, I don’t think the Reds should go outside the organization for relievers. 2017 should be the final year to see what the pitchers that we have can do. Sampson, Jumbo, Cingrani, Wood, Iglesias, Lorenzen and one more reliever from the likes of Weiss, Adleman(if he’s not the 5th starter), Peralta, D. Diaz, Shackelford. Or even Routt, Astin or Chacin if they’re invited to camp. We shouldn’t be spending money unnecessarily in 2017 for relievers.

  3. RedsFanForLife

    Sorry Daniel Wright, forgot about you.

  4. jessecuster44

    Hmm – More room to bring back Marquis, Gregg, and Grit Schumaker.

    • Michael E

      Fortunately we have too many to protect for such foolishness. Doesn’t mean they won’t offer non-roster invites to spring training (I sure hope not).

  5. ohiojimw

    The Reds 40 man roster is now at 33. By my count there are 18 pitchers, 3 catchers, 7 infielders and 5 outfielders (curiously Jose Peraza is listed under OF).

    The deadline to have rosters set ahead of the Rule 5 Draft is Nov 18. I’d guess there is more pruning in the works with the number of “sure” new players requiring Rule 5 protection around 10.

    Interesting guys still on the 40 man? Tony Renda tops my list. Steve Selsky is another guy who could be on the bubble. Ramon Cabrera is still on but given Mesoraco’s health, I’d judge he stays on until/ unless he is replaced by a bona fide MLB catcher. And will they trade Cozart for whatever they can get ahead of the 18th to have the spot?

    On the pitching side, if they might be planning on non-tendering Blake Wood or Tony Cingrani, it would make sense to trade or formally nontender them ahead of the 18th. Then there are Jumbo Diaz, Wandy Peralta, Tim Adelman, Keyvius Sampson, even Rookie Davis who could be bubble material depending how many younger guys the Reds want to protect and exactly who they are.

    • Michael E

      I see absolutely no positives in keeping Jumbo, Peralta, Adelman or Sampson. Davis sure, he has done enough to earn it. As for Selsky or Renda, well, they don’t see to be true MLB caliber prospects, but they have put up good stats recently, so maybe worth holding if they prune the bad pitchers and old prospects first.

      • Gaffer

        Got to keep Renda but Selsky is not worth a spot. Sampson is a toss up. Wood can’t be considered to be offered arbitration, that would be dumb. I guess I just guaranteed he will be.

      • Carl Sayre

        Renda was an extremely small sample size but I didn’t see “got to keep”. I will add my life spun completely upside down near the end of the season and he may have been walking on water the 60 percent of the games I was missing!
        I have that you “thing” about DeJesus where I like him a lot better than he plays but other than him I am not opposed to blowing them up and starting over.

    • Dan

      I don’t know why Steve Selsky doesn’t get more love. Love at his minor league numbers and they are nearly identical to what Winker has done. big difference is his age. Still 27 is young enough to give us a few good years. On top of his offense equivalent to Winker it turns out that he is a better fielder.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Selsky has had an impressive minor league career as a hitter. He’s been above average at every stop, sometimes by a significant margin (wRC+ of 138 in 2015 and 2016.) The major difference comes in the plate discipline areas and power *potential*.

        The first major flag for Seslky as a MLB player is the K%. With the Reds last year this was evident as he K’d 40.7% of the time. That is simply unsustainable. While for the most part he’s maintained a K% around 21-22% in AAA the last two years, his first season he posted a 32.4%. Meanwhile Winker posted a 13.2 K% in his first year in AAA, being 4 years younger, and has only been over 20% once in his career during a half season making the jump to AA.

        On the other side, Winker has always been able to take a walk, posting a 13.2 BB% in his first year in AAA. And while Selsky has demonstrated some good BB% in the past he hasn’t been over 10% since 2014. Coincidentally his K% was also up that year.

        Then, when it comes to power potential, with last year being an outlier likely due to entering his prime, has typically posted poor ISO numbers. He posted a .066 and .099 in 2014. Posted .111 in 2015. He put up nice numbers in the Cal-league in 2013 which is the most notorious hitters league, but in 2012 in A ball he posted a .114 ISO. So there’s a history of not showing much pop.

        Winker on the other hand has posted solid, above average ISO numbers. In A ball he posted a .182, in AA he posted .143 and .151 ISOs respectively. (For fairness sake I skipped over A+ as he was also in the Cal-league). In fact it wasn’t until this year that he’s posted an below average ISO, and that came in a year that he dealt with a wrist injury. He has a history of showing average-above average pop, more so and at younger ages than Selsky.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Selsky is 20% worse than Winker, and several years older.

        Those factors make a big difference.

        If Winker never progresses from where he is at right now, he’s still a fine filler in someone’s outfield, hitting .265/.350/.400 or so. If he does progress, like many young players do, and hits something like .280/.375/.420, he’s a borderline all-star… and that’s not even a reach.

  6. streamer88

    It is interesting to think that building a stockpile of young arms (as opposed to position players) makes your 40-man decisions relative to Rule 5 at times harrowing. Very few teams will grab a Double AA infielder/outfielder and weaken their bench for the year as a result, yet it seems much more likely (like we did successfully with Jared Burton) to pluck pitching talent via Rule 5.

    Not that “How to Rebuild” was the title of this article, but I think how rosters are built, and how 40-man and Rule 5 works, would suggest that rebuilding with young position player development (and acquisition of arms, instead of drafting/developing) would make this portion of roster management more tenable.

  7. Hotto4Votto

    A little surprised at DeJesus being let go since he was a useful, if not overly productive bench piece. In the light that the Reds bench looks to be as unsure as it ever was, I’m a little surprised they let a veteran guy go. At this point, beyond Tucker, the bench looks like Alcantara, Renda, and Selsky with the potential need for another OF who can play CF and maybe a true INF corner guy.

    Those parts don’t seem to naturally fit together. Alcantara may or may not have an option left. He’s been in the big leagues parts of 3 seasons, but he came up during the 2014 season and looks to have remained the entire year. So if he was added to a 40-man in 2014 mid-season and not sent back down an option would not have been used. If he could start in AAA I would rather see that. Same with Herrera if Phillips isn’t gone.

    I expect Renda and Selsky to be the next two names on the cut list if more cuts are to follow, which makes the bench situation even muddier.

    I’d expect them to add Winker, Aquino, Ervin, Travieso, and Mella to the roster as no-brainer types of decisions. That leaves two spots left as it currently stands, Zach Weiss if healthy appears to be a front-runner, but the fact that he didn’t play last year may lead the Reds to believe he won’t be selected, and thus left unprotected.

    Beyond that, some interesting names to consider for relief roles in Barrett Astin, Nick Routt, and Alejandro Chacin. All pitched very well in AA, Routt (LH) had a taste of AAA where he didn’t fair as well. Elizalde is the only other OF I could see getting real consideration, and he’s hit well (not great) at about every spot. But other than defense I’m not sure he’s a better option for next season than Selsky. Daal and Vincej are two SS that could get consideration with Vincej being the much better glove. We may not see either added until the Cozart situation is resolved. Wallach may be someone who pushes Cabrera off the 40-man if the Reds feel the need to protect him. Then there is Brandon Dixon who would make a nice bench piece if he could cut down on the Ks.

    Lots of decisions. Lots more roster churning to be expected. If Cozart is traded for someone who does not need to be added to the roster then that opens up another spot. Same for Phillips. The Reds should also take advantage of their position in Rule V, and maybe select a guy they think can stick in the pen all year. It should make for an interesting next month as these decisions get set.

    • ohiojimw

      Alcantara was added to the Cubs 40 man roster in November of 2013 per Cots contracts. This means he would have been optioned in 2014,15,16 since he played extensively in the minors (I.e. Not just on rehab) all three years. Unless there is something totally quirkie with his situation, he is out of options.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Cool, thanks for the info. Looks like he’s one piece of the bench puzzle then.

  8. Dan

    Not really that much to be decided. Really only people that has potential to be moved is Cozart. Our offense will be the same players as 2016. Our pitching staff will be the same as 2016 except for a few tweaks in the bullpen. and some predict we will win 88 games? I bet we are closer to losing 100 games than we are to winning 88.

    • Reaganspad

      I’ll take that bet. For you to win, they have to win 74 or less games. I have to win 76 or more.

      I’ll play these….

  9. ohiojimw

    So, I guess later this (Monday) afternoon is the Qualifying Offer deadline. No direct Reds involvement; but, QO’s made and not made could go a ways in helping to define the trade market and getting things started.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Thanks for sharing that link! I had not seen that story, and it is very, very interesting. You’re right — quite a different managerial approach from the executive level. And Rookie Davis’ comment was wonderful!

    • Carl Sayre

      This sounded a lot like the confidence course we did as enlisted men in the Army. This may or may not be a building exercise for a baseball team, it DOES show me a man willing to take a different approach and that is IMO a great thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. ohiojimw

    Here is an article from C.Trent who is in Arizona for the GM meeting. Dick Willliams says he expects the Reds to have a quiet off season. Now, if Walt was saying this, it would likely mean holy hades was about to break loose. However with DW, we will have to wait and see.

    Caveat, if you aren’t a subscriber you might have to answer a mindless multiple choice marketing question to get through the paywall. Actually, I am a subscriber; but, I tend to just answer the question because they dump their cookies or whatever frequently and answering is easier than logging in. 😉

  11. Richard Stallard

    Can we add Buster Posey to that list of new players coming soon