The Reds announced Tuesday that they’ve signed right-handed reliever Cam Bedrosian to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training.
Bedrosian, 29, becomes the latest non-roster addition for a Reds club that has largely sat out the market for Major League free agents. The longtime Angels righty was non-tendered earlier this winter as he entered his final year of arbitration eligiblity.
Bedrosian, whose father Steve saved 184 games in a 14-year MLB career, looked like he might be prepared to go down a similar path not long ago. The former No. 29 overall pick notched a 1.12 ERA with a 31.5 percent strikeout rate in 40 1/3 innings back in 2016 and saved six games for the Halos a year later.
From 2016-20, Bedrosian totaled 225 innings with a 3.20 ERA and a 3.74 SIERA — including a solid 2.45 ERA in 14 2/3 frames in 2020. However, while that ERA looked to be one of the righty’s strongest marks yet, there were some underlying causes for concern. Bedrosian’s strikeout rate fell to a career-low 19.0 percent — a good ways south of the league average — while his 10.3 percent walk rate was his highest since 2015.
Bedrosian’s average fastball, meanwhile dipped to a career-low 92.3 mph, which is a full three miles per hour slower than that peak 2016 campaign; his velocity has ticked downward steadily each year since that ’16 campaign. For a pitcher who has recently spent time on the IL due to forearm and adductor strains, that trend was surely a cause for some concern.
All that said, adding Bedrosian is a perfectly sensible move for the Reds — particularly on a no-risk, non-guaranteed deal of the minor league variety. If his velocity rebounds in camp or he looks able to miss bats at his previous levels with slightly reduced heat, he’d make a fine addition to a relatively unsettled bullpen mix. Bedrosian has a track record of success in the Majors, a fair bit of late-inning experience (nine saves, 44 holds) and has yet to turn 30. He’ll join Shane Carle, Josh Osich, Brandon Finnegan, Jesse Biddle and R.J. Alaniz as non-roster bullpen options invited to Spring Training.