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Guardians DFA Oscar Mercado to make room for Franmil Reyes

A once promising center fielder is out the door

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Guardians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Guardians have designated Oscar Mercado for assignment to make room for Franmil Reyes, who has been activated from the 15-day injured list.

Many assumed the Guardians would opt to send Richie Palacios back to Triple-A Columbus, where he could get everyday at-bats, as the corresponding move when Reyes was ready to return. But it appears the club has seen enough from Mercado.

He slashed .202/.227/.377 and produced 68 wRC+ in 119 plate appearances this season.

Mercado was first acquired by Cleveland at the trade deadline in 2018. The Guardians traded outfielder Conner Capel and pitcher Jhon Torres to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Mercado. He made his big league debut in Cleveland the following season, slashing a respectable .269/.318/.443 to make his case as the Guardians’ everyday center fielder.

But the early promise of his rookie season was never fulfilled. In four seasons with the club, Mercado slashed .235/.287/.388 and was worth 1.7 fWAR.

Cleveland also optioned Nick Sandlin to Triple-A Columbus to open up a roster spot for Aaron Civale, who makes his return to the mound Tuesday night against the Twins.