Justin Shafer was traded to the Cincinnati Reds yesterday. The 27-year-old hurler adds an additional arm to the Reds bullpen.
Justin Shafer was designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays, but the Cincinnati Reds worked out a deal to bring the 27-year-old hurler to the Queen City. Shafer went 2-1 last season with a 3.86 ERA and could be in the mix for a spot in the Reds bullpen next season. Cincinnati sent cash to Toronto in exchange for the former eighth-round pick.
I know every single Reds fan is sitting on the edge of their seat, waiting to hear a familiar name scroll across their Twitter feed, but the offseason is still very young and teams are gearing up for the Winter Meetings. The addition of Shafer, while unspectacular, adds depth to a Reds bullpen that is littered with question marks.
Will Robert Stephenson meet the high expectations likely to be placed on him following a successful 2019 season? Can Amir Garrett return to the pre-All-Star break dominance he displayed before falling apart in the second half of the season? Will Raisel Iglesias even be on the team next season? These are all legitimate questions regarding next year’s bullpen.
While the addition of Shafer isn’t earth-shattering news, he did have flashes of success with thee Blue Jays last season. After the All-Star Game, Shafer appeared in 10 games during the month of July. In those 10 outings, Shafer went 9.2 innings, racked up 11 strikeouts and owned a 1.86 ERA during that span.
The next 10 games, however, did not yield the same results. Over his next 10 appearances, Shafer have as many walks as strikeouts (nine) and put up a 4.50 ERA during the month of August. No, Justin Shafer is not a franchise-altering pitcher, but, the very least, he’ll add depth to the Reds minor league system.
As part of yesterday’s transactions, Jimmy Herget was designated for assignment. Originally moved to the 40-man roster at this time last year in order to protect him from the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, Herget didn’t enjoy much success in 2019 and is unlikely to be picked up by an opposing ball club.
For those unfamiliar, this is very common at this time of year. With most teams having maxed out their 40-man rosters, clubs are looking at way to clear space before the Rule 5 Draft and Monday’s non-tender deadline. The addition of Shafer and outfielder Nick Martini are unlikely to be the last moves fans see before the end of the week.