Cincinnati Reds Release Former Yankees Slugger Despite .919 OPS

Performing on a minor-league deal for the Cincinnati Reds—and doing it quite well, in fact, with 6 homers and a .919 OPS in 100 plate appearances at AAA—slugging first baseman Mike Ford will now become a free agent after being released by the Reds. 

Ford opted out of his deal two days ago. The Reds had the option to retain him by calling him up to the bigs, but apparently decided against it.

It seems that many Reds fans are scratching their heads about the move, especially in light of the fact that Nick Martini continues to get so many at-bats at DH, while hitting just .184 on the season, and just .119 with a .384 OPS over the past two weeks.

The Reds have slipped of late, losers of six of their last eight games, while being shutout twice and scoring just one or two runs on three other occasions in that stretch.

Last season, Ford posted a 121 OPS+ with the Seattle Mariners in 83 games, launching 16 homers in just 219 at-bats.  

Ford burst onto the scene with the New York Yankees in 2019, with 12 homers in just 50 games while slugging .559 along with an OPS+ of 137. He hadn't been able to duplicate that production in the majors again ever since, until last season with that solid showing with the Mariners. 

The 30-year-old will now take his talents back onto the open market to see if he can land a gig with another team.

Photo; © Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports