The Cincinnati Reds have announced that they have non-tendered five players, who will all become free agents. We learned from Brian Goodwin earlier today that he was non-tendered. The other four players leave you with a little bit of a shock. Archie Bradley, R.J. Alaniz, Curt Casali, and Kyle Farmer all join Goodwin as newly added free agents player pool.
The biggest surprise on the list is Archie Bradley, who was acquired by the Reds at the trade deadline. According to MLB Trade Rumors he was set to get a raise to somewhere between $4.3M and $5.7M for the 2021 season, via arbitration, depending on how things worked out with regards to weighing a 60-game season. Bradley, who was acquired for Top 10 prospect Stuart Fairchild and utility man Josh VanMeter threw a grand total of 8.0 innings while in a Reds uniform before he was non-tendered. And it’s not as if he struggled, he allowed two runs for Cincinnati in those 8.0 innings and during the regular season in 2020 had a 2.95 ERA between Arizona and Cincinnati.
Catcher Curt Casali was a player that seemed to be in that gray area of whether or not the team would hold onto given that they seemed ready to put Tyler Stephenson into a larger role moving forward. Casali has largely been a back up to Tucker Barnhart the last two seasons, but has played a fairly prominent role for the team. He was due a modest raise according to MLB Trade Rumors, set to earn somewhere between $1.8M and $2.4M in 2021 in arbitration if tendered a contract. This seems to signal that the Reds are going forward with Stephenson and Barnhart as their catching options.
In a weird set of moves that I don’t quite understand, the team non-tendered Kyle Farmer. He was not arbitration eligible as far as I can tell (Baseball Reference, for example, says he wasn’t eligible until 2022). Assuming that’s correct, he would have simply made the league minimum. The Reds, however, non-tendered him and then almost immediately re-signed him to a deal for 2021. Matt Wilkes pointed out that perhaps he was a Super 2 eligible player, which would have made him arbitration eligible and that we all just somehow calculated it wrong. Either way – He’s back.
R.J. Alaniz, who is pitching well this winter in the Mexican Winter League, was also non-tendered. He spent the year at Prasco Park on the alternate roster, not appearing in a big league game this season. He currently has thrown 9.2 shutout innings of relief with 13 strikeouts for Hermosillo while participating in the winter league.