The Reds just announced their additions to the 40-man rosters, protecting these players from selection in the Rule 5 draft.

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.

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  1. That makes 22 pitchers, 3 catchers, 8 infielders and 7 outfielders. Players at risk look to be Vincej, Chacin, Weiss and possibly Routt imo. With the possible trades of Cozart and BP, that would leave 2 spots to fill.

  2. I guess an equally important question—do we have room, should we/could we add from another franchise. I’d be curious if there’s a ranking of eligible players.

    • They are at 40. Can’t choose anybody at Rule 5 unless they have an open spot. My understanding is that between now and the Rule 5 draft they could drop people but not add anyone who was not protected prior to the deadline. Not sure how that plays out with FA signings (presumably a major league FA could be added but not a minor league FA).

  3. I’m really surprised Vincej didn’t get protected with the AFL season he had.

    • Not sure the Reds don’t think that a team would likely be able to keep him on their 25 man all year. That would be my guess as to why he wasn’t protected.

  4. I guess they see more in Renda than they do Vincej. I am not of that opinion but it looks like the Reds do. I am also a little surprised by Chacin being left unprotected. I understand Weiss, after being injured all year it would be a gamble for anyone to pick him up. Of course they pull a 2016 Reds move and draft him, run them spring training and if they don’t work out ship him back.

  5. I’d dump Jumbo Diaz and Tim Adleman and select two young pitchers. It’s a perfect year to carry players in the bullpen.

    • Diaz will be 33 by Opening Day and reminder that he was awful last year – 5.24 FIP, 10% walk rate. That’s walking one of every ten batters faced.

    • Hard to disagree with this one. I think that the Reds still value Jumbo’s fastball. Jumbo is getting up there already, I would have loved to see him traded off as part of a bigger piece. I still think there is a chance that he departs the team by some form of trade, release or waive.
      Tim Adleman…. not sure what the Reds value in him at all, he seems to me to be just roser filler.

    • Totally agreed. Can’t see the logic at all in keeping Jumbo or Adelman and exposing two younger players.

    • so they can still drop from the 40 man, just not Add before the Rule 5 draft then correct?

  6. I agree both of those would be good moves and either could probably be signed to Milb contracts.

  7. No real surprises here. But I guess I just don’t see the point of sending the guys they did if their performances weren’t gonna matter. Vincej hit as well as he possibly could and last I checked Wallach and Dixon hit well too. I guess you could say its more about the scouting than the stats but all these guys have been in the Reds org for years. Shouldn’t they have already had comprehensive scouting reports on them?

    If they weren’t gonna protect them no matter how they performed, then why not send some actual prospects? All the Reds did was give other teams a longer look at guys they could take in the rule 5 draft.

    • Well Dixon came over last winter in the Chapman deal, and Wallach two winters ago in the Latos deal. So saying they’ve been in the organization for years isn’t completely accurate. Interesting note though, Wallach has actually been to three AFL’s the last three years. Twice for the Reds and once with the Marlins.

      I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the Reds have to send a certain allotment of players, and the majority of the players need to have played at AA or above, some exceptions are allowed. Guys like Ervin and Travieso were there last year. I believe they knew they were going to protect Winker, Mella, Ervin, Travieso, and Aquino. After that, Astin did go to the AFL this year. Why they didn’t send Stephens? Probably because he pitched over 150 innings this past year and needed the rest.

      So having to fill a certain quota, and those guys needing to be guys in the upper minors, with Ervin and Travieso having already went, and decisions already being made on the guys that were sure-fire adds, who else should they have sent?

    • Another way of looking at things would be that by sending the guys they did, their intent may have been to shield other guys they thought might be more likely to be picked if exposed to a higher level of competition and scrutiny.

      As a group, the Reds AFL contingent was older than typical. It was loaded with 25 and 26 year old guys with little to no experience above AA. Given their ages, if the Reds didn’t project these guys as playing at MLB by early 2018, I’m not sure it made a lot of sense for the Reds to spend 40 man spots on them.

      Doug Gray’s 1st look Rule 5 list included 9 guys from his top 25 prospects needing Rule 5 protection plus 14 others worthy of (at least) a legitimate look for Rule 5 protection.

      So, the Reds were in a position to be deeply exposed no matter who they protected. In the end, 7 of the 9 from Doug’s top 25 prospect list made the 40 man with Daal and Weiss missing. 2 guys from his overflow group of 14 (Wandy Peralta and Barrett Astin, an AFL guy) also made the 40 man. We will just have to see where things go from here.

  8. Renda was, at one time, a pretty highly regarded draft choice/prospect with the Yankees; I think he was originally drafted by the Phillies. I think they still see some upside to him as a utility player, infielder and outfielder, quick pinch runner, etc.
    He’s got a lot of talent, but he also may have a low ceiling in the Bigs.

    I think they may believe that Vincej performance in the Arizona Fall League is the fluke or outlier, and the rest of his Minor League statistics are more telling. The system is full of some talented middle infielders. Blake Trahan is right behind Vincej in minor league placement, and he is a more highly regarded prospect.

    I honestly don’t get the love for Phil Ervin. I don’t see him as a guy that can cut it against Major League pitching.

    I think (wow, pretty limited there!) that Bo Diaz was kept because he is something of a known quantity at the moment. He is erratic, for certain. He has gone through stretches where he could not get anyone out or could not find the strike zone, and through stretches where he looked pretty good. They will keep him until someone better comes along.

    • Bo Diaz was a pretty good catcher

      Jumbo Diaz is a rule 5 type talent. I woulda passed on him. Maybe he is a placeholder and gets cut after they see who might be available to us at number 2 in the Rule 5 draft

  9. The thing with Vincej is that he was the minor league gold glover at shortstop, and that’s not for his league, it’s for all the minors. Then he shows in Arizona that at least he has the potential to hit. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t get taken in the Rule 5 draft. I’d rather have dropped Renda or Jumbo Diaz and protected Vincej (and Routt), then included them as prospects in a trade rather than just let them go in the Rule 5 draft. I just don’t see long term value in Renda or Diaz, but feel like this is squandering Vincej’s and Routt’s value on the trade market. Sigh…

    • This is where I’m at. There were plenty of reasons to drop Diaz post-haste. If the club has a surplus, it’s arms and anyone of the kids would be a better alternative.

      Vincej will be taken by someone. That’s unfortunate because I think he has a better future than Alf Rod. Instead, we still have Diaz on the roster taking up space that could be useful for someone who actually has a future with this team.

    • I feel that many are placing a bit too much hope on Vincej’s great 80 or so PA in the AFL. His minor league career totals of .272/.342/.359/.701 in 1846 PA suggest to us that he’s much more likely to become a slick fielding, weak hitting backup SS, much like Paul Janish. Janish has minor league career totals of .254 /.339 /.353 /.692 in 3441 PA. Also bear in mind that Vincej will be 26 years old next season and has yet to get a PA above AA. I’m pretty sure he’ll eventually see some time in the majors as a backup SS, but I’m far from convinced that his bat has improved enough that he can be a major league starter at SS.

      • Paul Janish circa 2009-2010 was a solid bench player. He put up almost 2 WAR in a little over 500 pa in those 2 years. I don’t think anyone thinks he can be a starter and the Reds won’t be losing much if they lose him. Its just that they have had so many sub replacement level season from their bench players over the last few years that to potentially lose a guy who might be able to give you decent bench production without getting anything in return kinda raises some eyebrows.

        I would have rather had Vincej and Lamb over Diaz and Adleman. It probably doesn’t matter much, but these little things add up.

      • Tom I agree. I like Vincej as a player and believe he could be a potential bench player, mainly due to his elite glove work at SS. I think your comparison to Janish is on point. He’s not a guy who’s going to hit for much power, he’s never posted an ISO above .098, and he’s likely not going to be a big on base guy either. He posted a 5.7% BB rate last year, which is below average. That AZ air may be bringing unrealistic expectations in a small sample size.

    • Vincej is 25 now, will be 26 in May and has never played above AA which makes him borderline as a prospect. AlfRod is 21 (and not yet Rule 5 exposed). Jose Peraza is 22. Eugenio Suarez is a couple of months younger than Vincej. These were probably major considerations in leaving him off the 40 man.

      Nick Routt is 26 and basically in the same category as Vincej. Plus, Routt fared very badly when exposed to AAA hitting this year.

      I think they are both long shots to make it thru an MLB season on an active roster if chosen which means the Reds would have 1st shot at taking them backing or extracting a return to allow the selecting team to option them.

      • I’d rather they stack their roster with Vincej types than Diaz. Vincej is at least a glove-first (and damn good glove) bench player that adds value. Diaz? I keep coming back to the overarching theme that the Reds need to be winning at the margins. This is not such a move.

  10. I have never been a big Phil Ervin fan. I think he has a poor batted balk profile that leads to consistently low BABIP. But I feel he is becoming kinda underrated. One thing to remember when evaluating Reds prospects is that while the Florida State League gets a lot of attention for being tough on hitters, the Midwest and Southern leagues are also very pitcher friendly. Ervin put up a 126 wRC + this year in the Southern League. Now minor league leaderboards can be very misleading because the guys who are most successful often get promoted and don’t get enough PA or IP to qualify. But still there were only 4 qualified players who put up a higher wRC in the Southern League than Phil Ervin this year. I feel like he is essentially Chris Heisey with better OBP and a little bit worse defense. And that’s a pretty valuable 4th outfielder who can step in and start for a while if your starter goes down without hurting the team. Not sexy and not what we hoped for. But still a solid player.

  11. I think Diaz gets a bad rap around here. Is he a “high-leverage” reliever? No, not really, but he’s typically adequate. Which is pretty rare in the Cincinnati bullpen lately.

    In three seasons he’s posted xFIP of 3.17, 3.20, and 4.60. Meanwhile, Cingrani has posted xFIP of 4.45, 4.60, and 5.27 over the last three seasons. Cingrani spent most of last year as the team’s closer by default. I’ve not seen any posts wondering why Cingrani wasn’t taken off the roster to add an unproven reliever, yet he’s posted worse numbers than Diaz three years running. Similarly Blake Wood’s xFIP was 3.84 last season and (in an extreme small sample size) was absolutely torched when he made it up to the majors in the previous couple years.

    And I understand his age is getting up there, especially for a club in a youth movement/rebuild. But ages for relievers aren’t always indicative of production. And he’s still pre-arbitration eligible this year, so he’s playing for near league minimum. I’ll take his production for league minimum over protecting relievers who haven’t pitched above AA, (or haven’t pitched with any success above AA).

    • Speaking for myself, if the Reds weren’t in an extreme rebuilding situation, I wouldn’t look at dumping Diaz for a Rule 5 player. But his age, his erratic pitching last year and the fact that he’s a reliever, all argue for looking to see if there’s a decent R5 prospect. Doesn’t have to be a reliever, but Reds could stash him in the pen for 2017 if it’s a pitcher. Again, only do this because it’s extreme rebuilding. And only if there’s a plausible R5 candidate.

      I carry no brief for holding Cingrani either. He’s younger and a lefty. But if the Reds could find a good prospect in R5, I wouldn’t mind if they cut Cingrani. But I’d cut Diaz first because of age and handedness. For that matter, Blake Wood adding good value in 2018 and beyond is a relative long shot.

      Bottom line, I place virtually no value in bullpen help in 2017 and given the inconsistent nature of relievers, I wouldn’t pause much if a couple R5 players the scouts/stats like are available.

      Seriously, how much help do you think Cingrani, Diaz and Wood are going to provide the Reds in 2018 and 2019? Even positive WAR? Doubtful.

      • I see what you’re saying, and I agree that this is a great year to take a pitcher in Rule 5 and put him in the pen. I’d really like to see that happen, and it still can, and it doesn’t have to come at the expense of cutting Diaz who I believe is probably the 3rd or 4th best returning reliever (yikes!).

        That said, there’s only two bullpen guys I’d place any real value in at all as it currently stands, and that’s Iglesias and Lorenzen. Even with them, I hope they have another shot at trying to stick as a starter, especially Lorenzen (less health concerns). But the Reds still need to fill out a bullpen for 2017 and going dumpster diving on the FA market is likely not a better option than keeping on Diaz, Wood, and Cingrani who at least contributed some positives in an otherwise disaster season.

        For that reason, I think you have to start with those five, consider Sampson for the long man and you still have a spot for a Rule 5 pick up. Will Diaz add value in 2018 and beyond? I think you’re right in saying it’s doubtful. But the roster is being set for 2017, there are no internal replacements that will be better for next year that we could identify with certainty, and definitely no one with a serviceable 3 year track record in the majors.

        Now that the 40-man rosters are set, I believe the Reds should try to identify a couple of arms they could stash in the pen. With the #2 pick one they like is going to be there. There are still guys to cut on the roster. I just happen to believe Diaz is safer from the cut line than some others.

        • Who would you cut from the current 40 man roster to make room for two R5 players? I looked it over and thought Adleman and Diaz made the most sense.

        • I would cut Renda, Selsky, Peralta, or Sampson before I’d cut Diaz. I like Adelman ‘s ability to throw strikes. I’m also not banking on getting two Rule 5 guys.

      • Re Cingrani:

        Basically, I’ve been in agreement with that position for over a year. At least in our system, he simply doesn’t progress. The only real pitch is the heater, and the answer seems always to be : “Throw harder”. The open questions are:
        – Would he progress in a different system or situation? i.e. is this the time honored classic case of needing “a change in scenery”?
        – What incremental value does he have as a trading chip, even if only as a supplement or add-on to a larger transaction?

        I suspect the latter question may be one possible explanation for why he hasn’t been cut loose. Conceivably, there is still enough (latent) talent there to make management feel that they can get more than a Rule 5 in an exchange. Does anyone know whether any clubs have expressed an interest in obtaining him?

    • I may be mistaken (yes, it happens al lot!), but I think the 40-man roster was set and locked for the rule 5 draft on Friday. That leaves the Reds unable to make a rule 5 selection, at least in the major league draft, even if they make an adjustment to the 40-man roster prior to the rule 5 draft.

  12. The Reds do need to begin the process of building a dominant and deep bullpen for 2018. It would appear they have targeted Lorenzen and Iglesias as bullpen centerpieces. They need a third building block and a lefty at that. With injuries and the unpredictable nature of bullpen pitchers, its hard to identify that guy. Other than Cody Reed, I really don’t see a projectable lefty who could be solid in the bullpen by next year. I thought Finnegan could be that guy, but he is in the rotation. I would not give up on Cingrani, but I wouldn’t count on him either. Are there any guys in AA or A+ who just need a little time? If not, at some point, you have to look at FA.

  13. Is Ben Lively unprotected? Can we undo that Marlon Byrd trade and ” trade” Jumbo Diaz for Lively?

    • Ben Lively is on the Phillies 40 man roster.

      Gray silhouette versus an actual photo. Would guess this means he was just added.

    • Yes, Lively was added just prior to the dealine for 40-man roster adjustments for the rule 5 draft this offseason. He is certainly a prospect I would like to see in Reds organization. That was such a bad trade on so many levels.

      • Maybe there is another young lively arm waiting out there. I thought too good to be true. Thanks for the correction.

  14. Is it still possible to select one of your own Rule 5 eligible players as the Braves did in a prior year? For example, let’s say the Reds create a 40-Man Roster spot via a trade or a release; could they select one of the players they left unprotected, assuming they preferred that player to any other Rule 5 eligible players from other teams?

    • I believe this is still possible. The caveat is that if they wanted to send the guy to the minors during the 2017season, they would have to pass him thru waivers first since technically he would be a Rule 5 pick thru the end of the 2017 season. But if claimed he would still be a Rule 5 guy even for the team which claimed him.

      • Thanks. Good to know those details.

        • The contract tender date for pre-arbitration and arbitration eligible players falls ahead of the Rule 5 draft. Any player on the 40 man roster in those categories who is not under contract for 2017 and is not offered a contract by the tender date becomes an immediate free agent (no waivers involved) thus opening their previous spot on the 40 man roster. I look for the Reds to open a 40 man spot or 2 for the Rule 5 draft via this route.

        • FWIW, the last date for teams to tender / non-tender contracts is Friday, December, 2, 2016. About a week and a half away. The Winter Meetings are the following week, Dec. 5-8 with the Rule V draft on Thursday Dec. 8.

  15. Though the 40-man roster has been set, there was an interesting DFA that happened on Sunday. The D-backs DFA’d OF/1B Kyle Jensen. He is 28 though. But this past season with the D-back’s AAA team, he hit .289/.358/.546; 30 HR, 120 RBI, 44 BB (7.9 BB%), 169 K’s (30.5 K%) in 133 G’s and 555 PA’s.
    If nothing else, the Reds could stash him away at AAA as a back up for Duvall if he were to be hurt. He had similar but lower numbers in 2015 for Dodgers AAA and 2014 with Marlins AAA teams. He might be the RH bench bat GM Dick Williams mentioned as being on the lookout for. Jensen has the power. He had some AB’s after a Sept. callup last year in Arizona that resulted in a .194/.265/.452, 2 HR, 7 RBI in 34 PA’s.
    He would be better on the 40-man roster than Peralta or Jumbo Diaz,

    • He has been around MiLB since 2009; so, he is definitely Rule 5 fodder if he isn’t on a 40 man roster and under team control. However, I’m guessing he probably has the time in to be a MiLB FA if they try outright him.

      Based on what is on Cot’s, it does look like he might have an option left.

      His K rate was brutal (38%) in his September trial with the DBacks. This was however his first MLB exposure.

      • I had to laugh. Brutal is right. But having him in Louisville for insurance reasons might work. He walks enough, he hits for decent average and very good power, but strikes out a ton. Not sure what kind of pinch hitter he is or would be.
        Since he was DFA’d, he’ll have to go through waivers, so the Reds would have the second chance of selecting him off of waivers since the D-backs are in the NL. I would then make a corresponding move off taking 1 player off of the Reds 40-man roster to make room. Peralta or Jumbo.
        But as you suggest up above that the Reds may make a couple of non-tender moves, and that could also create a spot or two.
        At the least, having him at Louisville in case of an injury could help.

        • Correction, Reds would have the first selection in NL in any waiver pick ups this year.

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About Steve Mancuso

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.


2017 Reds