Yesterday we heard the rumors that the Cincinnati Reds were talking with free agent infielder Jose Iglesias. Early this morning in Goodyear C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic noted that while the signing isn’t officially announced yet, there’s a locker for Iglesias along with a jersey and assigned number in the clubhouse. That’s about as official as it gets before the press release is actually put out there.

Update: It is now official.

The move is now official. Jose Iglesias signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Trent and Reds.com writer Mark Sheldon both shared the news at the same time.

As was noted in yesterday’s write up about Jose Iglesias – he’s probably the best fit, by far, as a back up shortstop option if someone needs to step in for Jose Peraza for more than a day. He’s not known much for his offense, but he is known as a strong glove-guy. He’s spent nearly his entire career at shortstop, including last year. In terms of WAR, he was worth 2.2 bWAR and 2.5 fWAR in 2018. For reference, your league average starting every day player provides 2.0 WAR.

The various projection systems all seem to be in agreement on what he will hit like in 2019. Not much on-base skill. Not much power.

It would be very unlikely he would get that kind of playing time. If Jose Iglesias makes the team, it’s going to be as a backup. The positions he would play, shortstop or second base, are locked up. Pay little attention to what’s going on in the counting stats and look at the rate stats (AVG/OBP/SLG).

53 Responses

  1. greenmtred

    Good news. I’m excited for the season, but have also been worried about the lack of good defenders on the MLB roster. Iglesias has the potential to help.

  2. Matt Hendley

    Interested to see terms of the deal…money if made roster, opt out date…doesnt strike me as a guy who would be the Bats starting SS if he didn’t make the team

  3. Mason Red

    “The lions tremble at his approach”……

    • Rut

      Too many dudes for the position player roster, which is a good problem for the Reds to have!

      But if they go with 13 pitchers, even starting mid-April, we only have room for 4 position players on bench, one of which will be Casali.

      Have to think Reds looking to move Kemp or Schebler, but who knows what Dick Krall has up their sleeve(s). At least we have some reason to trust this regime, so not gonna sweat it at this point.

  4. Tampa Red

    Very, very good bench/depth signing. Dietrich as well. Also love the Duke signing, hoping they can add Robbie Ross as well. The Reds have dramatically improved their 25 man roster this offseason. Short of decimating the farm system, I’m not sure what else they could have done. Maybe add Keuchel?

    I really do like Matt Kemp, but if Senzel works out in CF, the Reds are going to have to eat a majority of his salary and trade him…..aren’t they?

    • Matt Hendley

      Not really, 1st without kemp able to produce and demonstrate he can we wont be able to trade him, regardless of the return. 2nd the outfield bench looks like a good platoon set up right now. And 3rd the reds are not DFAing a 14 million dollar player without a sustained demonstration of failure on behalf of that player. BLUF: even with senzel, kemp can still be productive, until he is not.

      • B-town fan

        I believe Kemp is a 21 million dollar player.

      • Matt Hendley

        True…but 14 mil of the reds money

    • BK

      In 2018, over 29 plate appearances as a substitute (includes pinch hitting), Kemp slashed .357/.379/.571 for an OPS of .951. As a PH his OPS dipped to .909. As a DH he slashed .389/.500/.556 for an OPS of 1.056 over an additional 22 plate appearances. That’s about as good as it gets coming off the bench.

    • Rick Shaver

      Yes that’s correct or the may have to trade him with a prospect that some team really wants to make up for that expensive contact.

  5. DocProc

    I like this move a lot. Beats Pennington and Gosselin (can’t believe they BOTH were on the Opening Day roster last year).

  6. Hotto4Votto

    Love the versatility and depth the Reds could possibly have. Looking at the potential depth chart.
    C: Barnhart, Casali
    1B: Votto, Dietrich, Casali
    2B: Gennett, Senzel, Peraza, Iglesias
    SS: Peraza, Iglesias, Suarez
    3B: Suarez, Senzel, Dietrich
    Corner OF: Winker, Puig, Kemp, Schebler, Dietrich
    CF: Senzel, Schebler, Puig, Lorenzen

    PH – RH Kemp, Iglesias, Casali, LH – Schebler, Dietrich

    That’s a balanced team that has numerous options to mix and match depending on strengths and matchups. Getting excited for opening day.

    • Colorado Red

      Add Lorenzen to the PH.
      Had a PH slam last year.

      • Hotto4Votto

        True, I’d probably rather have him PH than Iglesias as a RH. Certainly has more pop in the bat. With Lorenzen’s flexibility things could get real interesting.

  7. Bob Purkey

    Terrific signing. They will have a good, versatile bench, but I still anticipate a trade coming. . .

  8. Mark

    I agree with Purkey I think a big trade is in the works just have no clue who and for what. I think targets could be Stroman or Kluber still. They clearly now have enough assets to deal Scooter and Iglesias and Stephenson Kemp Schebler or even Peraza for that matter now. They could sign Kimbrell as closer if Raisel is traded in a deal with Toronto Cleveland or maybe the Mets might move one of their starters.

  9. Klugo

    Finally have the makings of a competent, if not contending, roster. Let’s get this thing started!

  10. WVRedlegs

    This makes very much sense for the Reds. Iglesias will like playing on a much better team than Detroit. I can see Iglesias getting 40 to 50 starts at SS, about 10 each for 2B and 3B. If Peraza doesn’t improve his defense this year he will be sitting more. This is a little bit of a reckoning for Peraza. Hope the competition makes him better.

  11. James

    Without a trade happening, the biggest thing this tells me is that the reds expect senzel to spend most of his time unavailable to be the backup shortstop, which would mean he will be playing center field. With the talk about 13 pitchers and a short bench, I thought senzel would be the only other ss on big league roster.

    • ToBeDetermined

      James
      Excellent point. If Senzel is going to be in CF (learning a new position). Be in the Big Leagues for the 1st time (every pitcher he faces will be new). The last thing you want to do is have him also learn SS (a new position).

      He could always double switch into 2nd base or 3rd base where he played all of last year and over his entire career, respectively with out much stress.

  12. vegastypo

    This rather makes me wonder where Blandino fits in now, assuming he is ready to play by Opening Day. Or what will happen when he is ready to go.

    • Matt Hendley

      Interesting case blandino, he has multiple options remaining so obviously he can be sent down. Perhaps a relook at his development and a long term plan can be taken with him. Also remembering minirs deals are not garrenteed, it is entirely possible AB makes the roster and JI does not.

      • MK

        No reason to hurry him. It will be less than 10 months from surgery on Opening day. Whether he thinks he is ready or not I would place him on 60-day DL and let him stay in extended Spring Training until at least June and get the thing . They could use the 40-man roster spot as well.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      Blandino gets time in AAA to prove he is healthy – and that he trusts his legs. He also gets regular playing time to improve his game for when he gets called up. He could have used a little bit more seasoning in AAA last year, and then had his chance at playing time cut short with his injury, so more development time is a fine thing for him. And if he performs, he will be back in the bigs for good – and will be a strong and versatile bench player for years.

      • ToBeDetermined

        Blandino, simply has to start in the minors

  13. Jared

    Okay Reds, you can stop signing free agents now.

      • MK

        That’s no bargain unless he takes a minor league deal.

      • Matt Hendley

        For some reason i dont see that happening

      • ToBeDetermined

        MK

        🙂 Harper takes a minor league deal, with an invite to Spring Training. Cause he just loves to play baseball. 🙂

  14. Matt Hendley

    2.5 mil and incentives for another million, who would have thought it? Oh wait….

  15. Choo Choo Coleman

    Great sign! Great winter off season! Period!

  16. Tom

    This signing helps the long term vision beyond this season. Blandino can a spend a chunk of another season on his development. If he can develop into a great defensive utility IF with a reasonable bat, that’s a huge benefit to the team for the next several years of competitive baseball.

    And, also, let’s acknowledge the flexibility that Lorenzen provides as a huge boost to the roster construction. His ability to be primarily a pitcher and a pinch hitter and back up OF is huge. It allows a guy like Iglasias to join the team as a defensive specialist and make a huge contribution without seriously exposIng his bat.

  17. Matt Hendley

    A question or two about roster moves if DD or JI do infact make the team. Someone or one(s) become vulnerable to comming off the roster

    • Hotto4Votto

      There’s a couple of roster spots that should automatically open up depending on the OD 25 man roster.
      Connor Joe either on roster or sent back/DFA’d.
      R. Stephenson/M. Wisler are both out of options, hard to see how both would fit onto OD roster. A hard case to make just to keep one of them if we start with 7-man bullpen.
      Trahan likely comes off 40-man if Iglesias takes his spot as true back up SS.
      That’s three (or more) spots open up spots for Dietrich, Iglesias, and Senzel (when needed) that were likely going to open up regardless.
      Plus there’s always the chance someone will need to go on 60-day DL before ST is over to add another spot if needed.

  18. 44Reds

    Seems like I’m the only one that doesn’t get/like this. How much is a light hitting defensive replacement going to help us? Do late inning defenuve subs really save many runs? Seems like outdated conventional thinking. If Peraza needs a day off, slide Suarez over and put Senzel at 3b. If Peraza gets injured bring Trahan up. We have too many potentially potent bench bats to waste a spot on a defense first ss.

    • Hanawi

      I’d rather see him play than Peraza myself.

      • BK

        Very surprised to see Iglesias take a minor league contract, but you definitely saw the potential fit. It will be interesting to see if the Reds use Peraza at other positions this spring. We may be able to glean some insight from that.

    • MK

      If you are going to spend money upgrading pitching, you should need less runs but definitely need better defense.

    • Amarillo

      This is also the beauty of a minor league contract. If the Team decides he isn’t worth it, then they just don’t bring him with them to Cincinnati and they lost nothing.

    • greenmtred

      Maybe the number of good bats makes a good-fielding SS an affordable luxury. To invert your question, how many runs does a bench bat account for?

  19. Northern Ky Reds

    Hey Doug, I looked at those stats. All are much better than Billy Hamilton . So he’s a plus coming off the bench. You made it seem like he was hitting .150 so what’s the fuss about? He’ll his stats say he would have gotten on base more than billy Hamilton at leadoff.

    • Doug Gray

      I think you are reading a bit too much into this one my man. He’s a below-average hitter that isn’t known for his bat. Simply being better than Billy Hamilton as a hitter doesn’t change that. And as I wrote on these pages at Redleg Nation, I’m shocked that not only did he take a minor league contract, he’s good enough to actually start at shortstop for some teams.

      • Wayne nabors

        I agree doug,he should not have had to settle for a minor league deal

      • Matt Hendley

        Lets capitalize and trade peraza.

      • ToBeDetermined

        Was Billy the worst hitter in Baseball last year (by at least some statistic)?

      • Amarillo

        ToBeDetrmined I looked it up because I was interested. Billy had the 3rd lowest OPS out of the 142 players with 500 plate appearances. The lowest was 160 Million dollar man Chris Davis who hit .168/.243/.296/.539 (Billy hit .236/.299/.327/.626 nearly 100 points higher) If you include part time players, there were over 70 players who had a worse OPS with more than 100 plate appearances. So yes, Billy was bad with the bad but not even close to the worst.

  20. Eddiek957

    I’d like to see him start against lhp

  21. TR

    The active offseason of the front office has made the Reds the loaded team of the NLC. Should be an interesting season.

  22. Shchi Cossack

    DB has challenges facing him in managing the 25-man roster, but these are good challenges for a change. He should no longer be balancing deficiencies, but juggling assets. Let’s hope the rookie manager is up to the task.

  23. SteveLV

    Prior to the Iglesias signing, the one real vulnerability the Reds had was a lengthy injury to Peraza. This signing eliminates that. Smart. Really impressed with the decision the Reds are making. What a difference 6 months make.

  24. BK

    At least as far as position players go, it seems some must want to be with the Reds. I imagine both Iglesias and Dietrech could have found more playing time elsewhere.