Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan and reliever Aroldis Chapman. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Hide Caption
Ryah Hanigan. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Hide Caption

Cincinnati Reds send C Ryan Hanigan to Rays, get LHP David Holmberg from D-Backs in three-team deal

Devin Mesoraco steps into No. 1 catcher's role

a a a a
Share this story

CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds did Ryan Hanigan and themselves a favor by trading the veteran catcher to the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team deal Tuesday.

The Reds cleared the way for young Devin Mesoraco to become their main backstop, improved their hitting at the position and sent Hanigan to a team where he can be the No. 1 catcher and get a multi-year contract.

The Reds also got a young minor-league pitching prospect, left-hander David Holmberg, from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the exchange.

As part of the deal, the Rays gave Hanigan a new three-year, $10.75-million contract that carries the expectation that he will win the starting job even though they just re-signed Jose Molina to a two-year deal last week.

"It was tough to trade Hanigan," Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. "It got to the point where we had one year before he became a free agent. Sometimes you have to make some tough business decisions you don't like to make. Hani did a terrific job for this organization. Everybody really likes him as a person, as well as a player. We also tried to keep in mind places where he might want to play. I know Tampa was an area. They had interest in him for a couple of years.

"Hopefully this works out well for him."

Hanigan, 33, said he saw the writing on the wall when the Reds signed free-agent Brayan Pena to a two-year, $2.275 million contract in November.

“I wasn't sure what the Reds were going to do, then when they signed Brayan, I kind of felt like they were going in a different direction," said Hanigan. "But I understood what they were doing and after that happened, I kind of just took it in stride and developed a relationship with [the Rays] when I was allowed and got to know these guys on a fairly quick basis."


"Devin Mesoraco will have the opportunity to become a front-line catcher for us," Jocketty said. "Holmberg provides us with the quality pitching depth that every team needs."

Despite Hanigan's superior defense and skill in handling pitchers, the Reds were ready to hand over the catcher's tools to Mesoraco after Hanigan hit just .198 in an injury-shortened 2013 season.

Hanigan, first called up to the Reds in 2007, played in just 75 games last season.

With Hanigan hurt, Mesoraco, 25, handled most of the Reds' catching in his first full big-league season. He played in 103 games and hit .238.

Pena, 32, a switch-hitter, played in 71 games for Detroit and hit .297. What he lacks in defense he makes up with his bat.

Pena has also played for the Royals and Braves since 2005.

Holmberg, a 22-year-old starter and Southern League All-Star, was 5-8 with a 2.75 ERA in 26 appearances with Double-A Mobile in 2013.

Holmberg had his one and only major-league appearance against the Padres in August and gave up three runs in 3 2/3 innings.

RELATED: See Holmberg's career record

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Reds News
Reditorial Cartoon: Roller coaster first 3 weeks
Reditorial Cartoon: Roller coaster first 3 weeks

The highs, the lows, the "what the hecks?!" of being a Reds fan so far during the 2014 season.

Homer Bailey, Reds win again at Wrigley, 8-2
Homer Bailey, Reds win again at Wrigley, 8-2

Homer Bailey pitched six scoreless innings at friendly Wrigley Field for his first win of the season and Jay Bruce homered and…

Cingrani, Reds struggle in 8-4 loss to Cubs
Cingrani, Reds struggle in 8-4 loss to Cubs

Darwin Barney and Welington Castillo hit two-run homers and Mike Olt added a solo shot as the Chicago Cubs broke out of…

Alfredo Simon leads Reds over reeling Cubs 4-1
Alfredo Simon leads Reds over reeling Cubs 4-1

Alfredo Simon lowered his ERA to 0.86, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 Friday for their 16th win in their last 17…

Phillips exits Reds' game because of back spasms
Phillips exits Reds' game because of back spasms

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips left Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs because of back spasms.

Reds' Chapman cleared to throw batting practice
Reds' Chapman cleared to throw batting practice

Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman has been cleared to throw batting practice for the first time since he was hit in the face…

Reds put worst start in two decades behind them
Reds put worst start in two decades behind them

Although the Reds are three games under .500, Cincinnati's season is just getting started.

Cueto shuts out Pirates in Reds' 4-0 victory
Cueto shuts out Pirates in Reds' 4-0 victory

Johnny Cueto struck out 12 and Joey Votto smacked a two-run homer in the seventh inning.

Leake's HR leads Reds over Pirates 7-5 for split
Leake's HR leads Reds over Pirates 7-5 for split

Pitcher Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night after the Pirates won the completion of Monday's suspended game.

Pirates beat Reds in finish of suspended game
Pirates beat Reds in finish of suspended game

The game that started Monday with 10 home runs ended Tuesday with hardly a whimper.