The Cincinnati Reds have signed infielder Alex Blandino to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Double-A Chattanooga. One would assume that the deal includes an invite to spring training.
Blandino was the Reds first-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, taken with the 29th-overall selection out of Stanford University. Blandino made his major league debut in 2018 and spent three seasons on the Reds roster.
Blandino signed with the San Francisco Giants after being outrighted following the 2021 season and was then traded to the Seattle Mariners in 2022 in exchange for current Cincinnati outfielder Stuart Fairchild.
Former first-round pick Alex Blandino signs minor-league deal with Reds
Try not to read too much into this transaction. It's very much a signing that should provide the Cincinnati Reds with some minor league depth to begin the 2024 season. Players like Alejo Lopez and Matt Reynolds signed similar contracts with the Reds last offseason.
That said, it's not out of the realm of possibilities for Alex Blandino to make his case to be part of the Reds 2024 Opening Day roster, especially if Jonathan India is traded this offseason.
Blandino actually had the look of a fine utility player until a knee injury midway through his rookie season robbed the former first-round talent of nearly a full year's worth of action.
Blandino was on the receiving end of a questionable slide at second base during June of 2018 that resulted in a torn ACL. Blandino then spent the next 11 months rehabbing from the injury and returned to the field and posted a .782 OPS in 23 games during the 2019 season.
While this signing isn't going to move the needle, it's quite typical of teams looking to add some veteran depth to their rosters during the offseason.
With Joey Votto and Nick Senzel no longer part of the Cincinnati Reds organization, Alex Blandino can help bring a veteran presence to the team's complex next spring.