Cincinnati Reds place former SF Giants catcher on waivers despite recently signing

Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

A former SF Giants catcher could be on the move despite recently signing. On Tuesday, the Cincinnati Reds designated veteran catcher Austin Wynns for assignment, per a team announcement.

Cincinnati Reds place former SF Giants catcher on waivers despite recently signing

The move was needed to clear space for the addition of pitcher Frankie Montas. Montas recently signed with the Reds on a one-year, $14 million pact. This includes a $20 million mutual option for 2025 with a $2 million buy out. The total guaranteed amount is $16 million.

This is a nice signing for Montas, who missed much of the 2023 season after undergoing shoulder surgery last offseason. The eight-year veteran returned to the mound at the end of the year for one scoreless outing with the New York Yankees.

The Yankees acquired Montas at the 2022 trade deadline in a six-player move with the hopes of solidifying their rotation. That did not exactly come to fruition as he struggled through nine, injury-plagued appearances with New York. The 30-year-old pitcher does have a 3.90 ERA in his career.

On the other hand, Wynns could find a new home soon enough if he is claimed off of waivers. It is a bit of an interesting move as he was just signed by the Reds in December. This was a split deal, including a $300,000 salary if he remains in the minors. If he does go unclaimed, he has a modest financial incentive to accept a Triple-A assignment with the Reds.

The 33-year-old catcher appeared with the Giants for parts of two seasons, including making a brief appearance in 2023. He made a brief stop with the Los Angeles Dodgers before finishing the year with the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies outrighted Wynns off of the 40-man roster at the end of the season.

Wynns' longest look in the majors was a 65-game stint with the Giants in 2022 where he posted a .671 OPS in 177 plate appearances while providing steady work behind the plate. In five seasons, he has struggled to the tune of a .597 OPS but he has eclipsed 100 plate appearances in each of the last three seasons. Teams will often overlook offensive production from a catcher if he is a quality defensive catcher.

Wynns will be in limbo as he awaits the waiver process. There is a good chance he goes unclaimed, but a catcher-needy team could take a flyer on him as well.