On Monday, the Cincinnati Reds announced that they had claimed veteran right-hander Kevin Gausman off outright waivers from the Atlanta Braves. The Reds will have to take on the remainder of his $9.35 million salary for 2019, a total of $2.815 million.
In a corresponding move, the Braves announced that Mike Foltynewicz will be called up from Triple-A Gwinnett, to take Gausman’s spot in the rotation. Foltynewicz has posted a 2.67 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 31 strikeouts across 33 2/3 innings with Triple-A Gwinnett.
Gausman, 28, was 3-7 with a 6.19 ERA in 16 starts for Atlanta this season. The No. 4 overall pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2012 has declined a bit since he first joined the majors in 2013. A change of scenery might help Gausman regain some of his impressive stuff from his second-half run with the Braves last season when he had a 143 ERA+ in 10 starts. His numbers took a nosedive this year.
As CBS Sports HQ analyst Jim Bowden reports, Cincinnati’s plan for Gausman is to use him as a reliever, with a focus on mostly using his fastball and sinker. Bowden adds that the Reds will try to help Gausman develop his breaking ball, and if it turns out to be successful, they could keep him in 2020. Gausman is arbitration eligible this offseason so the Reds can non-tender him, making him a free agent.
Oddly enough, Gausman’s last start for the Braves was on Friday (CIN 5, ATL 2) when he gave up five runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. The Reds (52-58) took three out of four games from the Braves (66-47) this past weekend and entered Monday 5 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot in the National League.