The National League wild card-leading Reds made their third move to upgrade their bullpen this month, acquiring Rheal Cormier from the Phillies on Monday in exchange for Justin Germano. Earlier in July, Cincinnati picked up Eddie Guardado, Bill Bray and Gary Majewski.
Cormier, 39, gives the Reds another lefty to team with Bray and Guardado in relief. In 43 games this year, he has gone 2-2 with 12 holds and a 1.59 ERA, the lowest of his 15-year major league career. He has a 13-13 K-BB ratio in 34 innings, with opponents batting just .225 with two homers against him. Cormier survives on command and guile, throwing a lively high-80s fastball to go with a slider and a splitter. He has been quite effective against righthanders in 2006, though that wasn't the case in 2005. He makes $2.5 million this season as part of a two-year, $5.25 million contract that calls for either a $3 million club option or a $500,000 buyout next year. After making the deal, the Reds announced that Cormier had been signed to a 2007 extension with a 2008 option, the terms of which were not immediately disclosed. He has a career mark of 71-63, 4.01 in 656 games.
Germano, a 23-year-old righthander, originally signed with the Padres as a 13th-round pick out of a California high school in 2000. This is the second straight July he has been part of a deal for the stretch drive, as San Diego used him in a package for Joe Randa last July. Germano has made two appearances this year for the Reds, taking the loss Saturday in a start against the Brewers, and has spent most of the season at Triple-A Louisville. With the Bats, he has gone 8-6, 3.69 in 19 games (18 starts). In 117 innings, he has a 67-22 K-BB ratio, .279 opponent average and 11 homers allowed. His stuff is no better than average, leaving him little margin for error. He has an 87-89 mph fastball, a curveball (his best pitch) and a changeup. Germano owns a 1-3, 8.04 record in nine career apperances in the majors.