The Diamondbacks announced a series of roster moves this afternoon, most notably the designation of veteran outfielder Josh Reddick for assignment. Right-handers Taylor Clarke and Riley Smith and first baseman/outfielder Pavin Smith have all been reinstated from the injured list. Riley Smith and righty J.B. Bukauskas were optioned to Triple-A Reno. Meanwhile, reliever Ty Tice has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Reno.
Arizona signed Reddick to a minor league deal in April and selected him to the big league roster the following month. He’s seen a good bit of action in right field in Phoenix since then but struggled to a .258/.285/.371 line over 158 plate appearances. That was trending as the worst offensive output of Reddick’s typically strong career, as well as a downturn from the roughly league average hitting he managed with the Astros between 2018-20.
Reddick has more than enough service time to reject a minor league assignment while retaining what remains of his $750K salary. Assuming he clears waivers, he’ll almost certainly hit free agency — either via release or rejection of an outright assignment. The move clears an outfield spot for the league-worst Diamondbacks to continue to look at younger players — Pavin Smith among them — while freeing Reddick to explore opportunities elsewhere. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the 34-year-old hook on with a new organization via minor league pact over the coming days to serve as lefty-hitting outfield depth.
Clarke has been out since mid-June with a teres major strain. Before the injury, the 28-year-old was one of the more reliable relievers in a shaky Arizona bullpen. Clarke has worked 33 2/3 innings across 30 appearances this season, pitching to a 3.74 ERA with a slightly below-average 22.5% strikeout rate but a strong 6.3% walk percentage. Pavin and Riley Smith missed a few days as close contacts after Noé Ramirez and Stuart Fairchild tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday.
The D-Backs added Tice off waivers from the Braves a little more than two weeks ago. After succeeding in passing him through waivers themselves, they’ll keep him in the organization as non-roster bullpen depth. The 25-year-old hasn’t appeared in the majors for the D-Backs, instead making four appearances with Reno, but he did see brief MLB time with the Blue Jays and Braves earlier in the year. Tice has tossed eight innings of four-run ball in the big leagues but has a 10.67 ERA with thirteen walks and eleven strikeouts across 14 1/3 Triple-A frames.