The Cincinnati Reds have traded outfielder Brian O’Grady to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later and cash. The team officially announced the move this afternoon on twitter.
Earlier this week the Reds made several roster moves after acquiring outfielder Nick Martini and reliever Justin Shafer. They needed two spots on the 40-man roster, so Cincinnati designated Brian O’Grady and Jimmy Herget for assignment, placing them on waivers. Rather than go through the waiver process with the hopes the entire National League, and most of the American League passed on O’Grady, the Rays decided to go ahead and make a trade for him.
It’s been a big last two seasons in the minors for Brian O’Grady. After seemingly being on the verge of being out of a job following the 2017 season where he hit .185/.313/.347 as a 25-year-old in Advanced-A and Double-A, he went to work and put together two years that have turned around his career. After posting an .826 OPS in the first half of 2018 in Double-A he made the jump to Triple-A Louisville. In the 650 plate appearances he’s had there since then he his .286/.360/.553 with 39 doubles, three triples, 36 home runs, 25 steals, and he’s driven in 106.
That performance helped earn him a call up to the Major Leagues in August of 2019 for the first time in his career. He spent a little over a month with the big league club to end the season, playing in 28 games and picking up five extra-base hits in 48 trips to the plate – including two home runs.
The left-handed hitter will be 28-years-old next year, but he’s got plenty of versatility to help out a team, too. There’s power in his bat – he hit 30 home runs with 30 doubles this season between Triple-A and the Major Leagues. He’s also got some speed to use on the bases, and he can play left field, right field, first base, and cover you in center field as a back up if you need him to.
For the Reds side of the deal, they are going to be getting back an unannounced amount of cash and a player to be named later. Given the timing of the deal, the player to be named could be unnamed until spring. It’s possible they are named before that, but the two teams have a while to sort out those details if they so choose.
Just wanted to update this to add a quick statement via twitter from Brian O’Grady about the move.
Thank you to the @Reds for drafting me, helping me grow, and giving me an opportunity to fulfill my dream. Cincinnati and the fans will always have a special place in my heart.
— Brian O'Grady (@BrianOGrady21) November 27, 2019