Jeff Clement has gone from No. 3 overall pick and top-rated prospect to bust and Triple-A veteran, but rather than make a fresh start somewhere else the 28-year-old first baseman has re-signed with the Pirates on a minor-league contract.
Once upon a time Clement looked like a future star as a power-hitting catcher, but his defensive weaknesses forced a move to first base and his bat simply never developed as expected.
He’s hit just .223 with 14 homers and a .664 OPS in 129 games as a big leaguer and even his Triple-A numbers aren’t anything special, with a .282 batting average and .859 OPS in 423 games.
Clement will get an invitation to spring training, but don’t count on him winning even a bench job. He missed most of this past season with a knee injury and the Pirates already have more than enough first base depth after trading for Casey McGehee to go along with Garrett Jones.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.