CINCINNATI – The Reds signed the first baseman and corner outfielder “Jake Bauers” to a minor league contract on Monday.
Bauers, 26, was invited to the big league camp during spring training as a player without a squad. He spent the last season with Cleveland and the Mariners, batting .209 / .290 / .277 with four home runs and 19 RBIs in a total of 115 games.
For portions 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 gets the Reds out of storage, Bauers could serve as a backup at first base and could be part of the mix fighting for time in the corner outfield positions where the club is currently thin.
Bauers, a left-hander who was in the seventh round of the Padres in the 2013 draft, was previously a top 100 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, but switched teams in two blockbuster deals.
In December 2014, Bauers went to Tampa Bay in a three-way deal involving Wil Myers and Trea Turner. In another three-team deal in December 2018, he moved from the Rays to Cleveland, in a deal that also included Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnación.
Although there will be no major league contract transactions during the lockdown, minor league deals will still be allowed.
So far, the Reds have planned 10 non-squad invitees for spring training 2022. In addition to Bauers, there are the right-handed jugs Brandon Bailey, Kyle Dowdy, Connor Overton and Trey Wingenter; Catchers Aramis Garcia and Andrew Knapp; Infielder Allen Cordoba and Cristian Santana; and outfielder Trey Amburgey.