Originally Posted by Blitz Dorsey
No, you wouldn't have to assume that at all. The Reds did not "trade for Jason Donald." He was merely a "throw-in" when they traded for Shin-Soo Choo. Obviously the Reds would not have gone out and signed Cesar Izturis and probably told his agent he has a good chance of making the 25-man roster as a NRI if they were completely sold on Jason Donald making the team. I think the Reds like having Donald in spring training to see what he can do, but to act like he's a lock to make the roster just because he was a throw-in in the Choo deal is one heck of a reach, IMO. The Reds have zero risk attached to Jason Donald. If they feel Izturis is the better option, they won't think twice about sending Donald packing.
Why get a guy with no options as a throw-in if you're not going to give him a serious crack at your major league roster? It makes no sense.
There's definitely a scenario where Donald lays an egg in ST and Izturis gets that slot. Or maybe the Reds only carry 11 pitchers and Izturis gets a slot (wouldn't be my choice, but it's not like there's any other obvious picks).
Yet if Donald has a solid spring and looks like he can be a reasonable facsimile of his current major league averages, then his contract says he's got a roster spot. The Reds did not trade for something they fundamentally don't want.
NRIs always get told they've got a shot at the roster. Most know that the reality is they're longshots and that they're going to need to put some time in at AAA before they make the 25-man roster.