Reds sign Jake Bauers to minor league deal
The Red Devils have signed the first player/midfielder Jake Bauers for a minor league contract, according to the team’s announcement. VC Sports Group customers will attend Major League Spring Training as an uninvited person on the list. Bauers was eligible to sign a minor league contract even during the lockdown due to the fact that he was dropped from the Mariners’ 40-man roster before the 2021-22 season officially began (and thus technically a minor league free agent).
Still only 26, the Bauers were not ranked as one of the sport’s top 100 prospects, according to both Baseball America and MLB.com, during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. He was part of two notable three-team deals, traveling from San Diego to Tampa Bay in Wil Myers/Steven Souza/Trea Turner/Joe Ross blockbusters (also including Nats) and also traveled from Tampa Bay to Cleveland in Carlos Santana/Edwin Encarnacion/Yandy Diaz agreement (including Mariners).
Bauers has recorded 1126 major league appearances over the past three seasons but has not produced in Tampa Bay, Cleveland or in Seattle (where he landed after his third minor sale this past summer). He’s a career .213/.307/.348 hitman with 27 home runs, 15 base steals, and a 26.4% hit rate. Bauers made 11.5% of his Major League game appearances, well above the league average, but attacks and a general lack of contact deterred those his offensive contribution.
That said, for a minor league pact, there’s little harm in seeing if another change of scenery yields better results. Bauers was a professional .266 / .363/.417 shooter during Triple-A’s career and has roughly the same numbers at the Double-A level. He has average or better defence, is both a corner midfielder and first goal scorer in the Major. And, if he brings it together and exploits that potential, he will be controllable through arbitration for three years after the 2022 season.
The Red Devils don’t have many of the abilities needed in the original base, unless injured Joey Votto, but their off-court mix is a bit less certain. Jesse Winker locked to the left field and Tyler Naquin played his way to at least a squad role with a solid showing across 127 games last season. However, the team did not receive consistent endurance and/or productivity from any Nick Senzel, Shogo Akiyama or Aristides Aquino. 26 year old speeder TJ Friedl may have also weighed in with a score of 0.290 / .361 / .419 in 36 appearances over the course of last season, but Cincinnati’s off-field setup has barely been written in stone. Add in the arrival of a National League-designated player, and the Bauers can at least play his way in the bench role with a productive spring training effort.
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/12/reds-sign-jake-bauers-minor-league-deal.html Reds sign Jake Bauers to minor league deal