Reds trade for Blue Jays infielder following worrisome Matt McLain injury update

The Reds added reinforcements.

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Santiago Espinal (5)
Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Santiago Espinal (5) / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

At this rate, the Cincinnati Reds can't get out of Goodyear soon enough. Reds manager David Bell revealed that second baseman Matt McLain will not start the season on time, and will be placed on the injured list.

Furthermore, McLain will be receiving a second opinion on his injured shoulder. It's possible that the 25-year-old may undergo surgery, which could greatly impact his availability for the 2024 season.

To help offset the rash of injured players popping up in Reds camp, the team swung a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night. The Reds acquired Santiago Espinal in exchange for pitching prospect Chris McElvain.

Reds trade for Blue Jays infielder following worrisome Matt McLain injury update

Espinal is a versatile infielder who can play second and third base as well as shortstop. A 10th-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2016, Espinal had been part of the Blue Jays major league roster since 2020.

Espinal is a contact hitter with a career strikeout rate of just 14.2%. A right-handed hitter, Espinal appeared in 93 games for the Blue Jays last season while hitting .248/.310/.345. Espinal had relatively even splits in 2023, but for his career has a .301/.353/.405 slash line against left-handed pitching.

Espinal was arbitration eligible this past offseason and will receive $2.7 million in 2024. The 29-year-old is under team control through the 2027 season. Reds President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall informed Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Espinal will be in the mix for regular playing time.

The Reds lineup is going to look a lot different on Opening Day than originally thought. Noelvi Marte has been suspended for the the first 80 games for the upcoming season, and TJ Friedl will begin the year on the injured list.

In addition to McLain, the Reds also lost one of their top prospects. Edwin Arroyo underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and will miss the entire 2024 season. The Reds cannot catch a break this spring. Perhaps the whole team should just forgo the remainder of the Cactus League schedule and hop on the first flight out of Arizona.

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