With today’s deadline to add prospects to the 40-man roster to protect them from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft (December 7th at the Winter Meetings), the Reds have made plenty of moves to both add prospects and to clear spots on the roster that had been full entering the day.

Who the Reds added

In what should be no surprise to anyone the Reds added a pair of shortstops in Elly De La Cruz and Noelvi Marte. They currently rank as the #1 prospect and the #3 prospect in the organization. Both players are going to be top 50 prospects in all of baseball (or higher) when the national publications begin to release their lists this offseason.

The team also added pitchers Brandon Williamson and Levi Stoudt. They were players we expected to be added when we wrote about the pitching group last week.

The above four players were the decisions that seemed to be the easiest.

Cincinnati added two more players beyond those four, though. Pitchers Ricky Karcher and Lyon Richardson were also added to the 40-man roster. Karcher is a reliever who saw action in Double-A and Triple-A this past season. Richardson missed all of the 2022 season after having Tommy John surgery following the 2021 season. He’s been a starting pitcher for his entire career and spent all of 2021 in High-A Dayton with the Dragons. You can read more in depth about all of the pitchers here.

Who the Reds dropped from the roster

In order to add players to the roster the team also had to drop players from the 40-man roster since it was full. The team opted to designated outfielder Aristides Aquino for assignment. They also designated pitchers Kyle Dowdy, Jeff Hoffman, Derek Law, Jared Solomon, and Art Warren for assignment.

Art Warren was going to miss all of the 2023 season after having elbow surgery, so his being one of the players taken off of the roster isn’t surprising and it seemed like one we knew would be coming. The other five players all make some sense, too, but so did multiple other options that are sticking around.

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

Pitcher Catcher(s)
Alexis Díaz Tyler Stephenson
Brandon Williamson Infielders
Buck Farmer Alejo Lopez
Connor Overton Elly De La Cruz
Daniel Duarte Joey Votto
Dauri Moreta Jonathan India
Fernando Cruz Jose Barrero
Graham Ashcraft Kyle Farmer
Hunter Greene Matt Reynolds
Ian Gibaut Mike Moustakas
Joel Kuhnel Noelvi Marte
Justin Dunn Spencer Steer
Levi Stoudt Outfielders
Lucas Sims Allan Cerda
Luis Cessa Jake Fraley
Lyon Richardson Michael Siani
Nick Lodolo Nick Senzel
Reiver Sanmartin Nick Solak
Ricky Karcher Stuart Fairchild
Tejay Antone TJ Friedl
Tony Santillan
Vladimir Gutierrez


119 Responses

  1. Dan

    So that’s 35 on the 40-man roster by my count… yeah?

    • Optimist

      Doug already has Karcher on the list above – add the other 5 and you get to 40.

      • Doug Gray

        This really threw me for a loop. I got the 40-man roster from the Reds. I saw Karchers name at the bottom and assumed that the other new additions were on there. They were not.

        I have fixed the list above.

    • Jim Walker

      It doesn’t include the Rule 5 class guys who were added; but, then probably should be 34 because they added 6.

    • west larry

      No. it’s 50, as they added the rule 5 players they protected.

      • Jim Walker

        The list as it is on my screen doesn’t include the six guys added. That’s why I said there should be 34 instead of 35 on it because the guys DFAed are also not on the list I am seeing

    • gregteb

      Randy Karcher is the only one of the six new ones added today that show up in Doug’s list here. The other 5 bring the total to 40.

  2. Optimist

    Hoping there will be additional changes sooner rather than later.

    • Jim Walker

      Friday is the tender deadline. Anybody on the 40 man roster who is not on a contract continuing from last year (and I believe Votto and Moose are the only 2 who are under contract for 2023) could be nontendered and would immediately become a free agent.

      It is quite possible there are negotiations going on with some of the arbitration eligible guys; and, if agreements are not reached, they will get nontendered if the Reds think the player would get more in arbitration than the Reds want to pay them.

      Also, the Reds could sign a free agent and have to DFA someone; or, they could take and make a trade that brings back more guys requiring 40 man roster spots than it sends off the 40 man roster in which case they would have to DFA one or more guys.

    • MK

      Wondered where 49 came from. I went back twice and couldn’t get there. The 0 is pretty close to edge and my big thumb hits the 9 sometimes.

  3. BK

    Doug, congratulations! The add list lines up with you “Making the Call” predictions. Well done!

  4. LDS

    Rather dull announcement. They’d already “announced” via Nightengale that Aquino was gone. The other 5 aren’t really a surprise but they kept a bunch of folks that don’t need to occupy roster slots. I’m not sure of the roster rules now. I’ve read that they can’t make additional moves until after the Rule 5 draft. I would have freed up more slots. I guess that tells us to expect even less than we were.

    • BK

      They can remove players, but anyone off a 40-man roster as of now is Rule 5 eligible.

    • 2020ball

      Who would you remove? Really really easy to just say they should have done more.

  5. Mark Moore

    AA to Japan or Korea is still my prediction. Nobody took a flyer on him the last time he hit the waiver wire. I didn’t really see anything that would change that.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      Mexico is also a possibility

      • Jim Walker

        Think there isn’t nearly the money possible in Mexico as he could get in Asia.

    • Jim Walker

      I think the difference between this and last time AA was exposed to waivers is that in 2022 he demonstrated he could be a game changer in the outfield and running the bases. And he did have 2 separate stretches of 3 weeks or so in 2022 where he played regularly and posted a 100+ OPS.

      I agree his time with the Reds needed to end but ironically a team in win now mode could well want him as a 4th or 5th OF for the difference he can make off bench defensively or running the bases.

      Given his status, they are likely to want him to come into their camp on a minor league deal and that’s where the Asian card could come into play. He may get offered more guaranteed money to play in Asia than on a minor league even if he were to be elevated to MLB during the year. It will be interesting to see.

    • Votto4life

      I have mixed feelings about AA. I mean you obviously are not going to give him 500 at bats, but as a defensive replacement and RH power on the bench, I think he has some value.

      • Jim Walker

        It is about where teams are in their “life cycles”. AA didn’t fit for the Reds as well as Fairchild. Even if he had been the Punisher of August 2019 all over again, they probably would have been looking to deal him (versus just move him off the 40 man). But yet he could be a key, but not core, piece on a contending team in 2023

    • MK

      Who was the Asst Batting Coach that got all the credit for reworking his swing the year he had the huge AAA year and great MLB month. He left and went somewhere. Wherever that is That could be a landing spot for AA on a minor league contract.

      • MK

        Yeap that’s him. He is hitting coordinator with Texas now.

  6. Dan

    Oh… thanks, I didn’t notice that obvious guys like de la Cruz were not listed on Doug’s roster above (when I commented that there are 35 names on it)!

    So if the Reds are sitting at 40 now, does that mean they can’t add anyone in Rule 5?

    • west larry

      yes, the deadline to add rule 5 guys to the forty man was 5pm central,

    • Doug Gray

      They can still pick a player if they want to – they would just need to remove someone from the 40-man roster between now and then. With the non-tender deadline still a few days away there’s a chance it may still happen.

      • Dan

        Ah okay… so you can’t go in with 40, pick up a Rule 5 player, and drop someone from the 40-man right then to make room for him?

      • Doug Gray

        Correct. You have to be under 40 players when you make the selection.

      • Keith

        Has any thought been given to make Aquino’s cannon into a relief pitcher like outfielder Hoffman a few decades ago?

      • Doug Gray

        I doubt that it’ll happen. When guys make that move it’s usually in their early 20’s not their late 20’s. Aquino could probably get a good amount of money overseas to remain a hitter, which is better than the $50,000 or so he’d probably get to head back to the minors and try to be a pitcher.

  7. Doug Gray

    The full 40-man roster in the article has been corrected.

    I got the 40-man roster from the Reds and it had Ricky Karcher listed on it. His name was near the bottom and I immediately saw it while copy/pasting and just assumed that the other additions were also on the list. They were not. That’s what I get for assuming. The list above has now been corrected.

  8. Bdh

    Protecting Richardson and not Hopkins blows my mind

    • BK

      The Solak pickup made Hopkins redundant. With Richardson, the Reds must like he is progressing on rehab. Without his injury, he could easily be among the top 5 pitchers in the Red’s minor.

      • Kevin H

        I would like Hopkins to get a shot in the outfield. He still may though so hopefully that is the case.

  9. Votto4life

    Kinda surprised they designated Jeff Hoffman. I thought he turned the corner this past season.

    • Jim Walker

      He is arbitration eligible. Possibly they were talking money with him and were light years apart, needed a spot today, so he was the short straw versus continuing to negotiate with him up to the nontender deadline on Friday,

      • Votto4life

        Sounds like our Reds…Thanks Jim

    • Optimist

      I thought this as well, until Jim explained it.

  10. Mark Moore

    Now if we would shed about 300# of moose-meat … 😀

    I know I’m hard on 3M, but my eye test says he’s just not who he was and I have serious doubts about him getting back to anything close. I’ll continue to support Joey through this final season because he obviously (to me at least) works at it.

    I know it’s a huge salary dump, but still …

    • Votto4life

      Yeah, they are just delaying the inevitable with Moose.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Can’t think of any good reason that Moose has a spot on this team. Absolutely no sense in trotting him out on the field next year when those ABs could go to a young, developing player. He hasn’t been productive or healthy. The team has Votto and Farmer for veteran leadership. Let’s see Steer, Lopez, India, Barrero, and eventually De La Cruz get those ABs and playing time.

      It is a decent chunk of money, but it’s already been spent. Don’t keep paying for past mistakes. Move on. Build for the future. Between all the salary dumps and trades the Reds made in the past year+ they’ve saved a grip of money. They can take this short term hit and still have a well below average payroll.

    • Grand Salami

      Seeing Moose’s decline has been worse than watching Kevin Mitchell get fat was.

  11. Harry Stoner

    If Kuhnel and Reynolds would have been let go I’d be even more pleased.

    It’s a shame Hoffman or Law or Soloman didn’t pick up some reps at 2b or RF so Bell would have lobbied hard to keep them around.

    • Redsvol

      good one Stoner! I would have kept Hoffman and Law over Kuhnel and Moretta but there is about 500k$ more for each of them so that might have something to do with it.

      Can’t agree on Reynolds. I think he is a professional and we need a few on the roster to show the way. Especially since I think they move on from Farmer and Moose before spring training is over.

  12. Hotto4Votto

    Not sure who’s gonna take on Richardson when he’s not pitched in a while, was inconsistent when he did pitch, and hasn’t pitched outside of A ball. He’s got talent, but I can’t believe anyone could keep him on a ML roster all season.

    Karcher isn’t a big surprise but I didn’t have him protected. I had Johnson and Hopkins who I like better than some guys on the 40- man. Not sure what role Reynolds plays on the Reds that a younger guy can’t handle just as well.

    A little surprised by Law being removed, a little surprised Kuhnel made the cuts.

    • 2020ball

      Given what we saw from Barrero compared to Reynolds last year, I’m not sure why you think a younger guy is going to obviously do better than him

      • Hotto4Votto

        Well because last season Lopez, and Steer (in a very SSS), put up very similar numbers at Reynolds and would be the ones filling in that utility role. Reynolds is a career negative WAR guy, and in his 30’s. Lopez and Steer are just entering their primes and have untapped potential. I’d rather see them get their shot in a lost year than a retread who’s definitely not part of the future. It’s pretty simple.

      • 2020ball

        Id rather see productive players, and if thats reynolds then so be it. Steer will surpass him soon, but the books still out on lopez. Reynolds is far better defensively than both, which i personally consider production.

  13. Mark Moore

    Anybody else see only one catcher on the 40-man? We know that has to change, but perhaps it does mean TySteve is on track to be at strength by the time ST opens. (he said optimistically)

    • wkuchad

      Yep, only one catcher, AND a bunch of outfielders with question marks.

      • Redsvol

        actually that’s not a lot of outfielders for a 40 man roster when you consider Cerda will not see the major leagues in 2023. Its too many utility infielders and relievers and not enough catchers and starting pitchers. However, I’m sure several on the current 40 man roster won’t be there at beginning of spring training so not much point in focusing on it. Several players will be added and several players will be subtracted before February.

      • MK

        Actually the typically keep 5 outfielder and 8 relief pitchers so it makes sense there are more relievers than outfielders.

    • David

      Stephenson broke his collarbone. While serious, it is a fairly routine injury to recover from. My son broke his collarbone when he was 17, falling off a bicycle. He had to have a plate put in to align the bones to heal properly. He was running cross country in HS then, and he did start running again by October (he fell in early August). He still has the plate on his collarbone. I would think that Stephenson, being a pro athlete, would have the plate removed once the bone heals. And then, you have to be careful while the bone fills in where the screws for the plate went into the bone.

      And yes, the Reds need another catcher, fer shure. I was intrigued by the talk of the Reds trading Moustakas to the Mets for McCann (who they are disappointed in). I would wager that if McCann came to GABP, he might have an offensive renaissance, as that is a lot friendlier hitters park than Citi Field in New York.

      • Harry Stoner

        I broke my collarbone in the mid 80’s in a cycling accident.

        It hurts every time folks start talking about Stephenson and his injury and the certainty of his recovery.

        They used a temporary alignment screw on mine rather than the plate you describe.

        I’m not sure I’d be ready to say “routine” recovery if your livelihood is based on throwing a baseball to 2nd base and swinging a bat.

        Banking on a rapid return to form for TS seems like (understandably) wishful thinking to me. I’m wishing for it.

        But I wouldn’t even begin to count on it at this stage.

        Investing in an alternative catcher of some greater ability than the shuffling crew last year would be high on my priority list.

        McAnn’s salad days look like they are pretty far in the rearview mirror.
        He’d be a pricey .230 hitter, but that’s got to be .060 higher than anyone the Reds ran out there after Stephenson went down.

        But it doesn’t sound like there’s much out there that isn’t expensive, OTH or named after a variety of lettuce.

        At 32, McAnn is only two years younger than Devon Mesoraco.

        That’s pretty sobering to contemplate.

      • MK

        Harry think Tyler might be getting a little higher intensity and quality rehab than a non million dollar athlete would have gotten in the 80’s? I do know on Jim Day Podcast he talked about his rehab and weight lifting program with Joe Votto. Sounded fairly intense.

      • Jim Walker

        And for the nostalgic folk in these parts, Casali is just ~6 months younger than Mesoraco, and Barnhart is only about 2.5 years younger than Meso. The Reds situation calls for a younger guy.

      • Harry Stoner

        I’m not trying to be a Cassandra about Stephenson’s recovery, nor suggest that what happened to me happened to him.

        Mine was far worse of an injury from what it sounds like.

        I’m just putting out that it is a far more complex area of motion and connectivity than perhaps folks realize who haven’t gone through it.

        Of course, I’m hoping for the best, but I’ll keep hoping until a few weeks into ST and see how he’s progressing on the field instead of the gym.

        Meanwhile, relying again on a kiddie pool depth of sub sub Mendoza bats behind the plate is a grim and hopefully not repeatable alternative.

      • Optimist

        If TySteve could play 100 games at C, resigning Romine would be very good – veteran, excellent defense, apparently good with the staff. But, TySteve should not play 100 at C – ideally, he should split 50/50/50 at C/1b/DH – let the recovery go slowly. And with that, they need offensive production behind the plate.

      • Grand Salami

        Broke both of mine. One was really young. Other was wrestling in HS, freshman year I think. No plates or screws, just slings and rest. His is obviously more complicated but it’s a simple bone and a no joint concerns.

  14. VegasRed

    Makes more sense than keeping moose. The reds have plenty of people who can do what moose can.

    • Grand Salami

      I don’t think you’ve seen Moose work through a bag of sunflower seeds, elite status.

  15. Kevin H

    How does a team go from having all that catching “depth” to now having 1 on the 40 man roster? LOL I hope Romine resigns, but still that says a lot about this organization. Perhaps Robinson will resign a minor league deal with a invite.

  16. Jim t

    The Reds aren’t eating Moose’s salary. He will be given playing time to see if he can be productive and if he is will be traded at the deadline. Won’t get much in return if it happens but may shed some of his salary.

    • Harry Stoner

      I’m hoping with some replenished energy in the clubhouse with a healthy Votto, Stephenson and India and some mojo from the Young Turks we might see some revitalization in Moose.

      His nagging injuries and apparent lack of conditioning might be an egg or the hen thing.

      Or maybe not.

      He often looked as lost at the plate as did Barrero or Aquino.

      Even if he goes on a diet he’s still going to have a steady diet of sliders to deal with.

      And not CenTex brisket sliders, either.

      But he’s now had the time to get healthy and get in shape and get back to his game.

      I’d be happy to see it.

    • Tom Diesman

      I’m very doubtful that the Reds will follow suit with Moustakas, but the Cubs have granted Jason Heyward his unconditional release and the team still owes him $22MM next year under the terms of his contract. So it’s not unheard of I suppose.

      • David

        Well, the Cubs have a lot more money to spend than the Reds, and I think that they will be glad Heyward is gone. A big signing that went really bad.
        While we can talk about Moustakas and the whole “sunk cost” idea, Castellini still wants his “money’s worth” and yes, Moustakas will play.

        And no, I don’t think Moustakas will put a lot of extra effort into getting in shape and losing weight. He’s getting +23 million to be who he is. You would think he would have more professional pride, but …no. He should have shown up in Spring Training in 2022 in better shape, but no.
        Joey will work hard at rehab and being in shape, because that’s Joey Votto. But his shoulder injury and surgery were pretty serious. I would like to hope for the best, but he might not even be able to hit…at all….next Spring. He might never get the flexibility and strength back in that shoulder.

      • Old Big Ed

        Given the possibility that Votto will not quite be ready for Opening Day, I’d guess the plan with Moustakas is to give him a chance in spring training to show that he is slim, healthy and useful. If so, they could use him at DH/1B for a while, with the hope that some team will take on a smidgen more than the minimum salary. If not, then they will DFA him before the season starts.

        Some team like the Royals would give him a shot for the minimum wage.

        I suppose there is a chance of a “pass-the-trash” trade, where a team gives the Reds a bad contract in exchange for taking on some of Moose’s contract. McCann kinda fits that bill, although I say that without knowing what his contract is.

      • Old-school

        It looks like votto will be at Reds fest in 2 weeks so Im sure there will be updates on his progress and timing. Krall said the Reds will look much different at the end of 2023 but very similar at the beginning OPV 2023 than they were in 2022. That tells me Farmer, Votto, and Moose will be leaned on early to bring familiarity and veteran-ness. India in a post season interview noted injuries and him trying to do too much early were reasons his season wasnt what he wanted. He specifically mentioned the loss of leadership with Castellanos, Suarez, and Winker as reasons he was trying to fill the void in the lineup.

        As for player moves, I dont see the Reds doing much until late in the winter when they bring in the leftovers from the off-season FA frenzy. That said, Reds have obtained some pretty solid players over the years late. Drury and Gennett and Dietrich , not to mention signing Jose Iglesias in late February of 2019 to a minor league deal.

  17. CFD3000

    FWIW Tyler Stephenson posted a short video on Twitter hitting indoors yesterday. With more than four months until Opening Day and three until Spring Training he should be fine. But that doesn’t mean the Reds won’t need one (or more likely two) more catchers on the 40 man roster. I’d love to see Casali or Barnhart back with the Reds for 2023. They’ll need a capable backup, and they didn’t really have MLB quality options in 2022.

  18. west larry

    Do you think the reds keep K Farmer as a back-up catcher until they secure a decent back-up to Stevenson, and then release Farmer because they don’t want a six-million-dollar reserve infielder?

    • Mark Moore

      Farmer isn’t a back-up catcher. At best, he’s a dire emergency option. But he hasn’t strapped on the gear in his tenure with the Reds even once in a game. His background at that position doesn’t matter. It’s what he’s done lately.

      And he’s an expensive reserve who MIGHT be able to catch in an emergency. I’m still not sold on him taking up a spot.

      • Tom Diesman

        Farmer did actually appear in 15 G at catcher for the Reds in 2019, 9 of which he started. I suppose the bigger discussion with him right now is whether they want to spend the money to retain him as the backup SS for Barrero’s last hurrah until McClain or De La Cruz are ready to takeover from AAA.

      • Mark Moore

        Tom D.

        Thanks for the correction. 2019 seems like a decade ago now … 😀

      • Tar Heel Red

        That statement is false. Farmer caught 15 games for the Reds, starting 9 with 3 complete games in 2019.

      • Melvin

        I always said Farmer’s best bet for staying with the Reds would be to get out his catching gear again. Too late now. Reds probably wouldn’t pay six million for a backup catcher anyway but that WAS his best chance since there is a great need at that position.

      • Tom Diesman

        He did start over 300 G as a catcher in the minors though. His second most GS came at 3B with less than 100.

      • Jim Walker

        @tom> Farmer hasn’t been behind the plate at MLB even 2 dozen times total and not at all since 2019. He caught all those minor league games in the Dodger system, and then they rarely used him behind the plate at MLB. At MLB, Dodgers used him 22 times at 3B and just 4 as a catcher. That might be telling. He was clearly their 3rd option behind the plate.

        Even if Stephenson is fully recovered and has the endurance to work a full normal schedule from the start of the season, the backup guy figures to get at least 40 and perhaps 50 or more starts across the season. Counting on Farmer as that 2nd catcher when Stephenson’s availability and endurance at the start of the season is an unknown seems off the charts even for the Reds.

      • Tom Diesman

        Yeah, I’m not proposing Farmer as a backup catcher candidate, I was simply sharing that he was primarily a C in the minors, which frankly surprised me. The Farmer as a C ship has sailed.

        That said, I’d also note that the next time Stephenson catches 100 G in a season will be his first. The Reds need to be shopping for a C for next season with the idea that he will be starting at least half of the time next season.

      • Jim Walker

        @tom>>we agree close to 100% as I said in detail in the next thread down. Hard to have a coherent conversation on threads like this. 😉

  19. Michael B. Green

    Time to sign Austin Hedges to serve as the 1(B) catcher. Also, I’d look at signing Sandy Leon to a minor league deal and see how he recovers from knee surgery.

    CIN may need to sign 1-2 more catchers to minor league deals to add depth at AAA.

    I’m assuming that CIN will carry 2 catchers on the 40MR on Opening Day.

    • Jim Walker

      Doug’s post season positional grade for catchers in the Reds minor league system was “F”. https://www.redsminorleagues.com/2022/10/12/2022-cincinnati-reds-state-of-the-farm-catchers/

      If the Reds have some money to spend, they could do worse than spending it on a solid young catcher who at least approaches league average in offense. Hedges doesn’t seem to fit that description.

      The Reds will certainly have 2 catchers on their active MLB roster. They will likely have one and maybe two veterans on ice in the minors; but, these guys could be on minor league deals, at least to start the season.

      • Redsvol

        I like Casali best of the free agents but I really don’t think he is leaving the west coast in this phase of his career unless its for a serious contender – which we are not.

        I think we have to give Romine a lot of credit for developing the staff the last 2 months of the season. We pitched really well when he played. I know he can’t hit a lick but neither can most major league catchers. I wouldn’t mind seeing Barhnart back but I think it would hurt Stephenson’s development – he needs to be the #1 catcher and set the tone.

        I think they try 1 more year to get Tyler 120 games behind the plate and then decide on whether to bring in a different player to be co-catcher with him and play him in other positions more.

  20. CFD3000

    Both Curt Casali and Tucker Barnhart are free agents. Either would be a good signing to share catching duties with Stevenson, and take over the starting role on a short term basis if he gets hurt. I think this has to be a priority for the offseason. I’d also like to see a decent prospect or two back in trade to hedge against multiple injuries and as a bet on the future. I believe the Reds have no serious prospects at catcher in the system now.

    • David

      I don’t have a problem with either Curt Casali or Tucker Barnhart, but they are both kind of old to be catching. Casali is, I think (I read this here) contemplating retirement.
      It would be nice to find someone a little bit younger or a little bit better. Those are both good guys, but I don’t know how much either has left in the gas tank.

      In 21st Century Baseball, catchers only play about 120 games (the “starting catcher”), because this is 21st century baseball.
      So the backup will catch about a third of the season, and it would be kind of nice to have somebody who is not a net zero in the lineup, with respect to offense (for example, Austin Romine).

  21. William

    I hope the GM can bring back Barnhart.

    • TR

      I prefer Curt Casali as the backup catcher, and then when the contract of Manager David Bell is not renewed, that Casali takes over as manager.

      • Votto4life

        Wouldn’t you prefer a manager with a proven track record?

    • Votto4lfe

      I would rather have Tucker Barnhart than pay $6 million dollars to Kyle Farmer to be an utility infielder.

      We have 46 infielders and only one catcher, which is ridiculous even for November.

      • Chris Holbert

        The problem with getting Barnhart is he is a LH batter. In the book of DB that means playing against RH pitchers, and not just as a backup, he cannot help himself. Barnhart is deemed a good guy and that equates to playing time to this manager.

      • Melvin

        I’m afraid you’re correct Chris or at least he would play more than he should because of that.

  22. DataDumpster

    The 40 man roster seems fine but that is the easy part. At an absolute minimum, a decent hitting MLB-level catcher and outfielder is needed to just field a team and defense is still a big problem. The overall spend will be low we are constantly reminded, perhaps $10-12 million in new money or a little more if a 2 year deal is offered?
    So, look at the current roster and see who you are willing to give up, or more accurately who some other team might want. Cross off your 3 starting pitchers and 3 best position player prospects as keepers and who is left with any value at all? Farmer, India and perhaps 1 or 2 others.
    So, it looks like the Bull needs to pull the rabbit out again unless we are to play footsy with the Bucs in the basement. Speaking of which, they have vastly improved their outlook at 1B with the acquisition of Ji-man Choi from the Rays. A pretty solid 5 year, $5 million dollar man. The Reds need 2 or 3 of those moves for sure.

    • Votto4life

      I actually think the Pirates and Cubs will be improved this season. The Reds could very well be alone in the basement for at least the next couple of years or longer if the prospects don’t pan out.

      The Reds have likely missed out on a weakened NL Central. Dick Williams made some mistakes, but he was on target with the Red’s best opportunity for a competitive timeline.

  23. Old Big Ed

    Any word on who the new hires will be for hitting coach, etc.? Or when they will make those decisions?

    • Old-school

      Krall mentioned should be this week, last week. I doubt they drag itinto thanksgiving week.

      • Doug Gray

        Yep. I would expect them at some point this week.

  24. Michael B. Green

    In terms of position players, I see CIN adding a 2nd catcher and perhaps 1 OF. We’ll also see several minor league contract players at C, IF and OF to provide for depth.

    Hedges does wonders with young pitching staffs. That is why I like him. Casali or Barnhart are decedent candidates too.

    I’m not sure if CIN brass will shell out the money for Conforto. I like Wil Myers for a fit. We could see someone like Robbie Grossman though.

    Opening Day – absent a bold move by CIN looks like the following:

    C Stephenson
    1B Votto or Moustakas
    2B India
    SS Barrero
    3B Farmer
    LF Fraley or Fairchild (platoon possibility)
    CF Friedl or Senzel (platoon possibility)
    RF Myers/Conforto/Grossman (one of them)
    DH Moustakas or Votto

    If you look at the transition of the ’82 Reds to the ’85 Reds, they had turnover at catcher (Stephenson helps minimize that), saw on average 2 IF’s transition in/out per year, and saw on average 2 OF’s transition in/out per year.

    We know the IF future includes De La Cruz and Marte (unless DLC goes to the OF). I also suspect that Siani is part of the future OF. There is some talent at AA (moving up to AAA) for the IF to consider too.

    All of this points to having veteran guys that are either expendable or nearing the end of their contract terms for ’22. That points to keeping Votto, Moustakas, Farmer, Reynolds and Lopez.

    I don’t see big splash moves for the CIN position players this off season other than possibly adding an OF.

    Somebody has to help this team improve defensively this year. Time for Larkin and Davis to help the major leaguers in addition to the minor league players.

    • Votto4lfe

      Throw in a balanced schedule and an injury or two and that team loses 105 games in 2023.

  25. Votto4life

    I think the Braves may be interested in Kyle Farmer. MLBTR reports that the Braves are unlikely to pursue costly free agent shortstops if Dansby Swanson leaves for greener pastures.

    Baseball insiders believe Swanson is likely to leave Atlanta (he has unfollowed the Braves on social media). Also, the Braves are only $5 million dollars under MLB’s luxury tax threshold.

    I could see the Braves being interested in Kyle
    farmer, a local Georgia boy.

    • Votto4life

      Purely speculation on my part, but could see it happening, at least as a short term solution for the Bravos.

    • Harry Stoner

      A trade with the Braves would be the right thing to do for Farmer.

      I don’t see Krall having the huevos to do it though.

      Farmer is Bell’s boy and I don’t think they know quite what to do with him

      Barrero hasn’t made it any easier.

      Too expensive to keep, too expensive to give away.

      Expensive in terms of the fact that an MOR 30 something utility man was one of the major offensive contributors last year, even in his own limited way.

      If three of four of Votto, India, Stephenson and Moose return to some level of productivity and the Fraley / Kojak platoon works out…and Fairchild improves…there might be some reasonable offensive production.

      With an improved bullpen and the increased growth from the Young Turks things might not be so gloomy.

      I’d take the risk and deal Farmer if it can be done and spend the $$ on the bullpen.

      But I’d be (happily) surprised if Bull Krall could allow himself to pull that off.

    • DataDumpster

      Definite interest. The Braves went from nearly equal with Red’s payroll in 2020 to just under the taxman level presently. I like Farmer a lot but they have to do the trade regardless of the Bell Boy angle. If players like Barrero, the other top prospects, and the gaggle of MLB experienced UTPs can’t get a handle on one position, this team is destined to fail miserably for reasons that have nothing to do with Farmer or any other vets. I believe Krall even said this in a kind of roundabout way.

      • Harry Stoner

        I agree…personnel management hasn’t been the strong suit over the last few years and Bell’s infatuation with utility role players (so he can demonstrate his “managing”) has a lot to do with it.

        The thought of Reynolds getting more playing time in the wake of a Farmer trade only makes me feel weaker.

        If Moose could hit his weight (All Star Caliber) he could loosely guard 3B with a weak hitting Barrero pick up some slack.

        The youngsters aren’t going to ever get a ‘handle’ on anything if Bell keeps shifting them around every other game and sitting them the game in between.

        I’m among those who felt liked they jerked Peraza around the same way they’ve done Senzel.

        Steer, Mclain, DeLaCruz, Marte are in the crosshairs of similar mismanagement.

        Farmer has been just fine in the role that’s been demanded of him, but as long as he’s around Bell will have one more reason to keep shuffling people around and inhibiting progress.

        Barrero was gruesome to watch at the plate the last couple months, but I don’t think keeping him there to struggle and try and work it out was Bell’s idea.

        Hopefully, I’m wrong on Bull Krall and he takes the lead on this.

        Farmer has earned his time with a front running team, just as Duvall, Castillo and Geno have.

    • 2020ball

      Maybe they’d be interested, but I’m not sure why a team like the one they have would. There’s likely better options for them out there, unless they’re acquiring him for their bench. I think way too much is made over where a guy is from personally.

      • Votto4life

        Yeah, I don’t think the fact he is from Georgia would really matter to anyone but Kyle Farmer. Only the Reds seem to consider a player’s origin and they only do it when the player is cheap.

  26. Michael B. Green

    I think CIN may add just a LHRP to its pen and then add several minor league contract types.

    I also think that CIN will add one SP. Cueto is a great fit in my opinion but they may instead opt for a back-end veteran that is likely to get torched in the Great American Smallpark.

    I think that’s about all CIN does with pitching. Lots to like with Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Diaz, et al.

    • TR

      Pitching looks good with the Big Three plus Diaz and an improved bullpen if they can stay healthy and injury free.

  27. Old Big Ed

    The Braves don’t need Farmer, and certainly not at $5 million. He is strong against LH pitching, but isn’t fast enough or good enough defensively to help Atlanta. As they push against the luxury tax threshold, and if they don’t resign Swanson, then they will find a glove-first shortstop at a modest price. They certainly have enough offense at other positions.

    I doubt that Krall believes that paying $5 million or more for Farmer this season makes any sense for the Reds. However, I think that the Reds will pay it, anyway, because of concern about bad vibes and bad publicity. (And yeah, Bell likes him, but Bell also knows Farmer’s limitations.)

    Farmer seems like a guy that could become a manager some day. There are worse guys to have in a limited role, even if they have to overpay him a bit.

    • Chris Holbert

      The question is will DB allow himself to limit Farmer’s role. If three of the primary cogs in a “rebuilding” year are Votto, Farmer and Moose is that really developing and playing young guys

      • Harry Stoner

        I think we’ll be seeing much of what we saw in 2022.

        Farmer and Moose rotating at 3b and DH with some time at 1B as well.

        Barrero struggling to hit MLB pitching until one of the younger guys pushes him out.

        If the Reds sign Farmer to more than a 1 year extension then things will indeed get even weirder under Bell’s style of ‘managing’.

        But Krall is under pressure as well to appear as if he is doing something this winter and signing and overpaying Farmer will look as if he’s taking action.

        It’s a sign of the bleak times in Cincinnati that a mediocre hitter and defensive player like Farmer is such a main topic of hot stove league debate.

      • Jim Walker

        @Harry>>> Farmer has replaced Barnhart as the lovable Everyman many fans use as the cutout for their vicarious fantasies.

        And yes, on the lowering of the bar. At least Barnhart had a couple of Gold Gloves to his credit, including one for the season (2020) when by the end of the season, Casali had essentially displaced him as the 1A catcher in the tandem.

        However, that did not deter the Reds from doubling down on the sunken cost of Barnhart and letting Casali slip away when they likely could have moved Barnhart and signed Casali for considerably less than the sunken cost.

    • DataDumpster

      Very good comments all around especially the dependence on aging vets for the “rebuilding” success and the evidence that Bell’s management style is a serious impediment to the development of young talent. Perhaps management problems at the AAA level are also at fault but Bell is responsible for that guidance also.
      The Bull said it himself that we need to get better with the players we have. So, put Bell to the test. Clarity on the keepers for 2024 is all this upcoming season is about (managers alike).