The Guardians and Reds finalized the deal that sent Will Benson to Cincinnati tonight, with left-handed pitcher Steve Hajjar, a second-round pick in the 2021 draft who the Reds acquired from the Twins in the Tyler Mahle trade last summer alongside Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, headed to the Guardians. Both teams have announced Hajjar’s inclusion in the deal.
Hajjar, 22, joins Justin Boyd, Cincinnati’s second round pick in the 2022, as the return going to Cleveland in exchange for Benson, who struggled in a 28 game big league debut for the Guardians last year. Benson, who slashed .252/.353/.479 in 116 games at the Triple-A level for his career, figures to open the 2023 season in the Reds starting outfield alongside TJ Friedl and Jake Fraley.
Hajjar, posted a 3.61 ERA in 52 1/3 innings of work in 2022, his first professional season. While Hajjar played in complex ball, Single-A, and High-A during his first season, the bulk of his innings came at Single-A, where he posted a 2.47 ERA in 43 2/3 innings. Boyd, meanwhile, appeared in 22 minor league games after last summer’s draft, struggling to a .203/.277/.270 line while spending most of his time at Single-A.