The Reds announced Friday that they’ve claimed right-handed reliever Matthew Bowman off waivers from the division-rival Cardinals. Additionally, infielder Dilson Herrera and outfielder Mason Williams have cleared waivers and been sent outright to Triple-A Louisville.
Bowman, 27, was a quality middle-relief option for the Cards from 2016-17, working to a 3.70 ERA with 7.0 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and 0.6 HR/9 in 126 1/3 innings. He stumbled in 2018 however, requiring multiple DL stints for ongoing blister issues and generally performing poorly when on the field. In 23 innings this past season, he posted a 6.26 ERA with a career-best 10.2 K/9 mark but also a career-worst 4.1 BB/9 mark. Bowman does have a minor league option remaining, so he could be a flexible ’pen option for the Reds in 2019.
The 24-year-old Herrera went unclaimed after hitting .184/.268/.414 in 97 plate appearances for the Reds late in the 2018 season. It’s been a couple of years since he was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Jay Bruce from Cincinnati to the Mets, but Herrera’s late cup of coffee was actual his team debut. The former top prospect’s career has been utterly derailed by shoulder troubles, and while he finally surfaced in the Majors with the Reds, he didn’t do enough to secure a roster spot for the 2019 season. Because he’s previously been outrighted by the Reds, he can now elect fre agency, leaving the Cincinnati organization with nothing to show for that Bruce swap; lefty Max Wotell, the only other player in the trade, was cut loose earlier this season.
The 27-year-old Williams is a former top prospect in his own right, though it’s been quite some time since he was perceived in that light. He inked a minor league pact with Cincinnati and made his way to the big league roster, hitting .293/.331/.398 in 132 PAs. Solid as that showing was, he couldn’t stick on the 40-man nor did another team claim him, so he, too, can head to the open market as a minor league free agent by virtue of that fact that he’s also been outrighted previously (by the Yankees in 2017).