We knew last week that the Cincinnati Reds would be making some releases. They, like nearly all other teams, had not released players during spring training before baseball was shut down. Most teams, though not all of them, decided to make those cuts when June began as there was a lift by Major League Baseball on transactions. The Reds are among the teams who did make moves, releasing 48 total players according to Baseball America’s transaction page.
Some of the names on the list stick out a little more than others. We can start out with the guys who got 7-figure signing bonuses that were among the players released. Cash Case signed for $1,000,000 in the 2017 draft and was among those released. Cristian Olivo also signed for $1,000,000, but he inked his contract in July of 2015 – he was the biggest international teenage signing the team had made since they signed Yorman Rodriguez in 2008 – and he was among those players released.
Jose Lopez, who had been on the 40-man roster for both the Reds and the San Francisco Giants in the past, was among those released. He missed most of 2019.
In November of 2018 three Reds prospects in the Dominican Republic were involved in a fatal car accident that unfortunately took the life of Jairo Capellan. Raul Hernandez and Emilio Garcia were both hospitalized as a result of the accident and required extensive rehabilitation. Both Hernandez and Garcia were among those released.
Perhaps the strangest name on the list was left-handed pitcher Misael Lopez. The 19-year-old lefty hadn’t yet pitched for the organization and was signed last summer out of Mexico. He dominated in the Mexican Winter League this past year as an 18-year-old, posting a 2.18 ERA in 33.0 innings with 21 hits allowed, 11 walks, and 34 strikeouts.
With the likelihood of no minor league season, guys that were set to be free agents following the season, who also weren’t going to be in consideration for the “taxi squad/practice squad” if and when Major League Baseball returns this year, were the guys facing the most likely chance of being released. And there were more than a few of those guys that were on the list.
The Reds releasing of 48 players is more than any other team thus far that we know of besides the Arizona Diamondbacks, who released 64 according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The Yankees released 45. Rumors are that Seattle will be releasing over 50, but that has not been confirmed yet. The Reds and Yankees lists are quite a bit larger than others, and the reason for that could be that they have more rookie teams than most teams do, and thus they have more roster spots than most organizations.