The Reds released veteran OF/1B Ryan Raburn on Monday morning.
The Reds signed the 35-year old on February 19 to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League camp. The Reds had to release him by March 27 or pay him $100,000.
“He was the odd man out,” manager Bryan Price said. “We had to make a horribly difficult decision. We will be leaning on youth. With a young pitching staff we may need to go with a four-man bench at times. We need more fluidity; guys that can play multiple positions. We need at least a guy or two that have options that gives us the ability to move some pieces. I think he would have brought a lot to our ball club.”
This spring with the Reds, Raburn played in 15 games and hit .219. with three home runs that tied, Arismendy Alcantara, Zack Cozart and Adam Duvall for the most on the team.
“For me he filled a lot of need, a veteran presence, a professional hitter late in the game,” Price said. “As is the case there is a strong commitment here to utilize the younger players, multipositional players that can fill different roles off the bench, pinch run, pinch hit. It was a difficult decision to make. I hope he finds a home. I still think he’s a good player.”
The 11-year veteran missed time early in camp with a stiff neck. Raburn was removed from the game Sunday with a contusion on his right hip from diving back into first base on a pick off attempt. He was injury free for the last two seasons.
The release of Raburn leaves Arimendy Alcantara, who is out of options. Desmond Jennings, who is also on a minor league contract. Hernan Iribarren, who is on a minor league contract. Tony Renda, Patrick Kivlehan and Sebastian Elizalde to compete for three spots left after the back up catcher, who will likely be Stuart Turner or Rob Brantly to start the season, unless Devin Mesoraco is ready in time for Opening Day which looks unlikely.