At the time, Reyes was batting .274, which was close to his season apex, and sported a .908 OPS.
But by far the most important number to Reyes’ standing in Cleveland was 30 — the number of homers he drove in during the 2021 season.
Reyes was expected to continue that level of production this season.
He had the chance to be the one who supplied a steady stream of runs in what is otherwise a hit-for-contact offense.
He fell short of those expectations.
By a long shot.
And on Saturday, Reyes received those three letters no pro-baller ever wants to hear: DFA (designated for assignment).
This season, Reyes has nine home runs.
Granted, he’s missed some time with injury.
But at almost every turn, Reyes has failed to put anything together that resembles a string of quality at-bats.
The Guardians designated Franmil Reyes for assignment. He’s hit 30 bombs in the past, struggling at the dish this season hitting .213 with nine homers and 28 RBIs.
He’s only 27 and under control through ‘25.
Wonder if the Red Sox make a play?
— Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique) August 6, 2022
Instead, Reyes led the team in strikeouts (104) and was dead last in on-base percentage (.254).
Again, this is a player who missed time but had 31 more strikeouts than any other starter.
His OBP was lower than even Austin Hedges, whose disastrous play was the main reason behind Cleveland’s calls to the Cubs and A’s over their catchers at the trade deadline.
Reyes leaves the Guardians batting .213, second-worst among starters behind Hedges (.179).
And perhaps the Guardians would overlook Reyes’ poor plate performance if he was providing some level of defensive help.
Reyes was the designated hitter.
Meaning the team assigned Reyes as the person to make contact with the ball.
And we have to know that Reyes was available at the trade deadline.
So the Guardians’ decision to DFA Reyes is both due to the fact that there was no interest in him among other teams and in line with their desire to give younger players ample opportunities.
The Guardians will be on the hook for over $4.5 million owed to Reyes if another club doesn’t claim him off waivers.
Teams have one week to claim Reyes.
If none of the other clubs claim Reyes, he will likely be sent down to the minors.
For what it’s worth, the decision to DFA Reyes was an understandably difficult one.
“It’s difficult when you know a guy can get hot and carry a team. His swing and miss comes with the territory. But he wasn’t getting to the fastball and he was hitting the hanging breaking ball for a single and an occasional home run. He just wasn’t getting to pitches that he used to.”
Yet with the move, the Guardians open themselves up to a far more flexible lineup.
In theory, Josh Naylor can slide into the DH slot.
REPORT: Hundreds of Guardians concessions staff to work after hours in August as team scrambles to repaint thousands of Franmil Reyes bobbleheads to look like Nolan Jones.
— Always the Jake (@alwaysthejake) August 3, 2022