The agent for Cincinnati Reds top prospect Nick Senzel ripped the club for his demotion to Triple-A earlier on Friday, calling it "an egregious case of service-time manipulation."
Joel Wolfe says the demotion of the 23-year-old third baseman goes against what the team professes to be their goal this season.
"We are well aware of the mandate from ownership for the Reds to win this year — and this seems to fly in the face of it," Wolfe told ESPN. "The NL Central was decided by one game last year. Every game matters. This is a shortsighted move that may be frugal now but could cost them dearly later."
The second overall pick of the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft out of Tennessee, Senzel spent last season with the team's Triple-A affiliate Louisville Redbirds.
In 44 games with the team, Senzel hit .310 with six home runs, 25 runs batted in and an OPS of .887.
Wolfe contends that his client is more than ready to contribute at the major-league level now, even if he needs to change positions.
"Nick Senzel is not a young prospect," Wolfe said. "He's a major league-ready impact-type player. He has done everything they've asked this spring, including working hard to become a major-league center fielder.
Still, Wolfe says that Senzel will take the setback in stride.
"Nick takes pride in wearing the Reds uniform," Wolfe said. "He appreciates how much support he's received from Reds fans. He's going to go to Triple-A and prove every day he belongs in MLB."