Reds Sign Five Players To Minor League Deals

The Reds announced last night, before the MLB implemented a lockout, that they had signed five players to minor league deals. They are right-handed pitchers Brandon Bailey and Trey Wingenter, catcher/infielder Andrew Knapp, outfielder Trey Amburgey and infielder/outfielder Allen Cordoba. All five have received invitations to spring training.

Knapp, 30, had been with the Phillies since they selected him in the 2013 draft, seeing MLB action in each of the past five seasons, largely in a reserve capacity. He had a tremendous showing in the shortened 2020 campaign, hitting .278/.404/.444 in 33 games. However, he crashed back to earth in 2021, slashing .152/.215/.214  in 62 games. He was outrighted by the Phillies at the end of the season and elected free agency. The Reds will likely use Tyler Stephenson as their everyday catcher, but after trading Tucker Barnhart to Detroit, there’s room for Knapp to jump into a backup role.

Wingenter, 27, showed some promise out of the Padres’ bullpen in 2018 and 2019. Over those two seasons, he pitched 70 innings, with an ERA of 5.14. His tremendous strikeout rate of 33.1% was offset by a bloated 13% walk rate. He underwent Tommy John surgery in July of 2020 and has been mostly out of action since, though he did get into a handful of Complex League games in August of this year. The Padres non-tendered him earlier this week.

Bailey, 27, was initially acquired by the Reds from the Astros in a 2020 trade. He pitched 7 1/3 innings for the Astros at the MLB level that year, his only big league experience to date. In 2019, he pitched 92 2/3 innings at the Double-A level with an ERA of 3.30. He underwent Tommy John surgery in February of this year and missed the entire season. He was non-tendered earlier in the week, with his return on a minor league deal reported at that time.

Amburgey, 27, was selected by the Yankees in the 13th round of the 2015 draft. He made his major league debut this season but was only given four plate appearances in two games. In 71 Triple-A games in 2021, he hit .276/.337/.475, but with a concerning strikeout rate of 28.1%.

Cordoba, who turns 26 in a few days, was a Rule 5 selection of the Padres in 2016 and stayed on the roster for all of the 2017 season. He was only 21 years old at the time and had never played above Rookie ball. He hit .208/.282/.297 that year in 100 MLB games. Since that time, he’s played in the minors for the Padres, spending 2021 at Double-A, hitting .299/.392/.446. He was outrighted off San Diego’s roster last week.

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