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Gutierrez among Reds prospects on 40-man

@m_sheldon
November 20, 2020

CINCINNATI -- Ahead of Friday’s 6 p.m. ET deadline, the Reds made additions to their 40-man roster to protect prospects from the Rule 5 Draft. Right-handed pitchers Vladimir Gutierrez, Riley O’Brien and Jared Solomon were added. In another transaction, right-handed pitcher Brandon Bailey was acquired for cash in a trade

CINCINNATI -- Ahead of Friday’s 6 p.m. ET deadline, the Reds made additions to their 40-man roster to protect prospects from the Rule 5 Draft.

Right-handed pitchers Vladimir Gutierrez, Riley O’Brien and Jared Solomon were added. In another transaction, right-handed pitcher Brandon Bailey was acquired for cash in a trade with the Astros.

The four additions gave Cincinnati 36 players on its 40-man roster.

Those weren’t the Reds’ only moves. Minor League right-handed pitcher Fredy Medina was acquired to complete the Aug. 9 trade that sent lefty reliever Brooks Raley to Houston.

Gutierrez, 25, is ranked as Cincinnati’s No. 17 prospect by MLB Pipeline but is currently serving an 80-game suspension levied on June 28 because he tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol.

The Reds signed Gutierrez out of Cuba in 2016 for $4.75 million but he has struggled to be consistent throughout his time in the Minors. In '19, Gutierrez was 6-11 with a 6.04 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 27 starts for Triple-A Louisville. But his changeup has been viewed as a special secondary pitch.

Ranked as the Reds’ No. 16 prospect, O’Brien was acquired from the Rays organization on Aug. 28 for lefty reliever Cody Reed. The 25-year-old O’Brien was 7-6 with a 3.16 ERA in 20 games, including 17 starts, at Class A Advanced and Double-A in 2019.

Solomon, 23, is ranked as the Reds’ No. 28 prospect and was taken in the 11th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Over 26 starts combined at Class A Dayton and Class A Advanced Daytona in ‘19, he was 3-11 with a 3.98 ERA.

Bailey, 26, made his big league debut with Houston in 2020 and had a 2.45 ERA in five relief appearances. Formerly the Astros’ No. 30 prospect, he has a 3.07 ERA in 83 Minor League games, including 58 starts.

Among those left unprotected ahead of next month’s Rule 5 Draft were outfielder TJ Friedl (No. 20 prospect), shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez (No. 19), shortstop Miguel Hernandez, right-handed pitcher Dauri Moreta, left-handed pitcher Reiver Sanmartin, infielder Debby Santana and right-handed pitcher Mac Sceroler.

The Rule 5 Draft allows teams to add young talent by plucking prospects who aren’t on other organizations’ 40-man rosters. Players first signed at age 18 or younger must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons, or they become eligible to be drafted. Players signed at age 19 or older have to be protected within four seasons. Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the 26-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.