It was nice to see the Cincinnati Reds front office make some additions on Wednesday rather than subtractions, but signing former Detroit Tigers reliever Buck Farmer to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training does very little to bolster one of the team's biggest weaknesses heading into the 2022.
The bullpen was a disaster last season, and already, the Reds have not done a thing to improve it. Michael Lorenzen is off to LA, Mychal Givens is not coming back, Amir Garrett was just traded to Kansas City, and the best Nick Krall can find is Buck Farmer. C'mon!
Buck Farmer will not make the Reds Opening Day roster.
There's only one farmer the Cincinnati faithful should expect to see on the Opening Day roster, and that's Kyle Farmer. Buck Farmer has had a mediocre career to this point, and that's being kind. The right-hander doesn't have one area of his game that sticks out. In fact, all signs point to in the direction of not signing 31-year-old reliever.
But, the Reds need as many arms as they can get, so let's look at Farmer's career numbers. FYI, they're not pretty. Outside of an above-average season in 2019, Farmer is the type of reliever that's a dime-a-dozen.
A longtime member of the Tigers relief corps, Buck Farmer has a career-ERA of 5.33 and career strikeout-rate of 20.3%. Last season, however, Farmer's K-rate was 21.6%, but that was offset by a horrific 12.3% walk-rate and 5.35 BB/9.
Farmer's best season came back in 2019 when the right-hander made 73 appearances out of the Tigers' bullpen. Farmer pitched in 67.2 innings, posted a respectable 3.72 ERA and 3.88 FIP. The pandemic-shortened 2020 season saw Farmer's ERA rise slightly to 3.80, but his strikeout numbers dipped dramatically, as he posted a 15.7% K-rate.
The Cincinnati Reds have so many younger options in the bullpen such as Dauri Moreta, Daniel Duarte, Reiver Sanmartin, Riley O'Brien, and Ryan Hendrix. Yes, Buck Farmer has experience, but adding the veteran to the roster feels eerily similar to past additions like Sean Doolittle, Heath Hembree, and Nate Jones.