The Reds announced on Wednesday that they’ve claimed right-hander Luke Farrell off waivers from the Dodgers and designated former Dodger Scott Van Slyke for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Farrell has been optioned to Triple-A Louisville, per the Reds’ announcement.
The 26-year-old Farrell is the son of Red Sox manager John Farrell and made his MLB debut with the Royals earlier this year. He was knocked around for five runs on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings, and that outing still represents his long MLB appearance.
Though his debut was rough, Farrell has produced solid Triple-A results in 2016-17, working to a combined 3.83 ERA with 8.5 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and roughly a 36 percent ground-ball rate in 199 2/3 innings. He has a pair of minor league options remaining beyond this season, which also figures to have some appeal to the Reds.
Van Slyke was acquired alongside catching prospect Hendrik Clementina minutes before the non-waiver trade deadline in the trade that sent Tony Cingrani to the Dodgers. While some may wonder why the Reds didn’t simply acquire Farrell in place of Van Slyke in that trade, it’s likely due to the fact that the Reds took on the remainder of Van Slyke’s salary, thus offsetting some of the financial cost of Cingrani for Los Angeles.
The 31-year-old Van Slyke is earning $1.325MM and has appeared in just 29 games this season (all with the Dodgers), hitting .122/.250/.293 in 48 plate appearances. Van Slyke, of course, has had his share of success in the Majors but hasn’t been especially productive since 2014. He’s also carrying a disappointing .714 OPS in Triple-A this season.