Tuesday is the deadline for the Cincinnati Reds to add players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft (which will take place in December at the winter meetings). As things stand right now the 40-man roster is full. That means that the organization is going to need to make some moves to shrink the roster in order to add some players.

It seems incredibly safe to assume that the Cincinnati Reds will add at least four players to the 40-man roster from the minor leagues before the deadline on Tuesday. Shortstops Elly De La Cruz and Noelvi Marte are both top 50 prospects in all of baseball and are ranked 1st and 3rd in the organization. They will be easy choices. Pitchers Brandon Williamson and Levi Stoudt both saw action in Triple-A this year after beginning the year in Double-A. They aren’t as easy of choices as the shortstops, but they’ll both be added. After that there are a handful of other prospects that are in the conversation – we covered all of them here if you would like some more details.

Here’s what the current 40-man roster looks like:

Pitchers Position Players
Alexis Díaz Alejo Lopez
Art Warren Allan Cerda
Buck Farmer Aristides Aquino
Connor Overton Jake Fraley
Daniel Duarte Joey Votto
Dauri Moreta Jonathan India
Derek Law Jose Barrero
Fernando Cruz Kyle Farmer
Graham Ashcraft Matt Reynolds
Hunter Greene Michael Siani
Ian Gibaut Mike Moustakas
Jared Solomon Nick Senzel
Jeff Hoffman Nick Solak
Joel Kuhnel Spencer Steer
Justin Dunn Stuart Fairchild
Kyle Dowdy TJ Friedl
Lucas Sims Tyler Stephenson
Luis Cessa
Nick Lodolo
Reiver Sanmartin
Tejay Antone
Tony Santillan
Vladimir Gutierrez

Who would be the players that you would protect? Which players would you remove from the 40-man roster to create roster space for them? Put on your general managers hat and make some moves.

35 Responses

  1. BK

    Add: DeLaCruz, Marte, Williamson, Stoudt, Karcher

    Subtract: Aquino, Reynolds, Dowdy, Warren, Gutierrez (Warren and Gutierrez are expected to miss 2023 due to injury)

    My next three to cut would be in order, but these cuts don’t need to be made on Tuesday: Solomon, Gibaut, Kuhnel

    • Steven Doyle

      why can’t they remove moose, just for the roster spot? I’d hope someone takes him

  2. west larry

    The pitchers: I would consider removing these pitchers 1) Justin Wilson-t j surgery 6-3-22. 2) Art Warren-elbow surgery 3) joel kuhnel 4) maybe v gutierrez tj surgery 7-20-22. The position players: A Aquino and A Cerda. If you are adding four players to protect them from rule 5, Either add two more rule 5 guys, or keep the roster at 38 until you get a couple cheaper free agents to add, I’d like Moose to be released, but that isn’t happening,

  3. Jimbo44CN

    Ah, there it is . Number one on the hit parade is Aquino. First one to go on almost everyones list. Like the 3 Fs are any better. And replace him with who? OH, that’s right, the 3Fs or Senzel. Surprised he is not number 2 on the by bye list.
    Now don’t get me wrong, he has been very dissapointing, but are the replacements really any better? Time will tell I guess.

    • LDS

      Remember Nightengale has already told us that Aquino is gone. So excepting Siani, there goes the Reds OF defense. Of the 3Fs, keep Fairchild and trade Farley and Friedl. I’d pull the same stunt with Senzel as they pulled with Farmer. He’s not worth his projected arb salary. Most of the IL pitchers don’t warrant a 40 man slot: Wilson, Gutierrez, Warren, Sims, TJ, Kuhnel, etc.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Offensively, the 3 F’s as you call them, were all much better than Aquino.
      Fairchild and Fraley posted 121 wRC+, while Friedl came in right above league average at 101 wRC+. Aquino meanwhile languished to a 66 wRC+. So on offense Aquino was 35%-55% worse than those other guys.

      So to answer you question, yes, they are better.

  4. Optimist

    Is it so that Warren and Vlad G are out for all of 2023? If so, they are off the 40-man. If Vlad G can return in Sept. keep him.

    After that, just among the pitchers, in no particular order, I can see strong arguments for letting go of these 10 – Dowdy, Kuhnel, Solomon, Gibaut, Cruz, Law, Moreta, Duarte, Overton, and Farmer. I might keep Duarte since I believe he has the best stuff to work with, and Overton, since he can be the AAAA spot starter/26th roster guy.

    That’s 12 spots without getting to the hitting side of the roster.

    • LDS

      Cruz & Overton, even Farmer. They did about as well as any this past season. None have a long track record, but beyond Minor, who did?

      • Optimist

        The other way to consider this is which of these guys is most likely to be claimed or offered a contract from another team – which one would you most want if you were another team. On my list of “let-go”s, I’d most want to keep Duarte – he’s still youngish and IIRC has enough “stuff” to work with. In some ways he’s a bit like Cruz, with a varied career path, but he’s 7 years younger.

  5. Amarillo

    Remove: Aquino, Reynolds, Lopez, Warren, Solomon, Duarte, Dowdy
    Add: EDLC, Marte, Hopkins, Williamson, Stoudt, Mey, Karcher

    I thought about Vellojin, but he is just too far away from being Major League ready, and I don’t think his upside is high enough to stash him for 2 years to wait for him to develop. Ivan Johnson is someone I want to protect, but soon we will also be adding Encarnacion-Strand and and McLain to the roster, and Ivan feels like he might not get drafted.

    • TOM

      I would remove Barrero instead of Lopez. He’s been given enough chances to prove himself. He just cannot hit. The Reds have an abundant of SS & I think Elly is ready to be given a chance. Also I’m not sure about Reynolds.

  6. Old-school

    I would err on the side of exposing too many. Reds are bad. Protect the newly acquired young guys, expose the player’s who are old AAAA’ers or injured. Reds can always add with more Drury’s and Overton’s.

  7. David

    I would outright Vladimir Guittierez off the 40 man, but then I would turn around and offer him a minor league contract to
    1) keep him with the Reds
    2) cover his medical expenses and rehab after TJ surgery

    Art Warren was also out with TJ surgery, but I would not do that for him.

    Most of the relievers from last season were….replaceable, to say the least.
    I don’t know what warm bodies that Nick Krall will come up with over the winter, but most of them could be let go
    Kyle Dowdy, Buck Farmer, Joel Kuhnel, Ian Gibaut, etc., etc.
    However, I would wager that Nick Krall sees fit to keep some of these guys that should be let go, just…because. (scratches head)

    I would keep Moreta, he is still young and frankly was kind of mis-used by David Bell. I think he still has potential.
    I would also keep Cruz, as he was pretty successful, when used properly. Either as a set up man or closer. Bell used him in a couple of odd situations, and I don’t think he was good at that.
    Keep Diaz (of course!!) and Reiver San Martin, who was acceptable as a Left-handed reliever.
    Karch was a guy that was suggested to bring up in September, reading on another Reds blog. He has a big arm, but is still struggling with control.
    I don’t know if Karch starts the year with the Reds, but right there, you have four people in your bull pen. Moreta, Cruz, San Martin and Diaz. And add Dunn as a long reliever. That’s five. You only need two or three more.
    But there will be a cattle call in Spring training. You can count on it.

    I would keep Connor Overton, at least until Spring Training. If he is hurt again, then they can waive him then. There will be more warm bodies around during Spring Training. The Reds do need some pitchers to fill out the rotation, and Justin Dunn (who I would also keep) is no sure thing regarding being a regular starter. Long reliever? He may yet get his shoulder healed up.

    Drop Allan Cerda and Aristides Aquino. Offer Aquino a Minor league contract if he wants to stay with the Reds. He may opt for free agency. Cerda would still be an unprotected minor leaguer with the Reds. I don’t see him getting much attention as a Rule 5 draftee. He just isn’t ready yet.

    Besides the obvious guys others have mentioned, the Reds also need a spot for another catcher.
    Senzel was a Number 1 draft choice, and it will be hard for the Reds to admit he just isn’t that good. Do they give him one more year?
    Siani is a light hitter, but is a genuine center fielder. He can run and steal bases. He is still young and has growth potential. Maybe?
    Fairchild could play center (he is fast enough) but I think will be fine in Right Field.
    Friedl is kind of an fourth outfielder, could play any of the three spots, if needed.
    Fraley is an adequate left fielder. He just hits against Right handers. I assume that Solak was acquired to be the Right-handed hitting left fielder.
    Not an amazing group, but give them a few months next season and maybe a couple will actually emerge and be good ML hitters.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Warren did not have TJ surgery. He had tendon repair, not tendon replacement. At any rate he will still be out all of next season and therefore probably not protected. I would not expose Buck Farmer or Gibaut. Both had their moments and could still be valuable pieces in the bullpen. Alot will depend on what happens this afternoon, as I fully expect the Reds to make a trade or two…possibly with the Rays and/or Marlins for pitching and outfield help.

  8. BK

    The problem with dropping Cerda is that another team can claim him and simply option him to the minors. In other words, we’re more likely to lose him than any of the fringe candidates we’re considering protecting from the Rule 5 draft.

    Also, several have mentioned Wilson. He’s a free agent and already off the 40-man roster.

    • Joekr

      Actually any team claiming any rule-5 player must keep him on the major league roster the entire season or put him through waivers, and if he clears waivers, offer him back to the team he was ddrafted from in the rule-5 draft.

      • BK

        That’s my point … there’s risk to putting prospects on the 40-man roster too early. Some have suggested dropping Cerda. Cerda is #21 on Doug’s list over at RML.com–higher than any other prospects aside from the obvious adds (ELDC, Marte, Williamson and Stoudt).

        I am suggesting, the Reds should not have added Cerda last year as he had not progressed past High A. In fact, he didn’t even have 100 PAs at High A. The chances that he would have stuck on another team’s 26-man roster all season were remote, although I’ll concede that he might have been selected in the Rule 5 draft (had it have taken place).

        Now, if the Reds DFA Cerda, all another team has to do is claim him and then option him to their minor league system. This is far easier from a roster management standpoint, than keeping a player on the 26-man roster for a full season or having to offer him back to his original team. I lean towards only protecting top prospects and minor leaguers likely to help in the forthcoming season.

  9. Redhaze

    What if the Reds did not protect Votto and Moustakas? What about Votto’s complete no trade clause?

    • Doug Gray

      You’d have to put them on waivers or just give them their release. No one would pick either of them up on waivers, so after the appropriate number of days passed they would just become free agents and the Reds would still owe them all of the money on their remaining contract even if someone else signs them as free agents.

    • TOM

      The has to go somewhere somehow. Try and trade him or release him . He’s got to go.

  10. Melvin

    I wonder if any trades are in the works for guys like Farmer and Senzel who, in the Reds way of thinking, aren’t worth the money needed to keep them which is another reason why they won’t keep Aquino. Cheap is what they’re looking there in the likes of Lopez and Steer.

  11. DX

    It is a list you can compile by who you want to keep. I would be surprised if you go down the list name by name that anyone can find 30 players that are worth keeping. I don’t understand these names people are coming up with and debating. They haven’t shown anything. I am amazed that there is an outfielder on the list that anyone really thinks can help this organization win. Someone mentioned Aquino. Really? Aquino will be getting social security and people will still think he deserves a shot. Have you seen their OPS+? Their ERA+? I think it is an easy 30 man list this year.

    • TR

      An outstanding comment. “Aquino will be getting social security and people will still think he deserves a shot.” Change is not easy in Cincinnati.

    • JB

      Totally agree. Half the team is AAAA players. The whole outfield is. If the Reds were willing to spend money like teams that want to win, they would start next year with a whole new outfield.

    • Optimist

      30? I get to 12, and can see arguments for 6-8 others. They could probably release 20 from that list, and resign them for nominal increases. IOW, I don’t see more than minimal trade value in more than 1/2 the 40-man roster. After last season’s trades, the Reds are down to 4 or 5 MLB players which other teams value highly. Good thing the MiLB roster is looking much deeper.

    • Tom Diesman

      There are a lot of people missing out on the potential of Fraley, Fairchild, and Friedl. All hit league average or above last season, two (Fraley and Fairchild) well above, as expected from their minor league performances. The Reds would be wise to start the year with these three as starters to see if they continue to perform as expected.

      • BK

        I agree; if the back half of 2022 was about sorting, the “F Troop” earned a more extended look. As you point out, their bats were all league-average or better. I would like to see improved defense from Fraley and Friedl. Solak provides a RH bat to platoon with Fraley. I don’t think the outfield situation is as dire as some others, but I would not be opposed to bringing in a free agent on a pillow contract with the goal of flipping them at the trade deadline.

  12. Hotto4Votto

    With Gilliam a FA, it changes my former calculations.
    I protect EDLC, Marte, Williamson, Stoudt, Hopkins, and Johnson

    I still remove Dowdy, Kuhnel, Soloman, Warren, Reynolds, and Aquino.
    I probably still buy out Moose to make room to add other guys.

    Solak is next in line on the cut list, followed by Duarte and Gibaut if the Reds needed to make further cuts.

    • MBS

      I could be wrong, but I think Free needs to be added to the 40, or he’s open to the Rule 5, and he’s the closest thing we have to an inhouse back up catcher, although he maybe a year a way from that being a reality.

      I’d add Free to you list and drop Gibaut. I agree with all of your other picks.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I’d prefer they sign a ML quality back up. There should be plenty of options. If Free’s a year away then it won’t matter for next season anyway.

      • MBS

        I hope so to, a vet catcher is exactly what they need. Narváez, or Barnhart would be the FA’s I’d go after.

        I’d still protect the kid, if Stephenson continues to have issues Free is the closest to ready catching prospect that has a bat.

  13. Crestwood Craig

    Doug, if the Reds exposed the pitchers that had TJ surgery this year and a team claims them, what are the rules about keeping them on the active roster for 2023?

    • Doug Gray

      Let’s say a guy will miss all of 2023 because of injury but was a Rule 5 pick – then they would need to spend all of 2024 on the active roster. Teams can’t hide players on the injured list and have it count as their “year” with regards to the rules with the Rule 5.

  14. RedsGettingBetter

    If I were the GM will get rid of Warren, Dowdy, Gibaut, Kuhnel , Aquino and Reynolds right now that would give 6 spots to protect the rule 5 prospects for the time being, after this if some FA signs will be made, Derek Law and maybe V. Gutierrez are good options to free other spots…
    I wonder if TJ Antone is named TJ for “Tommy John” ?

  15. Redhaze

    My question for the Reds is will it get worse before it gets better?????? Status quo gets you 100 losses again. Major league teams should not have to intentionally tank. I feel sorry for the young talent. We are wasting away prime years. When is the last time Bob Castellini made a public comment or made a public appearance???