Reds sign Matthews
The Reds signed veteran outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. to a minor league deal and he was scheduled to report to Triple-A Louisville Thursday night and begin playing on Friday.
After an off-season trade from the Angels to the Mets, the 35-year-old Matthews batted .190 with a .266 on-base percentage in 65 plate appearances and was released on June 15.
Matthews will be the everyday center fielder at Louisville.
“In the past, he showed that if he plays a lot, he’s a better player,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He hasn’t had that opportunity with the Angels or Mets the last couple of years.”
The Reds currently lack outfield depth at Louisville, which also added value towards adding Matthews. But if he does well, Jocketty said it was possible for him to come up to the big league level.
Matthews’ father, Gary Matthews Sr., was a longtime Major League outfielder and is a very close friend on manager Dusty Baker’s.
A lifetime .257 hitter with a .332 OBP, Matthews’ best season was his All-Star year of 2006 with the Rangers when he batted .313 with 19 home runs and 79 RBIs. As a free agent after that season, he signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the Angels — only to disappoint in Anaheim.
“Hopefully, if he can get back, at some point he can help us at the Major League level,” Jocketty said.
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