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The Cincinnati Reds are still searching for a starting shortstop after Didi Gregorius, Marcus Semien and Andrelton Simmons signed elsewhere, but they’ll have another shortstop in camp competing for a spot on the roster.
The Reds acquired shortstop Kyle Holder in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies, a Rule 5 pick, in exchange for cash, the team announced Saturday. Gregorius agreed to a two-year, $28 million deal with the Phillies earlier Saturday, so Holder didn’t have much of a chance to stick on their roster.
Kyle Holder, 26, was a first-round pick (30th overall) by the New York Yankees in the 2015 MLB Draft. The Phillies selected him in the Rule 5 draft in December.
As a Rule 5 pick, Holder will have to remain on the Reds’ active roster throughout the 2021 season to remain in the organization, otherwise he’ll be placed on waivers. The last time the Reds kept a Rule 5 player for an entire season was catcher Stuart Turner in 2017. Turner didn’t return to the Majors afterward and is no longer in the organization.
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The Reds took outfielder Mark Payton in the Rule 5 Draft prior to the 2020 season. He was sent back to Oakland when he didn’t make the Opening Day roster in July, but the Reds traded for him in August.
Holder, 26, was a first-round pick (30th overall) by the New York Yankees in the 2015 MLB Draft. He spent time at the Yankees’ alternate site in 2020 and has a reputation as an excellent defender and light hitter.
He hit .265 with a .336 on-base percentage, 25 doubles and nine homers in 112 games at Double-A in 2019, his best offensive season in the minor leagues.
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The Phillies took Holder with the No. 11 pick in December’s Rule 5 draft. The Reds, who drafted after the Phillies, did not select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft.
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The shortstops on the Reds’ 40-man roster include Jose Garcia, Kyle Farmer, Alex Blandino and Holder.