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Report: Reds engaged in discussions with David Hernandez

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The Reds are engaged in “serious discussions” with free agent right-hander David Hernandez, according to Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Hernandez is one of several bullpen targets on the club’s radar this winter, though Buchanan points out that they’re still far from finalizing a deal with any potential candidate.

Hernandez, 32, took a minor league contract with the Braves in the spring of 2017. He was flipped to the Angels for a player to be named later, and eked out a 2.23 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.2 SO/9 through 36 1/3 innings before the club dealt him to the Diamondbacks in July. The righty’s numbers took a slight downturn in Arizona, landing on a 4.82 ERA and 7.2 SO/9, but he continued to demonstrate exceptional control after limiting batters to an 0.5 BB/9 in 18 2/3 innings.

A deal isn’t imminent, however, and Buchanan adds that both Hernandez and the Reds have other avenues worth pursuing if they can’t converge on multi-year terms that would benefit both parties. The club signed fellow veteran right-hander Jared Hughes to a two-year, $4.5 million pact last month and are presumably looking for another arm or two to round out their relief options beyond Hughes, Michael Lorenzen, Rafael Iglesias and Wandy Peralta.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.