The Cincinnati Reds have signed left-handed pitcher Brooks Raley to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training for 2020 according to Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer.

It’s been quite a while since Brooks Raley pitched in the Major Leagues. In 2012 and 2013 he saw limited action with the Chicago Cubs, throwing a total of 38.1 innings over two seasons in the Majors. In 2014 he spent the entire year in Triple-A with the Angels and Twins organizations.

Then in 2015 he made the move to Korea to pitch for the Lotte Giants, where he’s spent the last five seasons.  In 2019 he went 5-14 with a 3.88 ERA in 181.0 innings where he allowed 191 hits, 10 home runs, walked 65 batters, and he had 140 strikeouts. For context, the league ERA was 4.16 – but the Giants team ERA was a league worst 4.86. Their team OPS was also a league worst .674. It’s tough to tell if the ballpark is pitcher or hitter friendly given those two stats.

The left-handed pitcher has been starting in his time pitching in the Korean Baseball Organization. He throws a fastball in the 87-91 MPH range. He also throws a breaking ball in the mid-to-upper 70’s with 12-6 action. His walk rates were always good in Korea, but his strikeout rate was a bit low with the exception of the 2018 season. Let’s take a look at his stats in the KBO.

With the Reds, it seems that it’s very unlikely he’ll be in big league camp pitching for a spot in the rotation. But there is a chance that he could work his way into the bullpen conversation. If Raley winds up in the minor leagues it would make sense to have the 31-year-old in the Triple-A rotation where he could provide depth options in case the team needs a starter. That role also wouldn’t prevent him from being a call up if the team needed some help out of the bullpen.

10 Responses

  1. Tom

    OK I have a key strategy in place:

    Votto, Winker, Castillo for Price, Betts, Benitendi
    Senzel, Galvis, Greene for Lindor

    Shogo CF
    Betts RF
    Lindor SS
    Suarez 3b
    Moose 1b
    Benitendi LF
    JVM/Blandino 2b
    Barn/ Casali C


    • Dawson

      Sorry, but not a fan of this strategy. Would not do that even if it was a possibility.

    • MK

      Votto has stated on numerous occasions that he will not give up the no trade clause in his contract or his 10-5 right to block a trade. So your plan is shot before it begins.

      The Raley pick up seems to be a positive one with potential to assist the big league team. Should a bullpen injury replacement or spot starter needed and with his experience as a starter he could be helpful with the three batter rule for relief coming into play he might of the experience needed.

    • Oldtimer

      Neither VanMeter or Blandino has shown much more than diddly squat in MLB. The Red Sox would be highly unlikely to make that proposed trade. Votto is 36 YO and on the downhill. Winker is injury prone. Castillo was very good in 2019.

      Unlikely Indians would make the other trade. Senzel is injury prone. Galvis is decent but Lindor is best SS in MLB. Greene is coming off serious arm injury. He may recover but that is uncertain.

      • Oldtimer

        That happens in January. “Pitchers and catchers report” are four best words of winter.

  2. Krozley

    I see they also signed Boog Powell. I was disappointed when reviewing his stats to see the lack of power. With that name, I expected huge slugging numbers like his namesake. Still, he gets on base and apparently you can’t have enough left-handed hitting outfielders at spring training. Good to have Alex Powers back too.

    • MK

      He is a little guy who I saw win a bunting skills competition a the Midwest League All Star game in 2014. He was also game MVP.

  3. Oldtimer

    Trevor Bauer is a good SP but not THIS good (my opinion, yours may be different).

    … None received a larger salary than starting pitcher Trevor Bauer, who will make $17.5 million in 2020 after he earned $13 million in ’19. It marked the second-largest salary for an arbitration-eligible pitcher, passing reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom’s $17 million salary last winter. David Price’s $19.75 million agreement with the Tigers in ’15 remains the top figure …