The Reds have announced a series of transactions designed to get some fresh arms to the majors. In moves with 40-man implications, righty Blake Wood was designated for assignment while the team selected the contract of fellow right-hander Alejandro Chacin. Additionally, righty Luke Farrell was recalled and outfielder Phil Ervin was optioned back to Triple-A.
It’s a bit surprising to see Cincinnati cut ties with Wood, who is eligible for arbitration one final time in 2018 after earning $1.275MM this year. The 32-year-old does carry an ugly 5.65 ERA, but that’s due in large part to the staggering nine earned runs he allowed in his last two outings. (More generally, too, he carries a low strand rate of 62.1% and has been tagged for a lofty .364 BABIP by opposing hitters.) Of course, that pair of disastrous appearances also likely paved the way for today’s move.
Despite the less-than-exciting earned run average, Wood has averaged 9.7 K/9 against 4.6 BB/9 on the year while sporting a 53.6% groundball rate. And he still delivers an upper-nineties heater that could hold appeal to other organizations.
That said, the Reds surely at least looked for takers and perhaps found insufficient interest. And the move makes way for Chacin, a 24-year-old who has steadily risen through the ranks over the past three years and figures to be a bullpen option for 2018 and beyond.
Chacin has spent the entirety of 2017 at Triple-A, posting a 2.60 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 over 69 1/3 innings in 44 appearances. That multi-inning versatility could give the Reds yet another flexible arm — part of an acknowledged strategy of the organization.