The Cincinnati Reds have announced that they’ve acquired outfielder Travis Jankowski from the San Diego Padres in exchange for internaitonal signing bonus cap space.
The 28-year-old outfielder has been in the Major Leagues in each of the last five seasons, but only in 2016 and 2018 did he spend much time with San Diego. In 2015 he played in 34 games with the Padres. In 2017 he only saw action in 27 games. And this past season he played in just 25 games. For his career in the Major Leagues he’s hit .241/.317/.318. His best year came in 2018 when he played in 117 games and posted a .259/.332/.346 line – good for a 90 OPS+.
Travis Jankowski did spend some time in Triple-A this season, though injuries kept him off of the field for a good chunk of the year. With El Paso he played in 39 games. He was solid there, sort of. He hit .313 and walked 21 times with just 32 strikeouts in 183 plate appearances. But he also had just six doubles, no triples, and no home runs. And that came in the Pacific Coast League with a juiced baseball.
For his minor league career he’s hit for a high average and he’s gotten on base. But he also hasn’t shown any power – hitting a total of four home runs in 431 minor league games. There’s some speed to his game. He stole 71 bases in 2013 for Lake Elsinore. He hasn’t come close to that total since, but in his full seasons he’s been around the 25-30 mark the rest of his career.
This feels like a depth move. Jankowski can play center, left, or right field. But he doesn’t hit much, either. He feels like a guy you could stash in Triple-A in case of an injury, but he’s out of options to that’s not really a possibility. There’s a chance he survives the roster cut during the offseason if and when the team needs a spot or two on the 40-man. But it’s tough to see where he’s the kind of guy that could make the 26-man roster out of spring training if everyone remains healthy – even with the extra roster spot being available in 2020.
The Reds didn’t state how much cap space was sent to San Diego in the deal. But Cincinnati has been rather active this year in spending on the international market under new International Scouting Director Trey Hendricks – though plenty of the guys signed this year were already agreed upon prior to his coming on board with the organization a year ago. There have been several notable signings, including two players who signed for 7-figures. You can get more information on those guys if you would like to at RedsMinorLeagues.com.