The Reds have acquired right-hander Art Warren from the Rangers for cash considerations, both teams announced (Twitter links). Warren had been designated for assignment on December 26th, at which point it seemed fairly certain that Warren would latch on somewhere. The Reds make for a natural fit having moved out a couple of bullpen arms this winter, and it doesn’t hurt that Warren is an Ohio native. The 27-year-old will have an opportunity to compete for a spot in the Cincinnati bullpen.
The Rangers had claimed Warren off waivers from the Mariners, but subsequently designated him for assignment to make room on their 40-man roster for Kohei Arihara. The Rangers had claimed Warren only as recently as October 21, 2020.
Warren spent one day on the Mariners’ active roster in 2020 but did not make an appearance. He made six big league appearances for Seattle in 2019 after recording a 32 percent strikeout rate in back-to-back seasons in Double-A. Warren posted a 60.3 percent groundball rate across 31 2/3 innings in 2019. Conversely, his groundball rate at the same level in 15 2/3 innings the year before was just 39.4 percent. There’s a fair amount of year-to-year variance in Warren’s minor league track record, but there’s certainly enough to make him an interesting bullpen candidate for manager David Bell.
Perhaps more importantly for the Reds, he’ll earn the league minimum. The Reds non-tendered Archie Bradley and traded Raisel Iglesias earlier this winter, removing two proven high-leverage arms from their bullpen stable, presumably for financial reasons. Adding Warren is a low-key move that doesn’t immediately move the needle for the Reds, but there is potential for Warren to make an impact in 2021