The Cincinnati Reds reportedly traded Rule 5 Draft pick Connor Joe to the San Francisco Giants for right-handed pitcher Jordan Johnson and cash.
The Cincinnati Reds joined the flurry of activity in Major League Baseball this week. No, the Reds didn’t sign anyone to a contract extension, but they did make a trade on Thursday night. According to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer the team reportedly sent Rule 5 Draft pick Connor Joe to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for right-handed minor leaguer Jordan Johnson.
With Opening Day just around the corner, it was becoming apparent that Connor Joe was a long shot to make the Cincinnati Reds roster. Acquired in the Rule 5 Draft back in December from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Joe played in 21 Cactus League games with the Reds this spring.
Joe came to the Reds as an infielder, but was utilized all over the diamond, including behind the plate during Spring Training. Connor Joe had an unspectacular spring slashing .275/.356/.450 with 4 doubles and 1 home run in 40 at-bats.
After the Reds added Derek Dietrich, Joe became expendable. The great spring from Kyle Farmer, whom Cincinnati acquired last winter from the Dodgers, put even more doubt into Joe’s standing with the team.
A player acquired via Rule 5 Draft, which is held at the Winter Meetings in December, must be kept on a team’s 25-man roster for the entirety of the following season, if not, he must be offered back to his previous team at half the cost ($25,000).
In exchange for Joe, the Cincinnati Reds acquired Jordan Johnson, a young, right-handed pitcher who played for Triple-A Sacramento last season. A starter for the majority of his career, Johnson went 6-7 with Double-A Richmond last year before being promoted to the River Cats. Johnson starter 26 games in the minors last season.
Just three years ago, Johnson ranked as a Top 10 prospect in the Giants farm system according to MLB Pipeline. Johnson’s best pitch might be his change up, but his fastball typically sits in the mid-90s and can touch the upper-90s. We’ll see how he fits into the Reds’ plans going forward.
Connor Joe’s trade to San Francisco opens up a spot on the 40-man roster which is likely to be used for either Dietrich, José Iglesias, and perhaps Nick Senzel. A few more dominoes are sure to fall between now and Opening Day when the Reds go head-to-head with the Pirates.