Sept. 8: Cincinnati announced today that Moran has been released. He’s a free agent who can now sign with any team. If he lands with another club and is added back to the Major League roster, he’d technically be under club control for another season, as he’ll finish the year with five-plus years of service, though this year’s struggles may render that a moot point.
Moran, 29, is in his seventh MLB season. He spent the 2018-2021 stretch with the Pirates, hitting .272/.330/.428 over the first three years of that time. That production was exactly league average, as evidenced by his 100 wRC+. He took a bit of a downturn last year, slashing just .258/.334/.390 for a wRC+ of 97. Moran was making $2.8MM last year and headed for a raise through arbitration, but the club decided to move on, designating him for assignment in November.
He ended up landing with the Reds on a $1MM deal but hasn’t fared much better this year. Moran hit .211/.305/.376 across 42 MLB games, getting optioned multiple times and outrighted in June. He slashed .249/.310/.415 in 53 Triple-A games and was selected back to the 40-man roster just over a week ago when Mike Moustakas landed on the IL, but he’s now lost his spot yet again.
The Reds recently promoted corner infield prospect Spencer Steer, whom they acquired in the Tyler Mahle trade a few weeks ago, likely playing a part in nudging Moran out of their plans. They can use the final weeks of the season to evaluate Steer and see if he fares well enough to secure himself a job on next year’s team.