Riddle, 30, spent the 2021 season in the Twins organization and briefly appeared in four games as a replacement player while the Twins were set back by a Covid-19 positives early in the season. He went 2-for-6 in that tiny sample but spent the bulk of the year in Triple-A St. Paul, where he struggled to a .202/.269/.322 batting line in 350 trips to the plate.
That rough showing severely dragged down Riddle’s career marks in Triple-A, but he’s generally been a serviceable bat in the upper minors — one who can bring a good bit of versatility to the table. Although he’s spent the bulk of his professional career at shortstop (4504 innings), Riddle also has 898 innings at third base, 414 at second base and 306 in center field (420 in the outfield overall).
Even after managing to unload the remainder of Eugenio Suarez’s contract in a trade that also sent Jesse Winker to the Mariners, the Reds have a pretty full slate in terms of starting infielders at the MLB level. Reigning Rookie of the Year Jonathan India is back at second base, while catcher-turned-utilityman-turned-shortstop Kyle Farmer has emerged as a starter at short in Cincinnati. Mike Moustakas will man the hot corner. Former No. 2 pick Nick Senzel, meanwhile, can play both the outfield and various infield spots, and the Reds also signed veteran Donovan Solano to a big league deal earlier this month.
Riddle brings some depth to the roster and could give them an option at shortstop in Triple-A while top prospect Jose Barrero mends from a broken hamate bone that required surgery which is expected to sideline him up to six weeks. Cincinnati also has infielders Max Schrock and Alejo Lopez on the 40-man roster, while veteran Brandon Drury was invited to big league camp just this week.