According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds have signed 28 year-old center fielder Corey Patterson to a minor league deal. Patterson, a Boras client, makes for a surprising bargain with a dash of upside. He happened to reach free agency in an offseason with a center field surplus. He’s reunited with former Cubs manager Dusty Baker, who some say mishandled Patterson at times. Fay believes this takes Kenny Lofton off the table for Cincy.
The Reds are calling it a center field competition, but Patterson will probably get the gig. This will allow the Reds to keep Jay Bruce in the minors until June and delay his future free agency by a year.
The Reds also inked another former Cub, Jerry Hairston Jr. He may have a hard time making the team, but his versatility could help.