The Reds have agreed to a minor-league deal with veteran outfielder Ryan Raburn, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). He’ll earn $900K if he can crack the MLB roster, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets.
Raburn is now 35 years of age and is coming off of an uninspiring 2016 showing with the Rockies, in which he carried only a 77 OPS+ over 256 plate appearances. But the on-again, off-again lefty masher was spectacular just one year prior, as he provided the 2015 Indians with 201 plate appearances of .301/.393/.543 hitting. That’s part of a pattern for Raburn, who has rather inexplicably alternated between highly productive and roundly disappointing complete seasons for the better part of his career.
Of course, Cincinnati can’t exactly bank on a full rebound from the veteran. But if he’s able to show well in camp, Raburn could earn a chance to stick as a bench bat to help balance out an otherwise youthful roster. He and Desmond Jennings, both of whom are righty hitters who could spell Scott Schebler in right field, could battle with younger options for the final active roster spots in camp.