TODAY: Farrell cleared waivers, and he chose to accept his outright assignment to Triple-A.
SEPTEMBER 15: The Reds announced they’ve designated reliever Luke Farrell for assignment. Cincinnati also placed righty Justin Dunn on the 15-day injured list with tightness in his throwing shoulder. Dauri Moreta and Raynel Espinal were recalled from Triple-A Louisville to take the vacated active roster spots. Cincinnati’s 40-man roster tally drops to 39.
Farrell’s stint with Cincinnati lasted less than a week, as he was just added off waivers from the division-rival Cubs on September 9. He made two appearances in a Red uniform, working four innings and surrendering five runs (four earned) while walking four and striking out five. He’d previously tossed 11 frames with the Cubs, starting two of his four appearances for the North Siders. Between the two clubs, he has a 5.40 ERA with a 20% strikeout percentage and a 10% walk rate.
The 2022 campaign has been Farrell’s sixth straight year logging some big league action. He’s appeared with five different teams (including two separate stints each with the Cubs and Reds), compiling an even 5.00 ERA in 102 2/3 innings. Farrell has a solid 23.3% strikeout rate and 10.2% swinging strike percentage over that time, but he’s also issued walks at an elevated 11.7% clip and surrendered nearly two home runs per nine innings.
Farrell is out of minor league option years, so the Reds had to designate him for assignment to remove him from the big league bullpen. He’ll land on waivers for the second time in the past week. If he goes unclaimed, he’d have the right to refuse a minor league assignment and elect free agency, as he’s previously been outrighted in his career.
Dunn was acquired from the Mariners in Spring Training as part of the Jesse Winker/Eugenio Suárez trade. The former first-round pick was battling shoulder discomfort at the time — the Reds were aware of the issue before making the deal — and he spent the first three months of the season on the injured list. Dunn made his Cincinnati debut on August 8, and he’s started seven games for the club over the past month and a half. They’ve not gone well, as he’s surrendered more than three home runs per nine innings with mediocre strikeout and walk rates (15.2% and 12.3%, respectively) en route to a 6.10 ERA.
Renewed shoulder issues now send the 26-year-old back to the IL. With only three weeks remaining in the season, it’s possible this will conclude what has mostly been a lost year. Dunn will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason, leaving the Reds to decide whether they want to tender him a contract.