Almora signed a minor league deal with Cincinnati in Spring Training. He made the big league roster in late May and has spent the past few months in the majors as a depth outfielder. Almora has gotten into 64 games and tallied 235 plate appearances, by far his largest workload since 2019. He’s made plenty of contact and played excellent defense, but he hasn’t drawn many walks or hit for much power. He carries a .223/.282/.349 line with five homers and three stolen bases.
A former sixth overall pick of the Cubs, Almora was a regular earlier in his career on the strength of his glove. After a trio of roughly league average seasons at the dish to begin his career, the right-hander’s production has tailed off. Since the start of 2019, he carries a .219/.265/.344 line between the Cubs, Mets and Reds. He’s settled into a fourth/fifth outfield role as a result.
The Reds could’ve controlled Almora for another season via arbitration, but they were evidently prepared to non-tender him after this season. As they play out the remainder of a non-competitive year, they’ll keep Stuart Fairchild on hand as the fourth outfielder behind TJ Friedl, Nick Senzel and Aristides Aquino.
Cincinnati will place Almora on outright or release waivers within the next couple days. There’s not much of a distinction in his case, as the 28-year-old has more than five years of big league service time. That gives him the right to refuse a minor league assignment in favor of free agency while retaining his salary if he clears waivers. If he goes unclaimed, it’s likely Almora will return to the open market.