Reds swing trade for experienced bat in Austin Slater

July 8th, 2024

CINCINNATI -- In need of some experienced lineup depth, the Reds swung their first deal of the summer ahead of the July 30 Trade Deadline.

Cincinnati acquired outfielder Austin Slater and cash considerations from the Giants in a trade late Sunday evening for left-handed reliever Alex Young.

Slater, 31, is batting .200 with a .574 OPS and one home run in 43 games this season. He spent nearly a month on the concussion injured list after a May 11 crash at the wall during a game against the Reds at Oracle Park.

Over eight Major League seasons, all with San Francisco, the right-handed Slater is a .254 hitter with a .735 OPS and 39 homers in 593 games. While primarily an outfielder, he also has 27 games under his belt playing first base, although none since 2019.

The Reds, who are already without first baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand for the rest of the season because of a fractured right hand with ligament damage, expect to be without outfielder/first baseman Nick Martini for an extended period because of a left thumb sprain suffered on Saturday vs. the Tigers. A back injury put catcher Luke Maile on the IL Friday and outfielder TJ Friedl (right hamstring strain) is still on the IL. Meanwhile, corner infielder Jeimer Candelario has been playing with right knee tendinitis.

Young, 30, was pitching at Triple-A Louisville, where he had a 1.19 ERA in 23 appearances this season. A lower back disc degeneration suffered during Spring Training had him on the 60-day IL, but he made three big league appearances for Cincinnati with two scoreless innings this season.

In 2023, Young went from non-roster camp invitee to being a key part of the Reds bullpen while posting a 3.86 ERA in 63 games. He spent part of the ‘22 season with the Giants.