Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds have signed left-handed reliever Jesse Biddle to a minor league contract, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Biddle’s the second veteran reliever the Reds have added on a minors pact this week. They previously picked up former White Sox standout Nate Jones on a low-risk accord.

As recently as 2018, Biddle was a standout in his own right. The former first-round pick (2010, Phillies) fired 63 2/3 innings of 3.11 ERA/3.88 FIP ball with 9.47 K/9, 4.38 BB/9 and a sterling 55.6 percent groundball rate as a member of the Braves. But things went south in a hurry for the 28-year-old, who divided his 2019 among the Braves, Mariners and Rangers. Biddle dealt with shoulder troubles and stumbled to an 8.38 ERA/6.46 FIP across 28 frames, and the rest of his numbers also took a turn for the worse. He struck out 8.36 hitters per nine, posted a whopping 7.07 BB/9 and saw his grounder percentage plummet to 45.8. His average fastball velocity also tumbled a bit, going from 94.5 mph the prior season to 93.9.

Despite the difficulties Biddle endured last season, there’s no real harm in taking a flier on him from the Reds’ standpoint. He’ll compete for a spot in a bullpen that has one lefty lock, Amir Garrett, and could also feature Cody Reed.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.


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