Reds sign versatile IF/OF Bauers as NRI

December 20th, 2021

CINCINNATI -- The Reds signed first baseman and corner outfielder  to a Minor League contract on Monday.

Bauers, 26, was invited to big league camp at Spring Training as a non-roster player. He spent last season with Cleveland and the Mariners and batted .209/.290/.277 with four home runs and 19 RBIs over a combined 115 games.

In parts of three Major League seasons with Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Seattle, Bauers is a career .213/.307/.348 hitter with 27 homers and 110 RBIs.

If he makes the Reds out of camp, Bauers could serve as a backup at first base and could be part of the mix competing for time in the corner outfield positions, where the club is currently thin with depth.

A left-handed hitter who was a seventh-round pick of the Padres in the 2013 Draft, Bauers was previously a Top 100 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, but he changed teams in a pair of blockbuster deals.

In December 2014, Bauers went to Tampa Bay in a three-way trade that involved Wil Myers and Trea Turner. In another three-team deal in December 2018, he went from the Rays to Cleveland in a transaction that also included Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnación.

Although there are no transactions involving Major League contracts during the lockout, Minor League deals are still permitted.

So far, the Reds have 10 non-roster invitees scheduled to be in 2022 Spring Training. Besides Bauers, they are right-handed pitchers Brandon Bailey, Kyle Dowdy, Connor Overton and Trey Wingenter; catchers Aramis Garcia and Andrew Knapp; infielders Allen Cordoba and Cristian Santana; and outfielder Trey Amburgey.