The speedy outfielder bounced around a few organizations this year after signing with the Rangers on a minor league deal. Owing to a robust walk rate and strong base stealing numbers in their Triple-A affiliate, Texas found a trade partner in Boston to take in DeShields as outfield depth and a potential playoff weapon. Cincinnati found similar appeal in DeShields and plucked him from the Red Sox in an early August deal for cash.
DeShields’ minors production included solid numbers, including 21 stolen bases (in 24 tries) and a .750 OPS. With the Reds, however, he saw big league action for the first time in 2021 and had a nice showing in sample size of 25 games, producing a .255/.375/.426 slash (105 OPS+) with almost as many walks as strikeouts.
Despite solid production down the stretch, the Reds likely didn’t view DeShields as an indispensable part of their future. The 29-year-old could have been retained via arbitration but will instead head to the open market in search of more steady Major League work. With plenty to like about DeShields’ profile, there are plenty of teams, including the Reds themselves, who may come knocking in the offseason to fortify their outfield ranks.
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