The Cincinnati Reds are bound to have a lot of turnover heading into next season, but Brian O’Grady was unexpectedly designated for assignment yesterday.
The Cincinnati Reds are looking to make some additions this offseason in order to compete in 2020. Yesterday, the Reds added right-handed pitcher Justin Shafer and outfielder Nick Martini to the 40-man roster. In turn, right-hander Jimmy Herget was designated for assignment. While moving on from Herget wasn’t overly surprising, the same cannot be said for Brian O’Grady.
O’Grady, like Herget, was designated for assignment on Monday. For those unfamiliar, the Reds will have up to seven days to either trade the two players, release them, or place them on irrevocable waivers.
Herget’s situation warranted his removal from the 40-man roster. Though highly through of in the Reds farm system over the past few years, Herget was unimpressive in his big league debut this past season. The 26-year-old had a 4.26 ERA and no strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched. Herget was known for his multitude of arm angles, which didn’t seem to deceive hitters much at the major league level.
More surprising, however, is Brian O’Grady. The 27-year-old did nothing but mash at the Triple-A level last season while in Louisville. O’Grady slashed .280/.359/.550 with 30 doubles, 28 home runs, 77 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.
O’Grady was also very versatile, able to play all over the outfield and first base. Once called up to the big leagues, O’Grady never really got much of an opportunity to showcase his talent. In just 42 at-bats, O’Grady hit .190 with 2 home runs.
O’Grady had sneaky speed and was able to hold his own in center field, as well as the corner outfield spots. I’m most surprised that the Reds gave up on O’Grady so quickly considering his ability to play first base. With Joey Votto now 36-years old, and no real replacement in the minor leagues, O’Grady seemed like a nice fit in the event an injury may cause Votto to miss some time.
Both O’Grady and Herget are pre-arbitration eligible, meaning if a trade is not worked out during the next seven days, and they’re not released, if the two clear waivers, they’ll remain with the Reds as a non-40-man roster player. Because both have fewer than three years of big league experience, they have no choice but to remain with Cincinnati should they clear waivers.
Brian O’Grady will not be the only surprising casualty among Reds on the 40-man roster. Several fans thought perhaps José Peraza would’ve gotten the axe yesterday. Unlike O’Grady and Herget, if the Reds chose not to retain Peraza, he’ll be non-tendered – similar to what fans saw happen to Billy Hamilton last season. Scott Schebler is another name to watch in the coming days.