Reds news: Pitcher Brandon Bailey acquired in trade with Astros

New Reds pitcher Brandon Bailey projects as a reliever.

Today was the deadline for all major league teams to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the 40-man roster. The Cincinnati Reds selected the contract of three minor league prospects and also made a trade with the Houston Astros to acquired right-handed pitcher Brandon Bailey.

Bailey made his major league debut last season, appearing in five games and tossing 7.1 innings. Bailey struck out four and walked three to the tune of a 2.45 ERA and 1.227 WHIP. Bailey was the Astros No. 30 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline.

Brandon Bailey was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. He was dealt to Houston in a deal that sent outfielder Ramon Laureano to the Bay Area. Bailey has played two seasons at Gonzaga before being drafted and posted a 3.73 ERA as a starter for the Bulldogs.

Bailey fits the mold of what Reds General Manager Nick Krall mentioned in an interview with Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. Krall said that he was looking to add depth to the Cincinnati bullpen, but specifically wanted to target players with minor-league options; something that would give the team roster flexibility. Bailey has two minor-league options remaining.

In the coming weeks, as teams look to finagle their 2021 payroll a bit, the free agent market is likely to become ripe with young relievers who’ve yet to have all their minor-league options exhausted.

Bailey is a strikeout pitcher, locking down a career-best 12.44 strikeout per nine innings during his time at Advanced-A Stockton in 2017. Bailey could also use to refinement with his command, as the last three seasons, Bailey’s walk per nine innings have exceeded 3.28.

Both FanGraphs (60) and MLB Pipeline (55) agree that Brandon Bailey’s changeup is his best secondary pitch. Bailey’s fastball sits in the mid-to-upper 90s, followed by his changeup that drops to an average velocity of 82.8 MPH.

Bailey looks to be a solid, yet unspectacular addition to the Cincinnati Reds. I expect that to be the norm over the next couple of weeks. With the addition of four pitchers, Cincinnati still has four vacancies on their 40-man roster. Let’s see how Nick Krall fills out the roster in the coming weeks.