Early on Friday afternoon the news broke that Billy Hamilton was going to be non-tendered a contract by the Cincinnati Reds. That was pretty big news in Cincinnati with a lot of people on both sides of the aisle. But the team wasn’t finished with their non-tenders. Late on Friday night they would non-tender outfielder Aristides Aquino, outfielder Jordan Patterson, and catcher Juan Graterol.

The Jordan Patterson era of Cincinnati Reds baseball lasted about as long as the FIRST Juan Graterol era of Cincinnati Reds baseball did: Not long. He was in the organization for two days. Juan Graterol stuck around a bit longer this time around, but despite being in the organization twice he has never actually put on the jersey of a Cincinnati Reds team.

Aristides Aquino has been with the Reds for his entire career. He signed with the team in January of 2011 out of the Dominican Republic and played his way up through the system. In 2018 he spent most of the year in Double-A with Pensacola, but did get a brief call up to the Major Leagues in August. He made his Major League debut on the 19th against San Francisco, striking out in his lone plate appearance. A week later he was back in Pensacola where he finished out the season.

The 2018 season was a tough one for Aristides Aquino. While repeating Double-A he hit .240/.306/.448 with 20 doubles, 2 triples, and 20 home runs. He battled consistency throughout the year. His second half was stronger than the first half, but still had plenty of ups-and-downs. I had him ranked as the teams 20th best prospect after the year. He’s now a free agent, though there’s a chance he could re-sign with the organization.

Among the moves made later in the day, the Aquino one is the most surprising. He was on the 40-man roster, but had options. As long as he wasn’t in the Major Leagues, that means he was only due 40-man roster money. It’s 12:30am and I’m not looking up the exact amount, but I believe that would be $82,500 for the year. This move doesn’t necessarily save the team that money because someone will take that spot on the roster – and it’s likely going to be someone that makes that much. It simply opens up a spot on the roster.The 40-man now stands at 36 players.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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54 Responses

  1. Stock

    Four spots open. Is something about to happen? Seems to me they created room for a FA signing.

    At 27, Patterson is no longer really someone to save a 40 man roster spot. His stats were decent but he is 27 and his ceiling is probably as the last man on the bench.

    Aquino will be 25 in April and has had 1 AB above AA. Again, not really a prospect anymore in my mind.

    • Colorado Red

      Really surprised they did not DFA Patterson, they just claimed him two days ago.

    • Muddycleats

      AA had a loud bat the few times I saw him, but consistent contact appears 2 b the problem? Very athletic – maybe another Org can tap into his potential

  2. Stock

    Matt Shoemaker is non-tendered.

    Swinging K% – 13%
    K-BB% – 17.7%
    K/9 – 9.58
    BB/9 – 2.90
    ERA – 4.94
    SIERA – 3.76

    Blake Parker released too.
    Tigers non-tender Alex Wilson
    D-Backs non-tender Boxberger and Shelby Miller
    Brewers non-tender Schoop, Dan Jennings and Xavier Cedeno
    Mets non-tender Travis D’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores
    Cubs Release Ronald Torreyes

    That is 11 players worth looking at.

    • redlegs4ever

      I really like Matt Shoemaker, his biggest problem is staying healthy. Totally worth a few mil base salary and tons of incentives for starts/innings etc.

  3. sixpack2

    I think Patterson is someone we are hoping does not get picked and we can have him in ST and AAA. Thare are a lot of players out there now, so good timing.

    • Colorado Red

      He is now a Free Agent.
      He can sign to the highest bidder.

      • Tom

        This seems to have been done in a tit for tat with the Mets – related to the Dilson Herrera injury saga?

  4. AllTheHype

    Aquino was pretty much in everyone’s top 20, even yours Doug. Clearly the Reds think he has no value, not even in trade. Seems to happen with these once high flying prospects all the time. They remain in prospects lists regardless of how poorly they perform at lower levels. Yorman is another clear example, and Siri is another. Siri will stays in lists because of his “5 tool” potential, but the reality is he’s 23 and struggled mightily at the last 2 levels, A+ and AA. If he can’t handle A+ at 23, he’s not a prospect! His OBP is worse then Billy, at 23 and in A+. He shouldn’t be anywhere in the top 20.

    • OklaREd

      Top 20 list indicate potential if top 20 spend time in majors you will be fine. Comparing to Billy who has been in MLB for years even as low level starter proves he deserves ranking even though may not be star has tools to play

      • AllTheHype

        At age 23 in A+/AA, “potential” becomes reality. If he were 20, yes, call it “potential” and the ranking is deserved. The reality NOW is, Siri is a 2-3 tool performer, and his overall tools are not worthy of a top 20 ranking.

      • MK

        Fake News

        Siri has at least four and potential for #5: He has #1 Speed #2 Arm Strength #3 Fielding #4 Power Hitting

        The one he needs to work on is hitting for average

    • Stock

      Siri, was injured in ST. That coupled with trying to be more patient means he is deserving of one more year in my opinion. 23 is still young enough so that if he does get his K% below 25% then he instantly becomes an all-star.

  5. AllTheHype

    After 2015, Doug had Yorman Rodriguez ranked 6th. He didn’t play much at all in 2016 due to injury, then was released. This year Doug has Siri ranked 7th. Siri in 2018 was a year older than Yorman in 2015. Yet Siri didn’t perform offensively nearly as well at the same level. And Yorman was released the next year. Reds didn’t even want to wait out his injury, and Yorman wasn’t picked up by any other club either. 7th? No way. In 2016, Yorman should not have been a top 20 prospect. Aquino is obviously not one either. and neither is SIri, realistically.

    • Norwood Nate

      Personally, I didn’t view Aquino as a top 20 prospect. At the time though I did think Y-Rod was a pretty solid prospect. Y-Rod at least checked all the boxes with his tools, unfortunately his production never matched his enticing tool set. With Aquino he really only has two above average tools in his power and his arm. Unfortunately his hit tool/plate approach doesn’t allow him to get to his power enough and the arm strength won’t matter if you can’t hit well enough to stay on the field.

      I figured he may be let go at some point, so I’m not surprised. I am a little surprised Trahan is still on the roster. I just don’t see any way his bat plays well enough to stick on a ML roster. Maybe it’s just a matter of time.

      • Muddycleats

        U “hit” on a good topic which is Reds inability 2 develop hitters/players who have potential. EE, Didi, Grandal, Boxberger & even Yonder improved “after” leaving Reds. Draft picks R athletic – w/ tools – Reds just don’t have a good track record of developing them. IMHO, Reds allow many 2 b undisciplined hitters @ lower levels therefore they don’t have a good approach 2 b successful @ higher levels

    • Bill

      Fangraphs has Siri ranked at #118 overall and #6 in the Red’s organization.

    • Redsvol

      DID YOU SEE OUR PROSPECTS PLAY ANY IN 2015? I did, and it wasn’t hard to make the top 20 list because our prospects were absolutely horrible after the first 3. Top 20 doesn’t mean they are going to become major leaguers, it just means they are the best 20.

    • RedsKoolAidDrinker

      It’s not always about what you can do now, but about what you COULD be. Potential has to be factored in somewhere. Not possible for any writer alive to hit 100% of the time. Surely you’ve been around long enough to see consensus #1 overall rated prospects in MiLB not turn out, right? There’s some variables you just can’t predict.

    • Brennan

      Doug is just one guy with an opinion. He can rank the players however he wants! He isn’t always right. For example He also said peraza was a below average hitter despite being 9th in the MLB in “hits”.

      • Doug Gray

        To be fair, hitting isn’t about “hit totals”, it’s about the quality of the hitting (and walks – even though it’s not “hitting”, but when “we” talk about hitting, we aren’t just talking about batting average and slugging percentage – we’re talking about everything a guy does at the plate, which includes drawing walks).

  6. Jim

    Open roster spots? Yeah something is going to happen.
    Sign Arroyo, Browning, Rijo and Seaver.
    We have to many B/C type prospects. Keep Tram, Senz, Santi and Greene. Package any 6-30 ranked prospects with a player and start upgrading.
    I’m sure they tried to get something for Billy, but reality is to this point all he would be good for on a Championship team would be a pinch runner or late defensive replacement. Was hoping SF would take him and a prospect for that 18 yr old 1st rd pick OF I think.
    Good luck Biily! Hope you find a team and steal home in a Game 7 for a win.

  7. chrisr

    I believe I read Nick Krall stated the reds wanted to resign these guys but to minor league contracts, so I think we need to keep in mind that there may still be value with these players, but just not enough at this point on December 1st to warrent a 40 man spot.

    • Colorado Red

      well, per the article, Aristides Aquino had options, so why non-tender/cut him?
      Why not DFA patterson?

  8. kyblu50

    Let’s give Andrew McCutchen and Adam Jones 10 million a piece for one year. Small park big comeback for both.

    • AllTheHype

      Actually I do think Cutch would rake as a Red. Can he play CF passingly at this point? Not so sure.

    • Scott C

      Actually either of these MIGHT be a good signing for the Reds, if they were signed to a low cost incentive laden contract for no more than two years and there was an understanding and willingness to flip them at the trading deadline for decent prospects

  9. SteveLV

    Billy was fun to watch, by all accounts a good guy, and I wish nothing but the best for him, but it is encouraging to get the sense that the Reds are seeing the same things on the field and in the dougout the rest of the world has been seeing, and summoning what it takes to do something about it. Even if these decisions don’t work out, they seem logical and determined.

    • Daytonian

      Totally agreed, SteveLV. Billy seemed to be a very good guy, a good teammate with an infectious and quite positive outlook. He just could never hit enough to be a starter. I, too, wish him well–especially as a 4th outfielder, pinch runner, and late inning defensive specialist on a strong pennant contender!

  10. Tampa Red

    I had hoped that the Reds would retain Hamilton and use him the way he should be used, as a late inning replacement and spot starter on the trips to the west coast. But I guess that they determined that $6 million is a bit rich for that kind of player, and that’s probably true.

    I hate the idea of Ervin as an everyday CF’er. He’ll get exposed big time if that’s the case. But he will provide a legitimate bat for the position….maybe. Hopefully they have another play in mind.

    • Tony

      Ervin as an everyday CF would make an already bad defensive team unwatchable for me. I doubt very much that will happen but if it does per my previous sentence I won’t watch the Reds next year.

  11. Choo Choo Coleman

    The CF will be a FA. I hope it is Adam Jones. Sign for 2 years. Trammel should be ready then. Jones could be a monster in GABP.

  12. Kevin

    Did the reds resign Aquino? He is signing at redsfest right now.

  13. Cguy

    At the MLB pipeline Reds top 30 prospects site Aquino(#16) & Patterson (#19) have been removed. On the Reds roster Hamilton, Patterson, & Aquino have been removed however Graterol is still listed as 1 of 3 catchers. I also didn’t see ” Graterol elects free agency” under MLB transactions. Sloppy housekeeping or is Graterol still a Red?

  14. Troy

    I feel dumb but what’s the difference between DFA and non-tendering a contract?

    • Oldtimer

      DFA means the player has to be traded, sold, or released (FA) within a certain # of days.

      Non Tender means the player is FA immediately (if he chooses).

    • Doug Gray

      Oldtimer has it right, mostly. But DFA can also mean simply removed from the 40-man roster and if they clear waivers, can actually remain in the organization in the minor leagues. If they clear the waivers part of that move, then they can be outrighted to the minors. But, if a player has been outrighted to the minors before, even if it was by another team, the player has the choice to decline the outright and become an immediate free agent.

  15. Jonah

    I think they signed them all back on minor league deals. Wouldnt that mean that Aquino is making more? But he is not on the 40 man anymore

    • Doug Gray

      I can’t imagine he’s getting paid more than he was making on the 40-man roster.

  16. Tom B.

    Aquino is just the latest in a long line of Latin teenagers signed by the Reds that never pan out. I get that it’s a long shot gamble to sign a 15- or 16-year old kid, but other than Johnny Cueto, I can’t think of another Latin player — originally signed by the Reds — that has amounted to anything at the major league level (and I know someone will tell me if I’m wrong!). If I’m Bob Castellini, I start looking into who is scouting and signing these kids because the Reds are getting absolutely nothing for their international investment, unless you want to count Chapman and Iglesias.

  17. Redsvol

    if they can keep them in organization then its a great move in all 3 cases. 40 man roster spots need to guys that can help you this year. In Aquino’s situation, I don’t think he could help this year – if ever, so why not clear the roster spot if you can.

    The other 2 are guys that are older and by now you know what you have – so I can’t imagine having an issue with losing either. Aquino you could make an argument that he still has growth potential and therefore worth hanging onto. I like the player.

  18. redlegs4ever

    I don’t know why any of this is necessary, but I will shed no tears over losing any of these 3 so no real complaints…

  19. Jake Y.

    I would imagine this is just a way to open up 40 man spots and not necessarily indicative of the Reds “giving up” on any of these players. My guess is they will resign and provide organizational depth, similar to what the club did previously with Kyle Crockett and Gabby Guerrero. A player like Patterson would likely welcome the stability of not being waiver fodder every other week and opt to stick around as the first man up in case of injury to Schebler, Winker, or Votto.

  20. DHud

    Why not DFA all of these guys instead of non-tendering?

    Still frees up the roster spot and you have the chance of keeping them in the org without exposing them to FA

    • Jake Y.

      Because then they would be exposed to waivers and be claimed as opposed to resigning with the Reds if it was their preference.

  21. Mark

    I agree on Adam Jones depending on what the plan is with senzel.

  22. Elaine

    I believe Aquino will remain with the Reds organization. He was non-tendered Friday and yet signed at Reds Fest Friday night and Saturday afternoon.