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Guardians designate Opening Day cleanup hitter Franmil Reyes for assignment


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The Guardians of Cleveland announced a number of roster moves on their Twitter account on Saturday, most notably designating outfielder Franmil Reyes for assignment and releasing first baseman Bobby Bradley. The Guardians also traded right-handed pitchers, optioning Hunter Gaddis to Triple-A Columbus and buying out Jake Jewell’s contract.

Reyes, 27, entered the season as Cleveland’s cleanup hitter based on his track record of above-average offensive production. In 400-plus games prior to this season, he had hit .260/.325/.503 (121 OPS+) with 92 home runs.

However, Reyes was never able to start this season. He was optioned to the minors on Tuesday after hitting .213/.254/.350 (72 OPS+) with just nine home runs in 70 games. Reyes’ strikeout and walk rates took steps in the wrong direction and he became more prone to showing up. He still hit the ball hard — his average exit velocity ranked in the 93rd percentile — but it wasn’t enough to overcome the aforementioned developments.

The Guardians apparently viewed Reyes, who will make more than $4.5 million this season, as a non-candidate. They will now have a week to either put him on waivers or release him.

Bradley, 26, was once a popular prospect thanks to his great raw power. Unfortunately, his strike-prone ways never allowed him to establish a place in the majors. In 97 big league games, he posted an 86 OPS+ and struck out in more than 37 percent of his trips to the plate.

Since Reyes’ demotion, the Guardians have used four different players at DH, including Josh Naylor and Owen Miller, or both parts of their first platoon. Cleveland promoted infield prospect Tyler Freeman to the majors on Wednesday, indicating they could have a rotation in mind where Freeman and the other players — Amed Rosario, Jose Ramirez and Andres Jimenez — take turns serving as DH as a means to get them all. bats and rest.

The Guardians entered Sunday at 55-52 on the season, putting them two games back in the American Central and AL wild-card games.

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