Both the Reds and Cardinals have announced that St. Louis has claimed outfielder Michael Siani off of Cincinnati’s waiver waire. Siani was designated for assignment earlier this week, as part of the 40-man roster maneuvering necessary when the Reds claimed Hunter Renfroe and Harrison Bader off waivers. The Cards also announced that Guillermo Zuniga has been moved from the 15-day injured list to the 60-day IL, thus ending Zuniga’s season.
A fourth-round pick for the Reds in the 2018 draft, Siani is a veteran of 12 big league games — nine in 2022 and three for this year’s team, with four hits over 25 total plate appearances. Siani is known for both his outstanding defense and speed, as he has stolen 155 bases in 200 total attempts in the minors while also showing excellent glovework in center field. With a .228/.344/.355 slash line over 2167 PA in the minors, offense is still a work in progress for the 24-year-old, even if his other tools project him as at least a bench option at the MLB level.
While it isn’t a surprise to see another team claim Siani away, Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat (X link) notes that it is a bit of a curious pickup for the Cardinals in particular, given that St. Louis already has several outfielders on the 40-man roster or on the cusp of the majors. Of course, a team isn’t just going to pass on a player it thinks has promise, and the Cardinals might clear some space anyway in the outfield this winter. The team is widely expected to try and trade some of its current outfield mix, likely in search of some badly needed reinforcements for the starting rotation.
Zuniga was first placed on the IL on August 25, and since he is suffering from a right forearm strain, it already looked like he probably wasn’t going to make it back before the end of the 2023 campaign. The only hope is that the 60-day IL placement isn’t a precursor to a more serious injury like UCL or elbow damage resulting in surgery, as such a procedure could potentially shelve Zuniga for just about all of the 2024 season. Zuniga made his MLB debut this season, appearing in two games for St. Louis prior to his forearm strain.