Rangers claim former top prospect from Reds and announce latest round of roster cuts

A change of scenery might be just what this former Reds shortstop needed.
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero (2) throws to first
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero (2) throws to first / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers made an intriguing pickup over the weekend after the Cincinnati Reds decided to part ways with their former top prospect Jose Barrero. The Rangers claimed Barrero off waivers and added him to their 40-man roster.

The Reds had seen enough of Barrero to determine that he was no longer a fit on their team. Reds manager David Bell said that the shortstop was not going to break camp with Cincinnati, but was hopeful after waiving the 25-year-old, that he'd remain with the organization. The Rangers made sure that wasn't going to happen.

Barrero had been supplanted on the Reds' depth chart by the likes of Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain, which forced him off the infield dirt and onto the outfield grass. While Barrero has experience in the outfield, it's likely the Rangers would prefer to keep the shortstop at his natural position.

Rangers claim Jose Barrero from Reds & announce latest round of roster cuts

Barrero has excelled in the minor leagues throughout his career, but has yet to find success at the major league level. A potential five-tool player with plenty of speed, power, and arm strength, Barrero has struggled to hit major league pitching.

In 180 games at Triple-A, Barrero has batted .254/.326/.501 with 81 extra-base hits, including 41 big flies. But in the big leagues, Barrero has managed a .186/.242/.255 slash line and has 163 strikeouts in 139 games.

However, Barrero never found consistent playing time during his tenure with the Reds; oftentimes playing behind the likes of Freddy Galvis and Kyle Farmer. Cincinnati also fumbled away Barrero's development by attempting to turn him into an outfielder rather than leaving him at shortstop where he belongs.

With Corey Seager's availability to Opening Day looking more and more grim. the Rangers may be forced to roll with Ezequiel Duran at shortstop to begin the season. Adding Barrero to roster could be a shrewd insurance policy if the Texas coaches can help him cut down on his strikeouts.

The Rangers also optioned Cole Winn, Antoine Kelly, Jonathan Orneals, Sam Huff, and Jose Coriell back to the minor leagues. With Opening Day less than three weeks away, the Rangers active roster is becoming clearer.