Reds Bring Back Former Yankees Slugger 4 Days After Releasing Him

Just four days after granting him his release from a minor league deal, the Cincinnati Reds have had second thoughts about first baseman slugger Mike Ford, now deciding to sign him to a $1.3 million dollar contract and bring him on board.

Of course, this was a move made of necessity, as regular first baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand has suffered a fractured wrist and gone on the injured list for an indeterminate amount of time.

In a bizarre turn of events, after being released last week by the Reds, Ford was home with his family in New Jersey when the team called last night. His plan for today was to go fishing with his Dad. Instead, he hopped onto a morning flight to Cincy.

Ford says of his minor league stint in the Reds system and his little four-day vacation, "it weirdly worked out great."

The 31-year-old actually had a fine showing with the Reds' AAA team while on his minor league deal, with 6 homers and a .919 OPS in 100 plate appearances. 

Last season, Ford posted a 121 OPS+ with the Seattle Mariners in 83 games, launching 16 homers in just 219 at-bats. He debuted in the big leagues with a bang with the New York Yankees in 2019, with 12 homers in just 50 games while slugging .559 along with an OPS+ of 137. He struggled to regain his stroke in the majors for a few seasons before last year's nice showing with the Mariners.

Photo: © David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports