The Reds announced that outfielder Henry Ramos has been designated for assignment, and that righty Tony Santillan has been optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Both moves clear space on the 26-man and 40-man rosters for right-hander Michael Mariot, as the Reds have selected Mariot’s contract from Triple-A.
Ramos spent seven weeks on the injured list due to a hip strain, and has hit .242/.356/.306 over 73 plate appearances for Cincinnati and a scorching .318/.404/.568 in 152 PA at the Triple-A level. The Reds’ increasingly crowded roster made it hard for Ramos to find consistent playing time, and so the team has opted to perhaps move on, or just to try and sneak Ramos through DFA waivers. The 31-year-old’s big Triple-A numbers might attract the attention of another team interested in a waiver claim, or Ramos could control his future more directly by rejecting an outright assignment if he did clear waivers. Because Ramos has been outrighted before in his career, he has the ability to turn down any future outright assignments and become a free agent.
Ramos was a fifth-round pick for the Red Sox back in the 2010 draft, and his long stay in the minors finally resulted in 18 MLB games with the Diamondbacks in 2021. Before signing a minor league deal with the Reds last winter, Ramos’ career includes stints with the Red Sox, Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, and a brief stint in the KBO League in 2022.
Mariot knows a few things about the career of a journeyman player, as the 34-year-old is set to make his first appearance in the majors since 2016. The righty posted a 5.98 ERA over 49 2/3 innings with the Royals and Phillies from 2014-16, and subsequently bounced around the minors to several different organizations (including a previous stint with Cincinnati in 2021). This long path back to the Show also included stops in independent baseball, the Mexican League, and in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.
Beginning the season with the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association of Professional Baseball, Mariot signed a minor league contract with the Reds last month and made a quick impression at Triple-A. Over four starts and 24 1/3 inning in Louisville, Mariot had a 2.59 ERA and a tiny 4.2% walk rate with only one home run allowed, though his 14.6% strikeout rate is far below average. It remains to be seen what Mariot’s role might be in Cincinnati, but with the Reds hurting for rotation depth, Mariot might get at least a spot start or perhaps some long relief work.