TODAY: Farmer did reject the outright assignment and become a free agent, but then re-signed with the Reds on a new minor league contract.
MAY 9: The Reds announced this afternoon they’ve designated left-handed reliever Phillip Diehl for assignment. The move opens an active roster spot for Luis Castillo, who was reinstated from the injured list to start tonight’s game as expected.
Diehl, a Cincinnati native, was selected to the majors by his hometown club in late April. It marked his first MLB call since a 2019-20 stint with the Rockies, and he ultimately appeared in five games. Diehl allowed seven runs in just 5 2/3 innings, with his three home runs allowed proving a particular undoing. The longball had also been problematic during his time in Colorado, and Diehl has now surrendered six homers in 19 big league innings.
The 27-year-old is out of minor league option years, meaning the Reds had to bump Diehl off the 40-man roster if they weren’t going to keep him in the majors. In so doing, they remove the only southpaw bullpen option who’d been on the major league team. Veteran Justin Wilson is on the injured list, and starter Reiver Sanmartín — recently optioned to Triple-A Louisville — is rather remarkably the only currently healthy left-handed pitcher on the Reds’ 40-man roster.
The Reds will have a week to trade Diehl or try to run him through waivers. He struck out 11 batters while issuing just one walk in eight innings with the Bats before being called up, so it stands to reason they’d prefer to keep him in the organization as a non-roster player. Diehl has been outrighted in the past and would have the right to elect minor league free agency if he clears waivers, however.
Cincinnati also announced that reliever Buck Farmer, who had been designated for assignment on Friday, passed through waivers unclaimed and was outrighted to Louisville. The team didn’t specify whether Farmer had chosen to accept or reject the assignment. As a player with five-plus years of big league service time, Farmer can forego the minors in favor of free agency while still collecting what remains of this year’s $850K salary.