GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) The Cincinnati Reds released outfielder Ryan Raburn on Monday after he struggled in a bid to win a bench role.
Raburn turns 36 in April. He signed a minor league deal last month and hit .219 during spring training with seven hits, three home runs and seven strikeouts in 32 at-bats.
Under his contract, the Reds had to pay him $100,000 if he was still on the roster after Monday.
''He was the odd man out,'' manager Bryan Price said. ''We had to make a horribly difficult decision. We will be leaning on youth.''
Raburn played seven years for Detroit and three for Cleveland before moving to the National League last season. He batted only .220 with Colorado last year, when he made $1.6 million. He played 47 games in left field, two in right field and five at first base for the Rockies.
The Reds still have competition for the final spots on the bench with opening day a week away. With starters Anthony DeSclafani and Homer Bailey injured and their rotation in flux, the Reds might need an extra pitcher on the roster to start the season. They open against Philadelphia at Great American Ball Park on Monday.
Having younger players with options on the bench gives the Reds more flexibility in changing the roster.
''With a young pitching staff, we may need to go with a four-man bench at times,'' Price said. ''We need more fluidity, guys that can play multiple positions.''