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Reds To Re-Sign Mike Ford, Claim Yosver Zulueta From Blue Jays

Reds Grant Mike Ford His Release

The Reds announced that they’ve claimed Yosver Zulueta from the Blue Jays and optioned him to Triple-A Louisville. Infielder Matt McLain, who had shoulder surgery this week, has been placed on the 60-day injured list to open a spot on the roster. Francys Romero reported on Zulueta’s claim prior to the official announcement. The timing is surprising, as Toronto only announced earlier today that Zulueta was being designated for assignment. It’s likely that the move was actually made earlier in the week but not formally announced at the time. Outright waivers are typically a 48-hour process. The Reds also re-signed first baseman Mike Ford to a minor league deal after releasing him last week, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

With McLain’s recent surgery, the Reds effectively had a free roster spot to use. It’s unclear exactly how long the infielder will be out but it’s evidently longer than two months, as he is now ineligible to be activated until late May at the earliest.

The Reds have used that spot to snag Zulueta, an intriguing arm but one with significant control issues. In 2022, he tossed 55 2/3 innings across four different levels of Toronto’s system with an earned run average of 3.72. He struck out 33.9% of batters faced that year but also gave out free passes at a 12.9% clip, starting 12 of his 21 appearances.

The Jays moved him more firmly into a relief role in 2023, as he started just seven of his 45 appearances at Triple-A. Even those seven starts were mostly two or three innings as an opener, leading to a tally of 64 innings on the year. He had a 4.08 ERA in that time while striking out 25.4% of batters faced and keeping 51.3% of balls in play on the ground, but also walked 15.7% of batters that came to the plate against him. Here in the spring, he tossed five innings, notching just two strikeouts but giving out four walks.

He still has a couple of options and the Reds have quickly sent him down. They will surely try to help him get a better grasp of his stuff and see if he can become a useful piece at some point. For now, he can serve as depth until the big league club needs a fresh arm or he forces his way into their plans.

Ford, 31, is a strong power bat but he has strikeout issues and no versatility since he’s only capable of playing first base or serving as a designated hitter. He hit 16 home runs in 251 plate appearances with the Mariners last year while striking out at a 32.3% rate.

He nonetheless had to settle…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Cincinnati Reds – MLB Trade Rumors…