The Reds have announced a series of additions to their 40-man roster. Righty Justin Shafer comes over via trade from the Blue Jays in exchange for cash considerations. The Cincinnati club has also claimed outfielder Nick Martini off waivers from the Padres.
Shafer was just designated himself, but drew enough interest to land on a 40-man roster and even generate a bit of a trade return. The 27-year-old, a former eighth-round pick, worked to a 3.86 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in 39 2/3 innings last year with the Jays.
There are some things to like here. Shafer averaged close to 95 mph with his heater and drew swings and misses on nearly a twelve percent of his MLB pitches. He was even more effective — 3.52 ERA, 35:8 K/BB ratio — in 30 2/3 frames in the tough International League.
If he can hold onto the roster spot, Shafer figures to compete for a role in camp. Martini could also be a candidate for a reserve gig in Cincinnati, depending upon what other moves the team ends up making.
Martini struggled last year in limited opportunities with the A’s and Padres. But the left-handed hitter had posted a strong .296/.397/.414 batting line over his first 179 MLB plate appearances in 2018. And Martini was quite tough on Pacific Coast League hurlers last year, recording nearly as many walks as strikeouts and generating a .328/.432/.482 output over 329 plate appearances at Triple-A.