The Reds made a move to address this “hole” at closer that everyone seems to think they have by signing one Dustin Hermanson to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training on Thursday. From Reds.com:
Veteran right-hander Dustin Hermanson was signed to a Minor League contract on Thursday and invited to Spring Training as a non-roster player. Hermanson was scheduled to fly to Sarasota on Thursday night and be in camp Friday.
“He's a good guy to take a chance on, in our opinion,” Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said.
Hermanson, who will earn $500,000 this year if he makes the team, had 34 saves and a 2.04 ERA for the White Sox in 2005. Lower back inflammation forced him out late that season during Chicago's run to a World Series title.
More importantly, from HMZ's diary:
I think it's a good deal. This is a guy who was arguably among the game's best closers as recently as 2005 (the last time he was healthy), and has pitched in the NLCS twice and in the World Series. If he makes the 25-man roster, he'll make $500,000 according to Trent's blog. If not, there will be one more arm for Rick Sweet to wave in from the bullpen in Louisville.
And if he returns to his 2005 form with the White Sox, the Reds will become the most recent team to pull their closer off of baseball's scrap heap, surpassing last year's Marlins (Joe Borowski) and Mariners (J.J. Putz), Kriv-Dawg will look like a genius, and all it will cost them is half a million recycled lithographs of George Washington.
Like they say, you can't have too much pitching, right?