Yep, that's what happened, also at the time Spring training magazine had Costo listed as the #26 prospect in the ML and Hoffman was listed at #84
Having a top 100 prospect in your system is rare. Most teams only have a few. Why in the world would you leave any top 100 prospect unprotected in an expansion draft? You only have to leave three on your 40 man unprotected and that includes utility players and overpaid veterans. If these expansion teams got a top 100 prospect from every team they'd be tickled pink
If I recall correctly, Bob Quinn inadvertently designated Reggie Jefferson for assignment. (Jefferson was one of the Reds' top minor-league hitting prospects at the time, and someone they were considering moving Hal Morris to LF to make room for at 1B.) The Indians could have had him for nothing, but their GM (either Hank Peters or John Hart--I'm not sure which one was in charge at the time) decided to work out a deal with the Reds as a courtesy, and the Reds received Tim Costo.
That is correct however I don't know that it was charity that led to Costo being offered. My guess is the Indians didn't think he'd survive the waiver claims in order to get to them
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