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Baseball Daily Dose

Reds Bolster Outfield with Tommy Pham

by David Shovein
Updated On: March 24, 2022, 10:26 am ET

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The Cincinnati Reds – who have made more news this off-season with their fire sale than they have trying to make moves to actually improve their ballclub – went out and made a nice addition on Wednesday, inking free agent outfielder Tommy Pham to a one-year, $7.5 million contract. The dynamic 34-year-old will make $6 million in 2022 and the deal includes a mutual option for the 2023 season with a $1.5 million buyout, bringing his guaranteed total to $7.5 million.

Pham had a bit of a disappointing season with the Padres in 2021, slashing .229/.340/.383 with a 128/78 K/BB ratio across 561 plate appearances. He was still able to slug 15 homers and swipe 14 bases during that time though. Couple that dazzling blend of power and speed with a move out of Petco Park in San Diego and into the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, and it makes Pham a highly intriguing option in the later rounds of mixed league fantasy drafts.

Just how high will his stock soar with this move though? Your guess is as good as mine. Over the last week of drafts prior to this signing, Pham sported an average draft position of around 275 overall. Given the fact that he landed in one of the most favorable hitting environments and should be in line for everyday at-bats – and in a premium lineup spot to boot – his draft cost is going to climb substantially. I think he climbs at least 50 spots overall, and honestly it wouldn’t surprise me if he sneaks inside the top 200 players overall.

The biggest loser of this deal, at least at first glance, could be Jake Fraley. He had gained some traction as an interesting late-round sleeper at the outfield position, but now his playing time projection is at least a bit murkier. Tyler Naquin is going to see regular playing time against right-handed pitching, and the Reds seem to want Nick Senzel to be their regular center fielder as long as he’s healthy.
 

Dodgers Designate Beaty

In what turned out to be a surprising move on Wednesday, the Dodgers designated outfielder Matt Beaty for assignment.

Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts explained the move to reporters later in the day, saying that despite the fact that Beaty still had one minor league option remaining, he wasn’t going to crack the team’s Opening Day roster so they wanted to do him a favor and give him an opportunity to latch on elsewhere.

This is the type of problem that you have when your big league roster is absolutely loaded from top to bottom, sometimes quality big league players are squeezed out. The 28-year-old did a really nice job for the Dodgers during the 2021 campaign, slashing .270/.363/.402 with seven homers, 40 RBI, two stolen bases and a 44/20 K/BB ratio in 234 plate appearances across 120 games.

With the ability to play the outfield and first base – as well as his solid hit tools – Beaty should generate quite a bit of interest on waivers. If he somehow lands an everyday gig someplace, he immediately gains relevancy in deeper mixed leagues. He’s definitely someone to keep an eye on in the coming days.

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American League Quick Hits: Sally Goldenberg of Politico reported that New York mayor Eric Adams is expected to announce on Thursday that unvaccinated athletes will be allowed to play home games in New York. … The Red Sox officially announced Trevor Story’s six-year, $140 million contract with a $25 million club option for 2028. … Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics have agreed to a contract with free agent catcher Stephen Vogt. … Teoscar Hernandez (wrist) has resumed hitting off of a tee and participating in fielding drills. …  D.J. Stewart will undergo an X-ray on his injured left hand on Thursday. … The Rays signed right-hander Robert Dugger to a minor league contract. … The Twins inked Ariel Jurado to a minor league deal. … Luke Maile has been diagnosed with hamstring tightness. … Jeter Downs and Triston Casas were among the names optioned out of Red Sox camp on Wednesday. … Christian Arroyo is considered day-to-day with a right thumb contusion. … James Kaprielian (shoulder) is scheduled to throw off of a mound on Saturday. … Adley Rutschman (triceps) could be ready for the start of the Triple-A season on April 5. … Orioles prospect Heston Kjerstad has been diagnosed with a higher-grade hamstring strain and is expected to be sidelined for 8-12 weeks. … Josh Naylor (ankle) is scheduled to appear in a minor league game on Thursday. … Jon Heyman of MLB Network notes that the Blue Jays have “checked in on” free agent outfielder Brett Gardner. … The Guardians re-signed 34-year-old hurler Bryan Shaw.Stephen Piscotty visited a neurologist earlier in the week after experiencing left shoulder soreness, but checked out fine and was able to hit in the cages on Wednesday. … Yimi Garcia and top prospect Gabriel Moreno arrived to Blue Jays camp on Wednesday. … Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that the Mariners have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent right-hander Sergio Romo. … Luis Patino (shoulder) threw 18-20 pitches during a bullpen session on Wednesday.

Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres each crushed two-run homers as the Yankees topped the Orioles in Grapefruit League play. … Mitch Garver clobbered a pair of solo home runs and drove in three as the Rangers triumphed over the White Sox… Edward Oliveras blasted two solo shots as the Royals defeated the Rockies. … Tony Kemp reached base three times, scored three runs and stole a base out of the A’s leadoff spot in a loss to the Cubs. … Shane Bieber struggled in his Cactus League debut, allowing four runs while recording only four outs against the Dodgers. … Jose Berrios was roughed up for six runs in just 1 2/3 innings of work against the Phillies. … Lance Lynn served up three solo home runs – two to Mitch Garver – over 2 2/3 innings against the Rangers. … Shane McClanahan allowed two runs – both on solo homers – in Wednesday’s start against the Braves. … Zack Greinke allowed just one unearned run over three frames in his spring debut for the Royals… Justin Verlander hurled 2 2/3 scoreless innings against the Cardinals. … Akil Baddoo continued his hot spring, going 3-for-3 with a double as the Tigers and Pirates played to a 6-6 tie. … Eduardo Rodriguez piled up five strikeouts over four innings of one-run baseball against the Bucs. … Trevor Larnach clubbed a three-run homer as the Twins trounced the Red Sox. … Nathan Eovaldi piled up six strikeouts over four perfect innings against the Twins.

National League Quick Hits: Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters Wednesday that they believe Ronald Acuna Jr. (knee) could be ready to play the outfield in early May. … Zack Wheeler (shoulder) threw 42 pitches in a successful bullpen session on Wednesday. … Ketel Marte (eye) is expected to return to Cactus League action on Thursday against the Brewers. … Frank Schwindel is currently sidelined at Cubs camp due to back tightness. … Reds manager David Bell officially named Tyler Mahler as his Opening Day starter. … Mookie Betts (illness) took at-bats in a minor league game on Wednesday. … Jose Barrero underwent successful left hamate surgery and is expected to be sidelined for six weeks. … Phillies manager Joe Girardi announced that Odubel Herrera will be out for four-to-six weeks due to a strained right oblique. … The Dodgers officially signed Hanser Alberto to his one-year, $1.6 million contract. … Sam Gaviglio, Robbie Erlin and Jon Duplantier were among the first round of cuts from Dodgers camp on Wednesday. …The Diamondbacks signed Ryan Meisinger to a minor league contract. …Drew Smith has been limited in Mets camp due to a sore foot. … The Reds signed right-hander Hunter Strickland to a one-year, $1.825 million contract. … Sixto Sanchez (shoulder) said he’s now two weeks into his six-week period of abstaining from throwing. … Starling Marte (oblique) was able to play the outfield in a minor league game on Wednesday. … The Cubs officially signed Mychal Givens to a one-year, $5 million contract and  designated Sergio Alcantara for assignment. … Pirates skipper Derek Shelton indicated that Oneil Cruz will see action in the outfield during the 2022 season. … Tommy La Stella (heel) believes he will be ready for Opening Day. … Jazz Chisholm (hand) declared himself fine on Wednesday after leaving Tuesday’s Grapefruit League contest with a bruised hand. … Nationals manager Dave Martinez said he’s hoping to get 20-25 starts out of Stephen Strasburg (neck, shoulder) during the 2022 season. … Marlins manager Don Mattingly confirmed that Nick Neidert is shifting to a role in the bullpen.

Keston Hiura had two hits including his second spring home run in a losing effort against the Brewers. … Corbin Burnes surrendered five runs on five hits, while striking out five over three innings in his Cactus League debut against the Reds… Gavin Lux took Shane Bieber deep as the Dodgers beat the Guardians in Cactus League competition. … Joey Bart swatted a two-run homer in a loss to the Diamondbacks. … Marcus Stroman allowed two runs over two-plus innings against the Athletics in his second Cactus League start. … Clayton Kershaw racked up four strikeouts while allowing two runs over 2 1/3 innings against the Guardians. … Logan Webb surrendered one run while striking out five over three strong innings against the Diamondbacks. … Merrill Kelly struck out eight of the nine batters that he faced in a dominant performance against the Giants. … MacKenzie Gore fired three scoreless innings and struck out five in a stellar outing against the Angels. … Austin Riley homered twice as the Braves and Rays played to a tie on Wednesday. … Kyle Wright fired three scoreless innings in his Grapefruit League debut against the Rays. … Mike Clevinger fired three perfect innings in a minor league contest against the White Sox – reportedly touching 95 mph with his heater. … Sandy Alcantara allowed just one hit – a solo homer to Juan Soto - over four strong innings against the Nationals. … Patrick Corbin struck out four over four scoreless frames against the Marlins… Kyle Finnegan gave up three runs while recording only one out against the Fish.