The Guardians have nominated an RS/external man Franmil Reyes for the task, reports Zack Meisel from Athletics. While his numbers in 2022 have fallen well below his career marks, the move is still surprising given Reyes’ age (2022 is his age-26 season) and his incredible raw power. he which was optional to Triple-A Columbus earlier this week.
Since joining the Padres in 2018, Reyes has been one of the most consistent home run threats in the game despite playing his home games at San Diego’s Petco Park (the best pitching stadium in the majors) and Progressive Field (slightly neutral but still pitch-friendly), going deep in 5.6% of his career plate appearances (the league-wide average over the same span is 3.3%). However, that number has dropped to 3.2% in 2022, although his strikeout rate has increased to 37.1% (against a 30.7% mark) and his walk rate has dropped to 5% (8.4%).
These unfortunate trends translated into a meager .213/.254/.350 batting line, which was a far cry from his career .253/.314/.478 — especially in the power department. The Guardians, who entered Saturday’s play two games behind the Twins in the AL Central and a game behind the Rays for the final wild-card spot, will likely continue to rotate. Josh Naylor and Owen Miller between first base and the DH spot since Reyes.
Given his true power potential — and the passing of the trade deadline — Reyes could have significant interest from contending teams, perhaps even before he clears waivers. Any team that claims the slugger would be owed a pro-rated share of his $4.55MM 2022 $4.55MM salary, though he would only have a pro-rated portion of the minimum salary after that. Reyes actually has two years of team control left, although there will be at least a small raise if a team chooses to offer him a contract.