The Cincinnati Reds picked up outfielder Nick Martini off of waivers from the San Diego Padres, and acquired reliever Justin Shafer for cash considerations from Toronto this afternoon. I wrote about both of those acquisitions over at Redleg Nation in detail if you’re interested. To make room on the 40-man roster for both players, the Reds designated reliever Jimmy Herget and outfielder Brian O’Grady for assignment.

Essentially the Reds are trading out a reliever for a reliever, and an outfielder for an outfielder. But only sort of. Any team could put in a claim for either Herget or O’Grady, or a team could jump to the front of the line and decide to trade for either of them before if they are especially interested. But there’s a chance that neither a trade, or a waiver claim happens. If so, both players would be outrighted to the minors and remain in the organization.

Jimmy Herget was the Reds 6th round pick out of South Florida back in 2015. After dominating in the minor leagues, posting a career 2.80 ERA in parts of five seasons with 314 strikeouts in 266.1 innings, he reached the Major Leagues in 2019 with Cincinnati. He only pitched in five games and allowed three earned runs in 6.1 innings (4.26 ERA). He walked three batters and didn’t strike out anyone. In Triple-A, though, he posted a 2.91 ERA in 58.2 innings while striking out 68 batters in 2019. His walk rate, though, was an all-time worst for him as he handed out 36 free passes.

Brian O’Grady had a big season in Triple-A for a second straight season. And in August that led to a call up to the big leagues with the Reds. He hit .190/.292/.429 with two doubles, a triple, and two home runs in 48 plate appearances with Cincinnati. With Louisville on the season he hit .280/.359/.550 with 30 doubles, a triple, 28 home runs, and he stole 20 bases in 24 attempts over his 112 games played for the Bats. That’s on top of hit .306/.365/.563 line he had in 42 games with Louisville in 2018. He’s currently in the Dominican Republic playing with Aguilas Cibaenas where he’s got a .750 OPS through 13 games played.

With the incoming players, both offer a little bit of intrigue. Nick Martini has interesting splits as a left-handed hitter. That could make him a useful platoon player who gets time against right-handed pitching. Justin Shafer had better numbers than Herget did in 2019. And from a raw stuff standpoint, he might be better there, too. As strange as it sounds to say out loud, I’ll just trust the Reds on pitching acquisitions.

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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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14 Responses

  1. MK

    Surprising moves to me. O’Grady more than Herget.

    O’Grady has had more position flexibility than Martini with his ability to also play an outstanding first base. It would also appear he has more power than Martini.

    Shafer adds another body to their growing stable of Florida Gators. Add him to India, Byrne, Kolozsvary and DeSclafani. Could be wrong but I believe that is more than any other single University.

    • Simon Cowell

      None of them are going to be full-time guys and I guess that is what the Reds are hoping for. I don’t see O’Grady as a PH and I guess the Reds don’t either.

      • Norwood Nate

        Here’s a few reasons:
        In four full seasons in the minors to date he’s had an ERA under 3.00 in three of those seasons with the other being solid at 3.47. He’s posted K/9 above 10 in three of those seasons with the other season being 9.8. Until this season at AAA his BB/9 had been between 3.0 and 3.3 all while pitching an average of around 60 IP, many of those high leverage innings as he finished a lot of games (especially his first two seasons). He’s been pretty stingy to this point in allowing HRs, and fared well with the juiced AAA ball this year only allowing 1.1 HR/9.

        Just speaking about the roster he’s young-ish having just turned 26 in September, he’s cost-controlled, he’s got options, and he’s experienced some level of success in the upper minors.

      • Wes

        I’m pretty shocked they let herget go. Guess there’s some sort of guideline that shows his stuff isn’t going to translate at the next level ? Or probably it’s the plethora of talent available that would be deemed younger and/or better than he is today.

        I’m pretty shocked it was for the two guys they added too- neither seemed like solid additions that will make an impact. Also Schebler is still on the roster- he must be the owners favorite since he could possibly be the worse player on any teams 40 man.

      • Oldtimer

        Schebler had a shoulder injury all season. He was better in 2018 and much better in 2017. If healthy, MLB caliber OF and power hitter. ST will show if he is healthy or not.

        In very limited chances, Herget did not show much at MLB level. O’Grady showed even less at MLB level. Again very limited chances.

  2. Gaffer

    Saying we let them go is misleading, as they probably try to outright them. Does anyone else put them on a 40 man? They also could trade them still.

    • Optimist

      We’re al going to need a refresher on the Rule 5, 40-man, DFA, and MiLB in the next week. It happens every year, but the interest in the Reds is greater, finally, since they should not be bottom fishing as in the past few years.

      ll these moves are nibbling at the edges or the 40 man, and I expect that to continue. It will be interesting if they make a Rule 5 selection, but they’re indicating there will be lots of juggling to stock up AAA. Recall they went to a 4th and 5th catcher last year – cannot do that again and hope for a wild card.

      As for Schebler – Oldtimer is spot on, just 2 years ago he was in the pre-season discussion as a possible NL HR leader. It is certainly worth waiting to see how the recovery has gone.

      • Wes

        On dougs message board Schebler was in the discussion of home run leader. Rest of us never heard of him.

        Do agree on the refresher. Im lost. Is there a new pitching rule going into effect this year ??

      • Optimist

        It wasn’t just Doug’s boards, I recall a few national outlets noting him as a sleeper pick.

        At a minimum, he could be more tradeable, at least for prospects, than some of our prospects. Still, needs to come back strong in the spring to have any such value.

      • Oldtimer

        Whenever I think of Rule 5 draft, two words come to mind. Roberto. Clemente. Originally by Dodgers in 1950s. Taken in Rule 5 draft by Pirates. The rest is history. With apologies to Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, Clemente is the best 5 Tool player I ever saw in person. RIP Roberto.

      • Doug Gray

        The rules were very different for the Rule 5 draft when that happened, to the point that when you see the “best rule 5 picks ever” list, it doesn’t even make it because it’s essentially an entirely different thing.