The Reds have re-signed Connor Overton to a minor league deal, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. The right-hander was outrighted off of Cincinnati’s 40-man roster in early October and entered minor league free agency, but Overton now looks to return for what will be his third season in the Reds organization.
Overton underwent Tommy John surgery last May, so he isn’t expected to be part of the Reds’ 2024 plans until around midseason. Since this was the second TJ procedure of Overton’s career, it is possible his recovery time might take a little longer than the usual 12-15 month timeframe, and it can’t be ruled out that he might need all of 2024 to rehab. The minor league deal gives Overton and the Reds some low-risk security in allowing him to rehab in a familiar environment while seeing what he can potentially contribute on the field.
Overton made only three starts and threw 11 innings (to the tune of an 11.45 ERA) in 2023, and the combination of a stress reaction in his back and a hamstring injury also limited him to 33 innings over six appearances in 2022. He has a 4.85 ERA over 59 1/3 total innings in the bigs, with the Blue Jays, Pirates, and Reds since his MLB debut in 2021.
A 15th-round pick for the Marlins back in the 2014 draft, Overton bounced around both the affiliated and independent minor leagues before breaking into the majors with Toronto. Working as both a starter and a reliever since the canceled 2020 minor league season, Overton’s numbers have been quite impressive at the Triple-A level, which is likely another reason why the Reds wanted to keep the 30-year-old in the fold. Overton’s first priority is simply to get healthy, but there is some possible late-bloomer potential if Overton can translate his Triple-A success to the majors.