Reds: Gauging depth at shortstop after adding Dee Strange-Gordon

PEORIA, ARIZONA - MARCH 05: Dee Strange-Gordon #9 of the Seattle Mariners talks with fans. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
PEORIA, ARIZONA - MARCH 05: Dee Strange-Gordon #9 of the Seattle Mariners talks with fans. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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Kyle Holder #72 of the New York Yankees takes fielding practice.
JUPITER, FL – MARCH 11: Kyle Holder #72 of the New York Yankees takes fielding practice. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Kyle Holder plays elite-level defense.

After Didi Gregorius signed his two-year/$28M contract with the Phillies, Philadelphia unloaded their Rule 5 draftee Kyle Holder. The former first-round pick is now on the Cincinnati Reds roster and adds some depth to the shortstop position. Known as a defensive specialist, Holder has yet to play above Double-A ball.

When Holder was added to the roster, a segment of the Cincinnati faithful thought Nick Krall and Reds front office had given up their pursuit of a major league shortstop and settled on a reclamation project in order to fill the void. On the contrary, I’d argue that the addition of Holder is insurance in the event of an injury during spring training.

There’s nothing really lost with the addition of Kyle Holder to the Reds roster. In order for Cincinnati to hang on to the 26-year-old infielder, he must be part of the 26-man roster all season. Despite having three minor-league options remaining, Holder is a Rule 5 draftee, meaning if he’s removed from the active roster, he must be offered back to the New York Yankees.

Holder is back-up plan; plain and simple. I don’t believe the Cincinnati front office has high hopes for slick-fielding shortstop to make the Opening Day roster, but stranger things have happened. If the Reds are looking to add an elite-level defender to their roster, they’ve got that in Holder. It’s just hard to envision him making the cut.