1:45pm: The Reds and D-backs have officially announced the move.
12:44pm: The Reds have claimed veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera off waivers from the Diamondbacks, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link). The teams have yet to announce the move. Cincinnati already has multiple vacancies on its 40-man roster, so the Reds will only need to open a spot on the active 26-man roster.
Cabrera, 35, will give the Reds a switch-hitting infield option off the bench for the final month-plus of the regular season — and for the postseason, should they qualify. Because Cabrera is being claimed prior to Sept. 1, he’ll be eligible for postseason play with his new club.
It hasn’t been a great year at the plate for Cabrera, but he’s posted a respectable .244/.324/.392 batting line in 321 plate appearances while splitting his time between the infield corners (in addition to one lone inning at shortstop). He’s playing out the season on a one-year, $1.75MM contract and is owed about $358K of that sum through season’s end. The Reds will be on the hook for the remainder of that salary.
The veteran Cabrera looked like an obvious trade candidate prior to the deadline, but the D-backs apparently didn’t find much interest. They’ll clear a bit of cash now that he’s been claimed, although the primary motivation here could simply have been to give a veteran player a chance to join a playoff contender.
Cincinnati doesn’t have everyday at-bats available for Cabrera — not with Joey Votto at first base, Jonathan India at second base and Mike Moustakas over at third base. However, Cabrera has been quite productive against left-handed pitching over the past two seasons and has slightly better numbers against lefties than against righties over the course of his lengthy career. And as potent as the Reds’ lineup can be, Cincinnati has quietly been one of the game’s least-productive groups against southpaws, hitting just .231/.313/.380 as a team. Their collective 86 wRC+ against lefties ranks 28th in the Majors. Cabrera gives them a slight upgrade in that regard and also gives manager David Bell some versatility for late-game maneuvering.