Aruban catcher Shawn Zarraga has been released by the Cincinnati Reds according to a MiLB transaction overview of Baseball America. In the offseason, Zarraga signed a minor league contract with the Reds because they gave him the best feeling.
After a season that he split between AA Tulsa Drillers and AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers, Zarraga opted to look around. Near the end of the MLB season, he was called up to fill a roster spot because catcher Carlos Ruiz had not arrived yet after he was traded to the Dodgers by the Phillies. Zarraga’s stay lasted only one day and he did not get any playing time.
In an article at honkbalsite.com, Zarraga stated that the Reds were the most enthusiastic about him. Despite having various offers, he opted for the Reds because they really wanted him in their organization.
Shawn spent quite a bit on the disabled list as the Dodgers placed him on the 7-day DL on April 15. On June 20 he was assigned to the Tulsa Drillers. From that moment on he was sent up and down from AA to AAA and back again. Even though Shawn had put up some nice numbers at AAA before, he struggled at the plate with the OKC Dodgers as he hit only .167 in 19 games. At AA on the other side, he posted some pretty nice numbers: .306/.384/.388. Behind the plate, Shawn threw out 20% of the potential base stealers with the OKC Dodgers. With the Tulsa Drillers that number was 43%.
During the past World Baseball Classic, Shawn caught three games for the Kingdom of the Netherlands: vs Israel, vs Cuba and vs Puerto Rico. In total, he collected three base hits in eleven at-bats (.272).
It remains to be seen whether Zarraga will find another club. He would not be the first player from the Netherlands Antilles who will join a club from the Dutch hoofdklasse for a season.