FEB 8, 4:19pm: Strange-Gordon will earn a base salary of $1MM if he makes the Reds’ roster, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com tweets.
10:25 am: The Reds have announced the signing of Strange-Gordon. He’ll get an invite to spring training with the opportunity to compete for playing time at shortstop and/or in a utility role.
FEB 7: The Reds are in agreement on a minor-league deal with infielder Dee Strange-Gordon, reports Kiley McDaniel of ESPN (via Twitter). The deal contains an invitation to MLB spring training, per C. Trent Rosecrans of the Athletic.
A two-time All-Star and three-time stolen base leader early in his career with the Dodgers and Marlins, Strange-Gordon was traded to the Mariners in advance of the 2018 season. His tenure in Seattle proved to be a disappointment, though. Strange-Gordon never took to the Mariners’ attempt to convert him to a center fielder that year. At the same time, his production at the plate had a significant drop, limiting his opportunities to do damage on the base paths.
Over the past three seasons, Strange-Gordon has hit a meager .266/.293/.343 (73 wRC+). That made Seattle’s decision to decline a $14MM option on his services for 2021 easy. Still, there’s no harm for the Reds in bringing in a respected ten-year veteran on a non-guaranteed pact and giving him an opportunity to compete for a roster spot.
Cincinnati has a glaring hole at shortstop, the position at which Strange-Gordon broke into the big leagues. He’s mostly played second base over the past seven years, but he’s continued to pick up sporadic playing time at short (as well as in the outfield). That’s likely his path to regular playing time with the Reds, who have Mike Moustakas lined up for the lion’s share of work at the keystone. Nevertheless, given Strange-Gordon’s pronounced struggles over the past three years, it’d be surprising if the Reds didn’t bring in additional competition for incumbent shortstop options José García, Kyle Farmer and Kyle Holder. Cincinnati has been in recent contact with Jonathan Villar, arguably the top shortstop still available in free agency.