The regular season just ended over the weekend. The first round of the playoffs are one game in. And the offseason is quite long, with very little action taking place in terms of player acquisition coming before the winter meetings in December. But teams have plenty of decisions to make about their own players prior to jumping into free agency and trade scenarios. While the non-tender date is November 17th, plenty of players are non-tendered or designated for assignment before then. After the World Series ends, teams must get their 40-man roster down to 40 players. Players on the 60-day injured list do not count towards the 40-man count during the season, but the 60-day injured list goes away after the season.

The Cincinnati Reds currently have 46 players on the 40-man roster if we include players on the 60-day injured list. Graham Ashcraft, Justin Dunn, Vladimir Gutierrez, Nick Lodolo, Connor Overton, and Reiver Sanmartin are all going to have to be accounted for in a few weeks. Harrison Bader, Buck Farmer, and Luke Maile are all slated to be free agents. Curt Casali and Joey Votto have team options on their 2024 status.

That’s a lot of talk about non-arbitration eligible players. But the reason I went about typing all of that is because it may come into play shortly with arbitration eligible players because some of them may very well be non-tendered or designated for assignment by the club rather than retained and/or given a raise now that they have reached a certain level of arbitration.

1st Year Arbitration Eligible Players

Four players will be arbitration eligible for the first time. Vladimir Gutierrez is the lone pitcher here. He’s joined by Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India, and Jake Fraley.

The three position players are all starters. Gutierrez has been a starting pitcher and briefly a reliever in 2022 for two games before he landed on the injured list and as it would turn out, undergoing Tommy John surgery.

2nd Year Arbitration Eligible Players

There are also four players from the 2023 Reds who will be arbitration eligible for the second time. All four players here are pitchers. Left-handed reliever Alex Young, and right-handed pitchers Derek Law, Tejay Antone, and Justin Dunn will all be looking for a raise for 2024.

Alex Young and Derek Law spent the season with the Reds, pitching in 63 and 54 games during the year. Tejay Antone missed much of the year, after missing all of 2022 after he underwent his second Tommy John surgery. He returned to pitch in five games – all in September – before spending the final three weeks back on the injured list. Justin Dunn has missed most of the last three seasons, including all of 2023. And after dealing with a shoulder injury for that entire time he underwent surgery in September.

3rd Year Arbitration Eligible Players

There are only two players who will be arbitration eligible for a third time from the 2023 club. Nick Senzel will be joined by Lucas Sims.

The Salaries

The crew over at MLB Trade Rumors seems to be fairly good at projecting how much players will get in arbitration. They have not yet released their projections – they usually come out in the middle of October – so we don’t know how much everyone is projected to make. We do know two things, though: How much they made this year and that while most arbitration results lead to a raise, players can technically be given a reduction in salary that is up to 20% lower than what they got the previous year. This obviously does not apply to players in their first year because they made the league minimum and can’t be paid less than that.

Here is what each of the players that are arbitration eligible made last season:

Player Arb Year 2023 Salary
Nick Senzel 3rd $1,950,000
Lucas Sims 3rd $1,267,500
Alex Young 2nd $1,150,000
Derek Law 2nd $1,000,000
Justin Dunn 2nd $900,000
Tejay Antone 2nd $770,000
Jonathan India 1st League minimum
Jake Fraley 1st League minimum
Tyler Stephenson 1st League minimum
Vladimir Gutierrez 1st League minimum

Assuming the Reds decide to keep all of these players around and tender them contracts for 2024, as a group they’re going to get a raise. When it comes to how much it will add to the payroll, it’s likely to be minimal because of the structure of how arbitration works. The big raises come in the 3rd year of arbitration (or in rare cases where a player is eligible for a 4th year). Superstar caliber players will get good, but not extreme raises in the first year or two. None of the above players fall into that category, and the third-year eligible guys for Cincinnati are a utility-man in Senzel and a non-closing reliever in Sims.

92 Responses

  1. RedBB

    I would say no to Senzel, Dunn and possibly Vlad and Law

    • Nelson coble

      Off topic but it was an embarrassment to see a playoff game with an attendance of 26000 fans. Tampa and MLB should be embarrassed.

    • Wayne

      I would keep Senzel. He played 2nd, 3rd, and all outfield positions. We need players like him who have that mentality to want to win. That versatility makes me feel he is a plus for the ball club. Just my opinion.

  2. wkuchad

    Which of the Reds arbitration eligible players have Super 2 status?

    • Stock

      Lodolo. Greene would have had he not signed a long term deal.

      • Jim Walker

        Per Cot’s Contracts, Lodolo’s time was 1.00 year at the start of the 2023 season. A player cannot earn more than 1.0 years in any season. If Cot’s is correct, Lodolo will be at 2.0 and not arbitration eligible.

    • Jim Walker

      Senzel and (maybe) Gutierrez (per MLBTR). The “maybe” for Guiterrez is because the number of days beyond 2 years of service time (but still LT 3 years) required for Super 2 has not been announced yet since it is based on a given percentage of players (22%) with between 2-3 years of service time, starting with the most days and counting back. Per BBReference, Guitrerrez will be at 127 days beyond 2 years. That’s a virtual lock to qualify.

      • JB

        You are always on the ball with this stuff Jim. I always look for your comments on this stuff.

  3. old-school

    Good info Doug. Do 2nd year players or 3rd year players get raises or stay at the MLB minimum? I guess Steer and Benson are the only young players that would have service time over 1.0 years as they played a bit in 2022 but the rest of the young call ups are all under the 1.0 year of service time? (MClain,Elly, Williamson, Abbott, CES, etc.)

    • Doc

      Since India has 3 years and Doug lists his 2023 salary at league minimum, it would appear that the answer is that they don’t get raises, unless league minimum is different for 1, 2 and 3 year players.

      • Stock

        Since the league minimum changes every year they get $20,000 a year raises.

        $700,000 Per Year in 2022.
        $720,000 Per Year in 2023.
        $740,000 Per Year in 2024.
        $760,000 Per Year in 2025.
        $780,000 Per Year in 2026.

    • Riverfront Randy

      Non-arbitration eligible players really don’t get raises at all. For example, Fangraphs says that Jonathan India made $760K last year. After 2 years that is only +$40K higher than true rookies like EDLC and McLain despite having won Rookie of the Year.

    • Jim Walker

      The increases listed here by Stock are the floor minimums negotiated in the current CBA. There also appears to be an annual increment system that increases 2nd and 3rd year “minimum” above the floor minimum.

      Also there is nothing to stop teams from paying any individual player more than the floor minimum.

      Here are figures from Cot’s contracts site (link below) of 2023 Reds salaries which illustrate.
      India $260K (2.00 years at the start of 2023)
      Fraley $240K (2 years; 97 days start 2023)
      Stephenson $240K (2 years; 56 days start 2023)
      Guiterrez $230K (1 year; 127 days start 2023)

      All are above the CBA floor minimum per Cot’s. It appears that $240 is the functional minimum for players between 2-3 years as my recollection is that India received an announced extra bump up when he won the ROY award.


      • Jim Walker

        Another salary and contract status site that has grown in recent years is Spotrac. Cot’s is an the old style reliable text based snapshot site.

        Spotrac is a front end database site that incorporates a lot of capability not built into Cot’s. Spotrac also houses multiple sports and not just MLB. Here is a link to Spotrac’s basic Reds salary page…..

      • MBS

        I switched from Cots to Spotrac last year. I’ll still reference both from time to time, but Spotrac is easier to use, and a great reference when looking at upcoming FA’s. I also like their Market Valuations on said FA’s.

      • Jim Walker

        MBS>> Don’t you wish somebody would put up a site that had everything they both had 😉 I know I do. The main thing I find on Cot’s that seems to be not on Spotrac (or is buried somewhere) is clear statement of service time at the start of the current season in years and days. And the thing Cot’s is missing for me is a clear listing of remaining minor league options at the start of the season which is on Spotrac. It can be inferred by the data on Cot’s but……

        The same sort of thing is also true for BBRef vs Fangraphs. I understand that wRC+ is a more nuanced measure than OPS+ but they are so close to the same values for given players, I wish Fangraphs would at least include OPS+ in the summary line on the top page for each player.

        Oh, well……

  4. SultanofSwaff

    With no impact catchers in the upper minors I’d think it’s in the Reds best interest to see if they could lock down Tyler Stephenson’s arbitration years and find some cost certainty there. Coming off a down year, that could work in the Reds favor…..might aid in his trade value too if you need to move him off catcher.

    • Grand Salami

      I concur. Buy low and it’s sort of the opposite of the Mesoraco deal.

    • Andy

      Given his performance, any contract should be for backup $$. Catcher I think is the only position (other than pitchers) that I think Reds should target for upgrades. Unfortunately, given the free agent class, any upgrades need to come via trade.

  5. LDS

    I’m with RedBB here, non-tender Senzel, Dunn, Law, and Vlad along with some of the 60-day IL guys like Overton and Sanmartin.

  6. Still a Red

    Kinda hard I think to cut Dunn loose w/o ever seeing what he may contribute. Then again, maybe he’s just a sunk cost and time to move on. If someone of those have to go, I’d pick Vad. Don’t know Senzel’s trade value. I say keep Farmer.

    • Jim Walker

      The Reds are going to be financially responsible for Dunn’s rehab process. A path they have followed with some guys in past similar situations is to release or nontender them then immediately sign them to a minor league contract for the coming season.

      • Old Big Ed

        I’ve always wondered if they negotiate with the player before the 40-man decision date, to the effect of offering to pay Dunn (for example) a new signing bonus of maybe $100k if he immediately resigns a minor league deal that pays him fairly well to be in the minors. Dunn and Gutierrez both have injury histories that would almost certainly keep any team from offering them a major league deal.

        There is the inverse situation with Tyler Mahle, who had TJ surgery in early May, but will be a free agent this winter. The Reds could roll the dice with him, hoping that he can be a reliever later in 2024, and a starter in 2025, at a reasonable price.

        I figure that Senzel and maybe a reliever or two will be a non-tender. They will not exercise the Votto option, which leaves his spot on the off-season 40-man open until they reach an agreement with him later (or, obviously, he doesn’t come back). Luke Maile is a free agent, but he fits well with the Reds and he apparently wants to play here, so I expect him to resign.

    • MBS

      Does anyone have a rehab time on Dunn? I am inclined to retain him, but if his recovery, and rehab has him missing significant time in 24, it is probably time to cut him loose. His real value in 24 is in the bullpen, or AAA starting depth.

      25 is his last year of control, but I’m not sure he’ll be relevant at that point. Petty, Lowder, Aguiar, and Acuna should all be in AAA or on the Reds at that point.

      • Old-school

        @ MBS
        Mark Sheldon reported sept 1 he is was having shoulder surgery to repair a torn capsule and he would be out well in to 2024.

      • Jim Walker

        One of the things that would be accomplished by nontender followed by a minor league deal is to stop his service time clock until such time as he went back onto a 40 man MLB roster

        At the time Bell spoke of Dunn’s surgery, my recollection is he said there was no current projection of a return date for Dunn. That probably says a lot between the lines.

  7. Colorado Red

    I think you have to let Law and Dunn go.
    Do not pick/Trade Nick and India (for a fair return).
    Also, who do we have in the minors, that now need to be on the 40 man roster?

  8. MBS

    Trade DFA Sims, Law, and Senzel. Release Votto, Casali, and try to resign Maile. I’d hang onto everyone else listed above. There are several other non arb guys I’d also cut/trade, but that another article.

    • Indy Red Man

      Why does most of RLN always dump on Sims? A 3.10 era and an opponents batting average of .163? Yeah he’s not an ideal high leverage with the walks, but anybody would snap him up if we dumped him.

      • Jim Walker

        For me, it is because Sims doesn’t fit the role they seem determined to use him in. In addition to the walks, he is a danger to throw wild pitches with his breaking stuff which are also free bases if guys are aboard.

        I don’t think long men or middle inning relievers draw the salary level he will be at.

        So, yeah, you may well be right, nontendered as a free agent, he may be a good buy for a lot of teams, including the Reds, but not at advanced arbitration prices.

      • old-school

        Because he is erratic and inconsistent. One appearance he is lights out and then the next he cant find the strike zone. Hes got great stuff with the wipe out slider. I dont have the stats with me but seems he gave up a lot of inherited runners as well when his job was to put out the fire and those didnt count against him as he was used a lot in high leverage spots. If you come in to a game with 1 out and runners on 1/2 and you walk a guy and give up a hit and then get a pop up and K…and strand your 2 runners,……the ERA is still 0.00 but a 3-2 lead became a 4-3 deficit.

        That could be completely my own bias as Sims was frustrating because his potential and stuff are so good.

      • BK

        His FIP is almost a full run higher than his ERA, but I doubt a relief pitcher who won’t command a huge salary and has an ERA+ of 148 gets DFA.

      • MBS

        I would trade him. I don’t know if he brings anything back alone, but maybe if he was included in a package, he’d be a sweetener. DFA would be a last resort option, but it’s still an option for Sim imo.

        Really the bullpen needs to be reshaped next year. They did a great job but we burnt out some arms, and had a couple guy performing above their expectations. The pen is also almost full of guys with no options, and that’s not going to work over 162.

        Diaz is going to need a much lighter workload, so having multiple guys who can close would be a big help. I got my wish list, but we definitely need to add some arms from outside the organization.

      • Jim Walker

        @OS +++ on Sims. A reliever, especially a leverage guy, has to be able to lead with a live fastball spotted for quality strikes and finish with his “trick” pitch, not vice versa.

        IMO, one of the Reds biggest bullpen problems is that Johnson (or whoever, but he is the org “pitching coordinator”), instead of power arms trends toward guys with a great breaking or trick pitch for their pen. Then those guys come into games and pitch like the failed starting pitcher they are, too often running deep counts, allowing walks, hanging breaking pitches in untimely spots, and ultimately also needing extra rest.

        End of rant. 😉 Thanks for queueing it up.

      • Kevin H

        He is a solid bullpen pitcher. I don’t care what the analytical stuff says. Dude more times than not helped the Reds.

        Sims is a keeper

      • Capnhook33

        I think this is where the eye test is lying to people. They see a couple big spots where he had some issues, and while he does walk way too many people, he generally gets the job done. He only allowed 27% (15/55) of inherited runners to score. That was 6th best in the NL, tied with Buck Farmer. In fact, the reds had 5 of the top 16 relievers for this. Now he also has 5 blown saves, so that’s not great, but he came into super high leverage scenarios and got the job done. His average leverage index was 1.785, where anything over 1.5 is considered high leverage.

        The one negative is his track record isn’t that long and he has durability issues, so who knows how he’ll respond next year.

      • TR

        As long as he’s around it’s often a case of do we get the good or bad Sims. That happens with many players in a long season.

      • Jim Walker

        @Hook>>> Sims 15.1% BB rate in 2023 which powered his .320 OBP rate doesn’t cut it for a leverage reliever. If and only if he always came into games with nobody on base, he would probably be OK.

    • Redsvol

      for me, 2023 good performance is the linchpin at these prices. ITs not as if any of these players are Juan Soto and going to get an arbitration salary of 25$M. If a player did ok in ’23 (Sims, Antone, Fraley, India, Stephenson, Young, Law) – then I’d tender them. If a player was injured all year or toward the end (Dunn) – then I’d cut them. IF a player did poorly is going to cost > 3M$ for replacement level performance (Senzel), then I’d cut them.

      My lone exception is Guitierrez. I think he could be an interesting bullpen piece if his velocity is back.

      So I would cut Senzel and Dunn and tender the others. Its not much of a commitment to tender them at these salaries. If a 40 man roster becomes needed they can all be cut later. After watching the bullpens of the teams in the playoffs last night, its a miracle the Reds bullpen almost carried us to the playoffs. There are some stud relievers in these playoffs.

      • Old-school

        I had a post yesterday ready to go but we have all winter on roster…. But , you mentioned Juan Soto .

        Padres went all in and got nowhere with huge payroll and expiring vets and now a bankrupt farm system and rumors are they are wanting to recalibrate on payroll and Soto could be available as he hits FA in 2025. I want the Reds to get Soto

        He would transform the lineup with arguably a top 2 lefty hitter in the game with Freeman. His final Arb number in the $30 mil range but Reds can afford that for 1 year with
        nucleus of McLain Steer Elly CES Marte Friedl Benson all under $1 mil and Stephenson and Fraley both likely under 2.5 mil

        Friedl and Soto would give you 2 every day lefties. Soto would be your 3 hole 2017 votto to anchor the lineup. Soto price tag and 1 year only wouldnt cost a ton in prospect capital but it would be significant. Cam Collier + top 12 would probably do it.

      • VaRedsFan

        Sign me up OS, for 1 yr of Soto.

      • Old Big Ed

        Old-School, there is a parallel theory out there that the Reds should trade for Mike Trout, whom the Angels are apparently shopping. He’s injury prone, but they could also off-load him in a year or two if necessary.

        The rights to Soto are going to fetch a lot more than Cam Collier and Part B. Trout would not cost even that much, depending on how much of Trout’s contract that the Reds (ahem) would assume.

        Trout does fit perfectly, if healthy. Plays CF, hits right-handed; still has some speed; and would hit 45 homers in GABP, if healthy.

        If healthy.

    • RedBB

      Cur Sims? He had a 1.8bWAR and was the only reliever not to fall apart at the end of the year. He finished the season with 11 straight appearances with no earned runs allowed.

      • Old Big Ed

        Correct. And he wouldn’t really cost that much.

        Relievers are volatile from game to game and year to year. (Witness Devin Williams for the Brewers on Tuesday.)

  9. Grand Salami

    Dunn can be released and resigned to a minor league contract and they stock him away to see what they have.

    Extend Stephenson as noted by Sultan.

    If no takers on a Senzel trade then it’s time to let him walk (a team that knows he may not sign, ala Vegas, may be willing to swing a minor trade even with an impending DFA).

    Not arbitration related but Love to see Votto back in a part-time DH role but I don’t trust Bell to use him sparingly.

    • kypodman

      why are most individuals hell bent on getting rid of Senzel? if he is willing to except a bench role, spot starter, etc., he would be a cheaper option then bringing in another “Newman” type. He still has power, can play multi positions, etc. He is the perfect “in house” utility role at a reasonable price.

      • Chris

        Thank you! This team is notorious for not being able to hit lefties and then people say let’s dump Senzel. LOL

      • VaRedsFan

        Senzel is the perfect guy to pair with Benson/Fraley. Still somewhat cheap at around 3 million. Someone has to play in their place when a lefty pitches.

      • Capnhook33

        Because he has no track record of durability, he can’t pinch hit, he was below average at every defensive position he played. He’s the very definition of JAG. Pick just about any player off the AAA roster and it’d be similar results. He makes sense in Vegas or KC or the White Sox maybe. But not on this roster.

      • Votto4life


        I think he has a lot to do with expectations. Nick Senzel was the second player picked overall. People, including myself, had unrealistic expectations of Nick.

        If Nick Senzel had been say a third round pick, I think many here would would see him as
        a treasure and would really value what he brings to the team.

        Since Senzel failed to meet the unrealistic expectations that fans had for him, he is seen as
        having no value.

      • greenmtred

        Was Senzel below average defensively at third? I doubt it. In fact, Brantley said that he was the Reds’ best third baseman.

      • Old Big Ed

        Green Mountain, a guy could be both the best defensive 3B on the Reds and still be below average for the league. Marte, though, will soon be an excellent 3B.

        Senzel is a plausible option for a utility guy and for use against LH pitchers. Much of the decision to keep him or non-tender him depends on how the off-season 40-man roster looks like in November when all that has shaken out.

        Senzel may actually want to be non-tendered and become a free agent.

      • Old-school

        Senzel is a role player.

        Reds decision tree starts with Votto and his $13 million and the opportunity cost of both that money and his roster spot. Were just going to have to wait a month. No roster construction begins until a final outcome on Joey Votto in 2024 is made

      • greenmtred

        OBE: You’re right, of course, and I confess to recognizing that when I posted the comment. He hasn’t played there much with the Reds and has, at times, passed an eye test or two. But I think Marte is going to be excellent.

      • greenmtred

        OBE: You’re right, of course, and I confess to recognizing that when I posted the comment.

      • greenmtred

        Well, I won’t say it a third time.

    • Capnhook33

      @green the metrics available say he is. OAA has him at 28/36 qualified third basemen (tied with moustakas).

      DRS has him at -2 runs at 3rd. He’s just not good enough to justify keeping around as someone who can’t hit a right handed pitcher at all.

      • greenmtred

        Huh. Thanks for the info, Capn. Fielding metrics are historically not as refined or accurate as those for pitching and hitting, but they likely mean something. Brantley was evidently damning him with faint praise.

      • greenmtred

        Good info, Capn. Thanks. My understanding is that, historically, defensive metrics have not been as highly regarded as those for hitting and pitching, but they likely indicate something. Brantley’s observation may say something we’d rather not hear about Marte and EDLC (though they both looked good to me), but, then, Senzel–aside from that one catastrophic game–looked okay to me, too. He hasn’t played much third since college, so maybe he’d improve with reps. But, as you say, he shouldn’t be getting much playing time, anyway.

      • Capnhook33

        Yeah I mean if I was truly looking at a defensive bench guy, I want a guy like Jose Iglesias, who at least had a good contact rate overall, even if there was no power. Senzels use case of only starter against lefty starting pitchers is not enough to keep him on the roster, because for his career he’s hit like .210 as a pinch hitter.

  10. Shel Keitel

    All of this capitalistic, greed-inspired, high finance gobbledygook takes all the joy out of the game. I guess that’s why it is played out during the off-season. If we were confronted with this during the season, we would be too disgusted to watch.

    • Jim Walker

      Understand how you feel but this stuff is involved in many, probably most, moves that get made during the season too. It is just part of the “game” anymore.

    • David

      It is really none of those things. This is the substance of the Player’s Collective Bargaining agreement with the Ownership of the baseball franchises.
      This is the alternative to players being bound to a team for life, with no choice or escape from “the reserve clause”.
      Curt Flood, especially, sacrificed a good part of his career to fight being “bound” to a team for your professional baseball life.
      All the other professional sports have similar (not identical) means of handling contracts, players and limiting the way a player can be bound…FOREVER… to one team.

      I think it is a healthy thing, not something to be dreaded or reviled.

      • TR

        For me it comes down to viewing the game as ‘eye test’ or generalist, in contrast to statistics and regulations. Both are valid today for the enjoyment of the game.

  11. Optimist

    A couple of new points this off season.

    1 – The Reds finally have enough MLB proven talent, AND, close to MLB MiLB talent, that they have a 40-man roster crunch. Especially if they’re budgeting for 2 or more FA signings. First time in a few years they need not carry AAAA players thru the offseason hoping for the best.

    2 – They actually have a budget where they can tender all these guys if desired, understanding that most have trade value, meaning the decision hinges on Dougs intro point about 40-man roster space.

    3 – All that considered, the difficult decision is likely Antone. As Jim comments above, there’s a past practice for rehab players, but if Antone is released it’s easy to see another team taking him on. Dunn will likely be released and resigned to an MiLB deal as Jim explains.

    4 – Unless I misunderstand the timing, they otherwise tender all others, who are then essentially tradeable thru the winter. Again, it’s the Reds so you cannot overlook it, but this off season is the obvious one without a budget issue to do this. The lost cost is having to release some of them next spring having carried them thru the winter.

    • Jim Walker

      The Tender deadline date this year is Nov 17 per MLB(.)com. Before the deadline all players under team control for 2024 but without a 2024 contract are presumed tendered unless/ until officially declared non-tendered and are thus tradeable.

      Players who are officially declared non tendered ahead of the deadline or not tendered by the deadline are immediately free agents when their non tendered status is established.

      I believe there are also situations wherein a player can be DFA ahead of the tender date and if he clears waivers, outrighted and retained as a minor leaguer if he doesn’t have enough combined MLB/MiLB service time to declare minor league free agency.

      If a team has more than 40 players with continuing MLB contracts or tendered contract offers for 2024 after the Tender deadline, the team must then get down to 40 by the deadline to set the “winter roster” which is done via DFA (or trades). This deadline is typically in early December a week or so ahead of the Rule 5 reentry draft.

      • Optimist

        Thanks Jim. I guess I’m anticipating an imminent RLN article about the 40-man, but here goes with that issue following the arb decisions.

        As Doug reviewed, the Reds will have 46 on the 40-man roster at the Tender deadline, and need to get that down to 40. Dunn is the only one I’d non-tender, so that gets to 45.

        The remaining 5 to be DFA’ed or non-renewed are Overton, SanMartin, Bader, Casali and Joey. Of those, only Joey and SanMartin seem ongoing issues.

        The Reds give Joey the buyout, he becomes a FA (off the roster), they agree to whatever is next – Joey retires, the Reds politely say it’s over, or a handshake on the amount which gives the Reds a roster spot over the winter.

        As for SanMartin, there may be value there (LH RP), but they seem close enough with other talent that it’s worth a DFA and MiLB offer.

        Again, looking forward to the next article on roster building, since this just gets to a full 40-man – there will be additions.

      • Jim Walker

        Casali’s situation will self resolve, His contract has a mutual option for 2024. Believe the salary is $2.5m against a $750K buyout. The team will pay the buyout; and, with 6+ years of ST, he will be a free agent.

        Same with Bader. He is set to become a 1st time FA as he went over six years this season. There are no options or buyout pending on him. He will be a FA unless they sign him ahead of the end of the WS.

  12. BK

    My guesses:

    1. Farmer, Bader, and Maile file for free agency.
    2. The Reds decline club options on Votto and Casali.
    3. Overton, Kennedy, Martinez, and Busenitz are DFA. These moves will get the Reds to 37 players. I would be fine with any of these players being brought back on minor-league deals.

    At the non-tender deadline, the Reds should non-tender Dunn, Gutierrez, and Sanmartin unless their medical prognosis is better than publicly available. If it makes sense medically, each can be offered a minor league contract. This would take the roster to 34 players.

    I would add Hurtubise, Roa, and Hinds to the 40-man; all will be Rule 5 eligible this December. This leaves three spots to add free agents.

    • DW

      As long as you didn’t miss something, this looks good to me

    • MBS

      Pretty much right on. There are a few more Rule 5 guys that should warrant protection McGarry, Urbaez, T Callihan, and Acuna.

      • BK

        What have any of these done to warrant a 40-man roster spot?

      • MBS

        Acuna is likely to start in AA, and in 3 seasons as a starter he’s been a sub 4 ERA. He’s easily a guy that someone could stash in their bullpen for a season.

        McGarry is a LH power bat that hits well from both sides of the plate. His numbers came back starting in June a .308 BA till the end of the season. The big problem with him was his K rate, 22 it was 28.5%, this season it was 25.7%. He’s right at the edge of being able to be helpful to a major league team. I’d protect him.

        Urbaez is .284/.372/.401 career, he’s played all over the field, and seems like he could be a solid utility guy. I would not be upset if he didn’t get protected, but I think there is room for him.

        Callihan is more iffy.

        Some of this is me simply wanting to move on from the guys who are on the 40 man who I no longer think should be in the organization. That being said I think Acuna, and McGarry are no brainers.

    • clammy

      they’ll need another C to replace Casali. Not sure if Chuckie Robinson is that guy or they bring another vetaran in

    • Harry Stoner

      Maybe, just maybe, we’ve seen the last of Matt Reynolds.

      But I wouldn’t be surprised if he (and Strickland) show up for ST in 2024.

  13. J

    If Lopez and Votto both depart, 2023 might set a new record for the most guys whose final game as a Red was cut short by an ejection for arguing balls and strikes.

  14. Jeremiah

    The Reds Bullpen was somewhat intriguing all year as they had like a whole pen almost of slightly above average pitchers with one somewhat well above average pitcher in Alexis Diaz who kind of came back to the pack as the season went on.

    If you ranked each core guy on success this year by a 1-10 scale I would say…

    Gibaut 6.5
    Sims 6
    Law 5.5
    Young 5.5
    Diaz 7
    Moll 8.5
    Farmer 5.5
    Cruz 5
    Duarte 5.5

    A lot of teams would have loved a pen like the Reds but I think to be a successful playoff team you need at least 2-3 7.5-9 type of guys.

    I think Sims is valuable but moreover as like the 4th guy out of a good playoff team’s pen.

    Duarte could possibly be really good. If you could replace Cruz, Farmer, or Law with an elite bullpen guy that’d be I think the way to go. Of course they have all the young arms who I think will play a factor too.

    • Indy Red Man

      I’d move Cruz way up that list. He got overworked at times and that last one was ugly, but 98 Ks in 66 ip is pretty impressive.
      Then again he’ll be 34 before next season so I’d tread lightly with him. I want nothing to do with Farmer or Young. Law or Duarte? I wouldn’t want to carry both. Law is versatile, but Duarte has more ceiling. We need a bigger $ high leverage guy and somebody else with an electric arm.
      Finally I’d make Williamson my 2nd lefty.
      Maybe Richardson is your electric arm? I don’t see him as a starter

    • RedBB

      They were quite good but I also think they were a bit lucky. I would expect a decent amount of them to regress to their mean. What we really need is a setup/closer who can take innings and pressure off of Diaz. Jordan Hicks fits that bill for me. I doubt he signs a long term contract as up until now his results aren’t that great. Maybe 1-2 year $5M/year contract with a mutual option for year 2.

  15. Jim t

    We need our starters to step up and pitch a few more innings. Short outings were all to frequent this season.

    • greenmtred

      It would be great if starters pitched deeper into games, and perhaps some of them will as they gain experience. But it does seem that pitching philosophy has changed throughout MLB, with the trend to 5 or 6 inning starts and reliance on bullpens. Many of us are old enough to remember when complete games were fairly commonplace, but unless the pendulum swings back much more quickly than it usually does, I don’t expect to see that again.

      • J

        I think we’d all be thrilled if every starter could be counted on to go six innings every fifth day. The problem is when you have guys averaging 3 to 4 innings AND you don’t have guys pitching 7 on a regular basis. You can get by with one or the other, but both is a real problem. This is why I think it would have made a huge difference if they’d traded for just a so-so starter and/or developed a long man so they weren’t having to use at least five or six pitchers every time a starter got yanked early. This is one of the reasons a lot of us believe Bell isn’t good at using the bullpen. Aside from having some crazy ideas about handedness, he’ll rarely allow a guy to pitch even two full innings, almost nobody is ever stretched to three or four, and so nobody ever develops into a long man. Liveley was sort of serving that purpose at the end, but only because he’d been a starter and Bell was getting desperate.

      • greenmtred

        Interesting perspective, and I can’t say that I either agree or disagree with you. For me, the struggles and the injuries to the rotation make judging the bullpen use a thing I will defer until that bright day when the rotation isn’t injured and/or at the beginning of its learning curve. The pen did well–was a team strength–for the most part, but it had to cover a lot of innings. Would a real long man (or two) have helped? It seems very likely. Would a starter who could pretty reliably go six innings have helped? Again, yes.

  16. JB

    I’m not sure why people are down on Cruz. Has a great Fork ball that is unhittable and it sets up his fast ball. Problem is he has to warm up and get the arm loose or that fork ball doesn’t work. Kind of like in the Phillips game where Bell brought him in the 2nd inning. He didn’t have enough time to warm and got crushed. Bell isn’t very good with his bullpen and we all know that. Maybe if the starters could go longer it might help him. The bullpen was top 10 going into July or August. Then the amount of use caught up to them.

    • greenmtred

      I don’t know that at all. The bullpen performed well under trying circumstances and, besides Diaz, was mostly staffed with reclamation projects.

  17. Old-school

    Lots of Reds news

    Votto wants to come back in 2024 and play and mlb traderumors has arbitration estimates

    India $3.7 mil
    Stephenson $2.9 mil
    Senzel $3 mil
    Sims $2.8 mil
    Fraley $2.2 mil

    Padres Juan Soto $33 mil

    • wkuchad

      Yes to all, except maybe Senzel. My priority is to keep Barrero as a bench bat. I’d like to keep Senzel too, but only if there’s room.