The Tampa Bay Rays made another pre-deadline deal on Friday, acquiring LHP Cody Reed from the Cincinnati Reds for right-handed prospect Riley O’Brien. To make room for Reed on the 40-man roster, Tampa Bay placed newly acquired outfielder Brett Phillips on the COVID-19 Injured List as he goes through intake protocols.
Reed was designated for assignment earlier in the week after he started the 2020 campaign with 9-1/3 innings of 10-hit, six-run ball with a 1.25 K/BB. Yet the 27-year-old was effective for Cincinnati in 2018 and 2019 and is 1-2 with a 2.72 ERA across 33 career appearances out of the ‘pen. The AL East-leading Rays are in a position where they need to stockpile pitchers due to several injuries including notable bullpen arms Nick Anderson, Jose Alvarado, Jalen Beeks, Oliver Drake, Andrew Kittredge, Colin Poche, and Chaz Roe.
Reed is a ground ball pitcher that relies primarily on an 88 mph slider which he throws 51% of the time, and a 94 mph sinker which he throws 37% of the time, while also mixing in a 95 mph four-seam fastball which he throws 9% of the time. He rarely throws an 88 mph changeup. Of interest, Reed has gotten 5.7 inches of break on his slider this season, and 35.3 inches of drop, resulting in a 41% whiff rate. As BA put it on Friday’s telecast, Reed projects to be the left-handed Chaz Roe.
If Reed can turn things around in Tampa Bay, he could be a multiyear piece for the team — he will not reach free agency until after 2024. However, Reed doesn’t have any options remaining, so he’ll have to stick on the big league roster or be subjected to another round of waivers.