Right-hander Brett Kennedy has returned to the Reds on a minor league contract, according to the transaction tracker at MLB.com. He had elected free agency within a few days of the end of the regular season.
Kennedy, 29, made five big league appearances for Cincinnati last season. He started two of those games, tossing 18 innings of 13-run ball. It was the Fordham product’s first MLB work in five years. His only previous major league experience consisted of six starts for the 2018 Padres.
A former 11th round draftee, Kennedy first signed with the Reds out of independent ball last May. He spent the bulk of the season at Triple-A Louisville. Working out of the rotation, he pitched to a 4.81 ERA through 78 2/3 innings. Kennedy’s 20.8% strikeout rate and 9% walk percentage were each slightly worse than average.
It’d be a surprise if Kennedy is in the mix for an Opening Day roster spot. He showed enough that the organization decided to keep him around as rotation or long relief depth, however. He’ll likely begin the year in Louisville. If the Reds select Kennedy onto the 40-man roster at any point, he can still be optioned to Triple-A for another two seasons.