As Reds Country continues to wait for news of a newly acquired shortstop, the front office went a different direction and signed outfielder/ first baseman Nicky Delmonico. The addition isn’t earth-shattering news, as the Cincinnati Reds should be expected to make a flurry of moves in the coming weeks with spring training on the horizon.
Yesterday, the Cincinnati Reds made their first major-league signing of the offseason, inking former Washington Nationals’ closer Sean Doolittle to a one-year/$1.5M contract. The front office followed up that move with a minor-league contract extended to Delmonico and an invite to spring training.
Don’t expect Nicky Delmonico to make the Reds roster.
Might Nicky Delmonico make an appearance for the Cincinnati Reds in 2021? Sure. Will he be on the team’s Opening Day roster when the Reds do business with the St. Louis Cardinals on April 1st? I wouldn’t count on it.
While some minor-league signings in years past have resulted in players making the Opening Day roster (Derek Dietrich, José Iglesias, and Nate Jones), fans should not expect the same from Delmonico. That said, the addition will give Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate, the Louisville Bats, some depth in the outfield and at first base.
Over four major league seasons, Nicky Delmonico has a spend the majority of his time in the outfield. But, the former sixth-round pick has also seen time at first base. Of his 125 major league starts, only nine have come at first base, while the large majority have been in left field.
Delmonico will likely be thrust into a competition for the final spot in the Cincinnati Reds outfield. Currently, Nick Senzel, Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winker, and Nick Castellanos are all expected to make the 26-man roster. Delmonico will now join the battle between Mark Payton and Aristides Aquino for the final spot in the Cincinnati outfield.
Delmonico, unlike Payton and Aquino, has a minor-league option remaining, so it’s a virtual certainty that the 28-year-old begins his season at Triple-A Louisville. Delmonico played just six games for the Chicago White Sox in 2020, hitting just .150 while collecting three RBIs.