The Cincinnati Reds have signed two Major League veterans to minor league contracts for the 2020 season. Right-handed pitcher Christ Volstad and outfielder Brandon Barnes have joined the organization, inking minor league deals. Neither will be in big league camp.
Chris Volstad has thrown 772.1 innings in the Major Leagues during his career. The now 33-year-old last pitched in the Major Leagues with the Chicago White Sox in 2018, when he made one start and 32 relief appearances while posting a 6.27 ERA. He was designated for assignment at the end of July of that season and went unclaimed. Once he cleared waivers the White Sox gave him his outright release. Volstad did not pitch in the 2019 season.
Much like Volstad, outfielder Brandon Barnes is 33-years-old and last played in the Major Leagues in 2018. He’s played in 484 career games at the big league level, racking up 1274 plate appearances with a .242/.290/.357 line. In 2018 he played in 19 games with the Cleveland Indians, hitting .263/.333/.421. During the 2019 season he split time between the Cleveland Triple-A affiliate in Columbus and the Minnesota Twins Triple-A affiliate in Rochester. Between the two stops he hit .253/.320/.504 with 30 doubles, 30 home runs, 11 steals, 42 walks, and 150 strikeouts in 120 games played.
Barnes played a little bit of everywhere during the 2019 season. He played in 37 games in left field, 35 games in center, 17 games in right, 16 games at first, three games at second, and he even pitched in three different games for a total of 4.0 innings. Almost all of his career has come in the outfield, but he has had little bits of playing time on the infield at first and second. He spent some time this offseason playing winter league baseball in Mexico and he again saw some time on the infield in limited action, seeing more time in the outfield for Mexicali.
Photo of Brandon Barnes by Lincoln Ficek. License can be found here.
Does it seem the signing of minor league roster filling free agents is running a little slower than normal? I have been following the 2019 Reds minor leaguers who have become free agents and most have not signed elsewhere yet.
Way, way slower.
Why do you think that is? Is it indicative of a bigger issue or just “one of those things”?
I honestly don’t know. Minor League free agency is much tougher to really get a grasp on since there’s about 700 guys available at once (some will never play again).
While going over the minor league camp roster, I am missing the following guys. Do you have any info on if they are still with organization?
Wyatt Strahan, Andrew McDonald, Fidel Castro, Pedro Moreno, Ronard Soto, Rylan Thomas, Jose Zorrilla, Aaron Fossas, Jose Lopez.
Some other guys that played in AZL last year are missing as well but those are the main guys not listed.
Jim, I don’t have any answers for you on those, but I am curious as to where you got the roster. I just got it today, and I haven’t seen anyone publish it publicly yet, either.
Fossas retired according to my sources