Washington Nationals minor league outfielder Xavier Paul was released this past week, at his request, and has apparently signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds, according to his agent. Paul is scheduled to report to the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate in Louisville.
Paul had been brought in this past winter on a minor league deal with the Nationals, mostly with the hope that he’d provide some added depth across the outfield. Paul has experience at all three outfield positions and has seen time at the Major Leagues with both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates. In 411 career plate appearances he’s managed a .246/.288/.341 line with 3 HR, 32 RBI, and 19 stolen bases.
Over 235 plate appearances with Syracuse, Paul was swinging the bat well. He was hitting .318/.379/.517 with 8 HR and 44 RBI, but despite the strong play had not been able to make much headway on the organization’s depth chart. He was overlooked when the team was in need of an outfielder early on this season, passed over for the promotions and debuts of both Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore. He also seemingly lost some ground once the team re-acquired Erik Komatsu when the Rule 5 draftee was returned to the organization.
Presumably Paul will have more of an opportunity to make it back to the Major Leagues with Cincinnati, though nothing is set in stone. The Reds have been rumored to be in search of an outfielder in recent weeks, particularly one capable of handling center field.