Reds acquire OF DeShields from Red Sox

August 31st, 2021

CINCINNATI -- In a move that adds organizational outfield depth -- but potentially could be more -- the Reds acquired outfielder  from the Red Sox for cash considerations on Tuesday and assigned him to Triple-A Louisville.

DeShields, 29, is the son of Reds first-base coach Delino DeShields, who is a former 13-year Major League player. General manager Nick Krall gave the elder DeShields a heads up that this move could be possible.

“We talked about it. They asked me how I felt about it, and would I be OK with it,” said DeShields, who has 13 years in the organization and joined the big league coaching staff ahead of the 2019 season. “Would I be OK? I’m like, ‘It’s a dream come true in a lot of ways.’ But at the end of the day, he has to play well.”

The younger DeShields last played in the Majors in 2020, for Cleveland, after spending his first five seasons with the Rangers. He’s a lifetime .246/.326/.340 hitter with 18 homers and 109 steals in 576 MLB games.

“Excited, nervous, proud -- the whole gamut. I’m excited for him,” the elder DeShields said. “This isn’t a daddy-ball type of situation. Nick and the guys upstairs felt there was a need. This is a baseball decision. He has to come over here and, obviously, play well. But I’m looking forward to it.”

After becoming a free agent last offseason, DeShields returned to the Rangers on a Minor League contract in February. Boston acquired the 29-year-old from Texas for cash on Aug. 4.

Over 84 games this season at the Triple-A level for the Rangers and Red Sox affiliates, DeShields batted .252 with six home runs and 21 RBIs.

“He’s a depth outfielder, right-handed hitting, he’s got speed,” Krall said. “He’s a guy who balances out your team if he comes up. It’s something where it’s more depth acquisition to help this club win games in September.”

With Jesse Winker and Nick Senzel on the injured list and Aristides Aquino and Shogo Akiyama both struggling all season offensively, DeShields could become a factor for Cincinnati if he were to be called up. There was also an opening at Louisville after veteran Ender Inciarte opted out of his contract and was released by Cincinnati.

The Reds, who are battling for the second National League Wild Card spot, could add DeShields to their potential postseason roster since he was in the organization ahead of the Sept. 1 deadline.

“You have to get there. We have to continue to play hard as we go through September,” Krall said. “It’s like acquiring Asdrúbal Cabrera, same thing. Guys that can help us win games now, and hopefully, later.”

The father was able to give his son some inside information upon the signing.

“He’s ready. I kind of gave him the rundown of what to expect and how David [Bell] likes to use his bench,” DeShields said. “He’s got a lot of insight coming in. He should be OK. This is a good opportunity for him. Hopefully he can help us get to the next level.”