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After being optioned to AAA Columbus last week and being designated for assignment by the Guardians on Saturday, Franmil Reyes was claimed off waivers today by the Chicago Cubs ending his tenure in Cleveland.
The 27-year old Reyes was acquired by Cleveland in 2019 along with pitcher Logan Allen and infield prospect Victor Nova in the 3-team Trevor Bauer blockbuster trade. Reyes was the key piece in the deal as Cleveland yearned for a legit power hitter to man the clean-up spot. Reyes looked like he would be the long term answer. Now he departs Cleveland leaving nothing left from that deal as Allen and Nova are also no longer in the Cleveland organization.
Last season for Cleveland, Reyes smacked 30 home runs and hit a respectable .254 striking out 154 times in 418 at bats. This season Reyes has been a complete mess. He hit .213 with only 9 home runs while striking out 104 times in only 263 at bats. His contact percentage dropped from 49.3% last season to only 35.7% in 2022. His .603 OPS and -0.8 oWAR are among the worst in MLB.
The front office had asked Reyes this off-season to work on dropping some weight and getting in better shape to play more outfield in 2022. He unfortunately came to camp overweight and out of shape which reportedly rubbed many in the organization the wrong way. Couple that with the horrid start to 2022 and it's easy to see how he fell out of favor with the organization. The Guardians also wanted to get a look at some more young prospects like Will Benson and Tyler Freeman. A 40-man roster spot had to be opened for Benson. The move also opens up the DH position for players like Josh Naylor, who is still having leg issues stemming from his brutal injury last season. It also gives Tito Francona a chance to give Jose Ramirez an occasional break from playing the field while keeping his MVP caliber bat in the lineup.
Reyes ends his Cleveland career batting .245 with 58 home runs and 182 RBI in 295 games. His clubhouse presence and joyful attitude will be missed in Cleveland. A sad and disappointing ending to a once promising career in THE LAND.
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