The non-tender date is still a month away, coming on November 17th. Teams will have to decide by then whether they will tender players on the 40-man roster who are not under guaranteed contracts a contract for the 2024 season. They do not have to decide on how much money by then – that’s what arbitration is for if players have enough service time, or they just get the league minimum if they are not yet arbitration eligible.

The Cincinnati Reds are at 41 players on the 40-man roster as of today. But once the World Series ends the 60-day injured list disappears and the three players on it for Cincinnati have to be accounted for. That would put the Reds are 44 players. The team likely won’t have to make any true “cuts” to get to 40 players, though. Buck Farmer, Luke Maile, and Harrison Bader are all free agents. Joey Votto and Curt Casali both have options for 2024 that the team are almost assuredly not going to pick up and leave them as free agents. That would get the team to 39 players.

Still, there could be some players that the team looks at as possibly replaceable. Whether that’s due to the fact that they believe it’s a performance thing or a monetary thing, several players could be up for conversation within the front office to non-tender to make room for minor league players that the team will need to add to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft, or to potentially open up a spot for some free agent signings or trade acquisitions over the winter.

Today we’re going to look at the position players who could be non-tendered.

Jose Barrero

It wasn’t all that long ago that Jose Barrero was the clear future shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds. But then he broke his hamate bone in 2021/2022 over the offseason and due to the lockout it wasn’t diagnosed as early as it may have otherwise been and he had surgery that led to him missing the start of the 2022 season. He never really got going at the plate when he returned that season – not in the big leagues and not in the minors. In 2023 he hit a bit better in the big leagues, but still struggled as he put up a .619 OPS in 46 games before he was optioned back to Triple-A.

Things went a lot better in Triple-A. In 80 games with Louisville he hit .258/.333/.540 with 17 doubles, 4 triples, 19 home runs, and he stole 20 bases in 21 attempts. The power and the speed played well. But he also struck out 31% of the time he stepped to the plate.

The Reds used his final option in 2023. And despite his good showing in many ways at the plate with Louisville after he was sent down, the Reds did not call him back up during the season. And in a strange situation from a distance, despite being blocked in the big leagues at shortstop by both Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain, and perhaps even Noelvi Marte, Barrero didn’t play center more than once a week until September rolled around.

Again, from a distance, it seems that the club doesn’t have a good plan for what they want to do with Jose Barrero. His usage in Triple-A didn’t make much sense given that it appears his future role if he’s going to be in Cincinnati would be as a multi-position utility player, but the club didn’t really give him much time playing anywhere but shortstop for most of the time he was in the minors this season. He’ll be out of options next year, 26-years-old, and is a career .186/.242/.255 hitter in the big leagues.

Working for him is that he’ll be making the league minimum so there’s not a ton of risk to see what he looks like when spring training rolls around. It’ll cost you a roster spot. And maybe it’ll cost you a tiny bit of money. At the same time, it’s tough to see what the club’s plan actually is for him and it could be time to move forward and wish him the best.

Nick Senzel

In 2023 we saw Nick Senzel have the best offensive season he’s had since his rookie year back in 2019. He set a career high with 13 home runs and he did it in just 330 plate appearances. But he also hit just .236 and had a .297 on-base percentage.

While Senzel has always hit lefties better than righties, in 2023 those things were at the extremes. Against right-handed pitchers Senzel hit just .164 with a .497 OPS. But he also absolutely crushed left-handed pitching. Senzel hit .348 and slugged .619 against lefties in 126 plate appearances.

Having a guy who can play multiple positions who crushes left-handed pitching and can run the bases well does make the bench stronger. Those are the things that work for Senzel here. What could be working against him is simple: Money. MLB Trade Rumors projects that Senzel will be getting a raise to $3,000,000 for the 2024 season in arbitration.

While Cincinnati should have an absolute boatload of money to spend this offseason for the 2024 roster, they’re still likely to be looking for ways to not spend some of it. $3,000,000 for a bench player isn’t much, but the team could talk themselves into believing that they could put someone in the job who makes the league minimum and save a few million bucks.

Stuart Fairchild

The 2023 season was the third one that Stuart Fairchild spent time in the big leagues and he was there for more time than any of the previous seasons. Fairchild played in 97 games with Cincinnati, but he was up-and-down between MLB and Triple-A several times during the year. When in the big leagues he hit .228/.321/.388 with 16 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs, and he stole 10 bases.

Despite spending parts of several years in the big leagues, Fairchild is not near arbitration yet. That means he’s going to make the league minimum in 2024 if he’s tendered a contract. That’s going to likely work in his favor. He’s got big league experience as a bench player, which also work in his favor.

What’s working against him is that he’s now out of options after the team used his final option in 2023. There could also be a crowd on the 40-man roster in the outfield. Will Benson, Jake Fraley, and TJ Friedl don’t seem to be going anywhere. Spencer Steer is also not going anywhere and he saw a lot of time in the outfield, too. There are also several guys in Double-A and Triple-A who could be added to the 40-man roster this offseason who have the ability to be optioned back and forth if needed.

TJ Hopkins

The 2023 season saw TJ Hopkins make his big league debut in June after a strong start in Triple-A Louisville. He would spend two weeks up with the Reds, mostly coming off of the bench before being optioned back to Louisville. He would return to Cincinnati for much of August and again come off of the bench most days that he saw action on the field. Overall he hit just .171 without an extra-base hit and he had two walks in 44 plate appearances.

Working for him is that he’s got options to work with, isn’t arbitration eligible yet, he’s a right-handed bat that plays outfield on a team with a lot of left-handed hitting outfielders, and he’s coming off of a season that saw him hit .308/.411/.514 in Triple-A. He’s also got good speed that can be used as a pinch runner, but he’s not much of a base stealing threat, either. Working against him is that in his limited big league time with the Reds he struggled as a bench option.

Nick Martini

After a solid season in Korea in 2022, Nick Martini returned to the US and signed with the Reds on a minor league deal for 2023. He got out to a slow start in Louisville, but he caught fire in late May and hit .323/.428/.593 from May 23rd until August 20th when the Reds decided to call him up to Cincinnati. Once he joined the Reds he kept on hitting for plenty of power, posting a .264/.329/.583 line in his 79 plate appearances.

What could be working against him is that he’s going to be 34-years-old next June and he’s had 141 big league games in his career. Working for him is that he’ll still be making the league minimum and he crushed the ball in 2023 with the organization.

93 Responses

  1. Steelerfan

    Thanks, interesting list. That Senzel is in line for 3 million just for sticking around demonstrates the flaw in the arbitration system. Sticky salaries that never go down and basically automatic increases.

    Not that you would get much, but I wonder if you could get something for Barrero. Not everyone is as deep at shortstop as the Reds appear to be.

    Should be an interesting offseason for the first time in a long time.

    Have a good morning everyone.

  2. West Larry

    I would non tender Senzel [not worth the money} and T J Hopkins. I’m afraid if they release Barrero, he will become a shortstop/center fielder of note. I think Fairchild sticks. Martini is a interesting 26th player. I guess I would keep Barrero over Martini. Hopefully, others will be cut/traded and they keep all three.

    • CI3J

      They really should trade Barrero, just to get whatever they can for him.

      But I agree with you, Barrero is likely to be the next EE or Didi Gregorius, players who were never given much of a fair shot and/or were inexplicably disliked by management in Cincinnati.

      I think all Barrero needs is someone to say “Hey kid, you’re my guy at SS. I know you got it in you. I got your back, and I believe in you. ” Just that boost of confidence could be the push he needs to finally realize his full potential. The physical tools are very obviously there. It’s all mental for him. Honestly, given how he’s been treated, I don’t blame him.

      • VaRedsFan

        I think a 26 year old that strikes out as much as he does, is not mental at all. It’s about as physical as it gets.

      • TMS

        I agree about Barrero. Kid was the darling of the Reds minor leagues and got aggressively rushed during the pandemic shortened season. Then he got hurt, and all eyes were suddenly on the skinny kid named Elly de la Cruz. By the time Barrero came back, he was already the forgotten guy. I am convinced that he has been pressing, trying to reestablish himself ever since.

      • Mike

        Barrero seems like the kind of player the Brewers love, and could see him there, if he’s released, whether or not they deal Adames. I would cringe at seeing Barrero’s tall, silky-strong frame at the plate against us several times a year

      • Tomn

        I’d really like to see the Reds give him a chance in the OF though. The INF is set. Friedl, Barrero, Fraley/Dunn

    • Chris

      Completely disagree about Senzel. I’m not sure what you believe $3mil pays for this day and age, but having a guy who absolutely mashes lefties and can play all over the field is EASILY worth $3 mil in my mind.

      • Mario

        Agreed Chris. That role is valuable. If he is willing to accept a part time (hopefully infield only) role. If he insists to the team (not publicly) that he thinks he is an everyday player, then he definitely is a non tender or trade candidate.

      • Andrew

        I completely agree Senzel is worth 3 mill as he is valuable as a platoon guy with versatility. It sounds like he secretly wanted traded somewhere where he’d be used more.

    • doofus

      I can see a situation where either Senzel or Barrero stays.

  3. Rob

    Is it me or doesn’t it seem Elly would make a great RF or CF player rather than short?

    • West Larry

      I concur. Still have a lot shortstop candidates.

    • TR

      Ever since I was aware of the talent of Elly De La Cruz, I’ve thought of him as the next star Reds outfielder, specifically with his speed and strong accurate arm.

    • David

      Well….maybe it is just YOU Rob….;)

      No EDLC would make a great CF for the Reds (Benson in RF). After seeing him play at the ML level at SS, I don’t think he can really stick there. McLain and Marte are both better at SS than him
      Keep Fairchild, Martini and Barrero (for now) on the 40 man. I think there were a couple of other guys in the Minors that need to be protected from the Rule 5 draft, too.
      Barrero should get to play some. And you always need some infield depth.
      If Marte starts at SS (EDLC in CF???? Rob???), then McLain could slide to 2nd base, and India could go back to his natural position at 3rd base. That would, overall, be a better defensive infield.
      Barrero backs up Marte. If India gets hurt, Marte slides to 3rd, and Barrero plays SS. If McLain gets hurt, Barrero could probably handle 2nd base.

      • Pete

        There’s a very good chance that an Arroyo stakes a claim for the shortstop position. If I was a betting man, I’m guessing Blake Dunn will be the Reds centerfielder for a very long time.

      • greenmtred

        EDLC boots a few, but should we assume that a 21 year-old isn’t going to learn and improve?

      • JayTheRed

        This team has tons of infield depth even without Barrero. I think his time in Cincy is over with.

      • Joekr

        David, The problem with Martini is his age, and the fact that he, like Friedl, Fraley, and Benson all throw and bat left handed. I think they will remove him from the 40 man, and try to resign him to a minor league deal.

        Barrero has so much upside that you pretty much have to keep him around ove the off season, even if you end up trading him in the spring.

        Fairchild can be DFA and resigned also if you need the 40 man spot, although I’d prefer to keep him around as a 5th OF’er. He doesn’t impress me as a plus guy at anything, (maybe defense), but he shows enough to want his right handed bat available.

      • David

        Arroyo just played at High A this year, he is 19. Maybe in 2025, but not likely in 2024.

        Where is this vaunted infield depth that the Reds have? Especially if EDLC gets switched to CF, as some people think would be a good move? After watching EDLC, in comparison to Marte and McLain at SS, he is not the optimum choice.

        Fraley? I am not a big Fraley fan. He is injured too much, not a good outfielder. And he can’t play 1st base, either. Basically a one-dimensional left handed hitter.

        If Fairchild is “DFA’d” he will be claimed, I have no doubt of that. If someone would claim Siani, someone will claim Fairchild. Fairchild is not a budding superstar, but he is a good outfielder and right-handed.

        Martini is almost 34. I did not insist he should be signed to a multi-year contract, but he can play 1st base and outfield. I could see him spelling Steer/CES at 1st base or DH against some right handed pitchers.

      • Melvin

        “Arroyo just played at High A this year, he is 19. Maybe in 2025, but not likely in 2024”

        He did come up and hit pretty well in AA this year. If that continues and then hits in AAA he could be up sooner than we think. Promoting is the “thing” right now. Worked pretty well.

      • Mario

        Not a bad idea but you gotta contact DTBell for this suggestion. I doubt the team will ask him to move.

      • Melvin

        David Bell has NEVER taken my calls. Can you believe it? 😀

      • greenmtred

        Must be because you don’t have the right number.

      • Melvin

        greenmtred – Maybe you can get if for me off of your phone? 🙂

    • JB WV

      I mentioned that a while back but Doug kinda laid into me, lol. With his speed, body control and arm he’d look great out there and wouldn’t have to bend down so much.

    • BK

      Rob … you do not appear to be alone. EDLC will likely be the best athlete on the field, regardless of position. The question is why, thus far, don’t the Reds agree with this sentiment?

      Is it best to move the team’s highest-ceiling young player off of his natural position as he adjusts to the majors?

      Also, are the Reds better defensively as a team if he moves? Most of EDLC’s errors are on routine plays–something to expect with a 21-year old. Right now, I think the best defensive infield is Marte at 3B, EDLC at SS, and McLain at 2B. When Arroyo is ready, that may change.

      According to Statcast, Friedl and Fraley are above-average outfielders; Benson and Steer are not. Will Steer improve with more time in the outfield? 2023 was his first extended time in the outfield as a collegiate or pro player.

      • Doc

        Keep in mind that 50% of all outfielders are below average. That doesn’t make them bad outfielders.

      • Capnhook33

        No doc, but OOA had steer as the second worst defensive player in baseball behind schwarber. Although that being said he cost you like 13 runs or 1.5 wins on d and his bat is worth like 4 wins so it works out.

      • Still a Red

        When I read of EDLC’s exploits, I thought he might be the next Eric Davis in the outfield. But now I worry he could turn into a Billy Hamilton if he were to be switched to the outfield. There is no reason to think he can’t improve his defense at SS.

      • BK

        @Capn, in Spring Training, Steer played almost exclusively at 3B (he did log one inning at SS). The poor defensive metrics were from his play at 1B and in the outfield. His defense clearly improved as he logged more time at two spots he had almost no experience playing in college or as a pro. The fact that he was ill-prepared is a reflection on the organization, not his defensive ability at either position. His improvement over the course of the season indicates he can handle each position at least adequately and likely all of them if allowed time to prepare.

      • 2024WSChamps

        Steer was awful defensively no matter where the Reds played him. At 3B it was the most noticeable, but even at 1B he was worth -5 OAA. The hope is that he can learn LF and become serviceable out there. Given his solid arm strength and sprint speed (both about 50-75th percentile), there is plenty of reason to think he can be. To me, Steer can be fine at 2B (can’t be worse than India), 1B, and LF. He should never be asked to play anywhere else.

  4. SultanofSwaff

    The Reds need to make a concerted effort to keep Luke Maile.

    As for Jose Barrero, I just get this sense that if he is traded to a team that can give him a long look he will develop into a Jeremy Pena type SS. Pena put up 3.8 WAR this year for Houston with just a 95 OPS+ and just 10 homers, but a very capable defender. Of course Barrero is a couple years older. With Edwin Arroyo rising quickly it seems a change of scenery would be beneficial for both sides. The White Sox are rebuilding and moving on from Tim Anderson……Jose could be a piece in a Dylan Cease deal or just offered straight up for a bullpen arm—Aaron Bummer is solid.

  5. MBS

    Senzel has options, but who wants to option a $3M player

    Barrero / Fairchild have no options. It’s fine if you think they can help you all year.

    Matini / Hopkins both have options, and can be shuttled up and down when the need arises.

    At the end of the day we’re talking about the 13th man on the roster, or AAA backups.

    • wkuchad

      Does Nick Martini have options? If yes, definitely keep him in 2024 and option him to AAA to serve as injury depth.

      • MBS

        Senzel 3, Hopkins 2, Martini 1, the rest 0

  6. Park Gentry

    I totally agree.. EDLC would make an excellent Cf or RF with work. That lets the others fall in line much better in the infield. Friedl in CF or LF and Benson in LF or RF… Fraley can spot start or DH against RT handers.

      • Brian

        Probably being used as he was this year, sorta all over. He will get plenty of play time, he’s a valuable asset to the future and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon!

      • Melvin

        I like Fraley and Benson but if it were up to me I’d eliminate all platoons in the “every day” lineup with Arroyo coming soon eventually.

        1B – CES
        2B – McLain
        3B – Marte
        SS – Arroyo
        LF – Friedl
        CF – EDLC
        RF – Steer
        C – Stephenson
        DH – TBD/India/Fraley/Benson/? etc.

      • BK

        @Melvin, I agree with you philosophically on platoons as there is a cost to carrying a platoon partner on the roster and it necessitates in-game moves that may result in few late-game options to the manager.

        However, from a practical standpoint, the Reds have the players to execute the two platoons required to keep their best hitters against RHP (Benson and Fraley). It seems to me that doing what you suggest weakens the team in practice. Arroyo is likely a year out as he just sniffed AA at the end of the season.

  7. Brian

    Elly has only been mentioned online as a possible outfielder like about 3 million times, no new revelation there.
    In my opinion, trade Barrero . You dump Senzel and Fairchild. Hopkins to AAA and Martini starts the year as a cheap bench, power bat if he looks good in the spring. If not, move on. The only guy with a possible solid future on the list seems to be Barrero. Hopefully he can bring a decent reliever or be packaged for more.

    • David

      At least 3 million times!!! Now, 3 million and one!

  8. LDS

    I’m hesitant to non-tender Barrero. Trade him to someone needing a SS. Generally, the Reds use of callups didn’t the development time needed to transition, e.g., Hopkins, who started infrequently, and often was only a pinch runner vs. McLain who played every day. That is not to say that any of them would have had similar success but had McLain played as infrequently as Hopkins or Barrero, the results may have been less impressive. As for Senzel? Should have been gone a while ago. See if there’s a trade but non-tender otherwise.

    • Melvin

      Sure would be nice to have Barrero as a super utility guy.

      • LDS

        Defensively, Barrero is a better SS than EDLC or McLain. If he’d hit reliably, the Reds could safely move EDLC to the OF and go back to the Barrero is SS going forward. Realistically, trading him makes more sense. I suspect he’d have a chance of coming around elsewhere that playing for Bell will never afford. Same is true of India, McLain should be 2B going forward. Move India to DH or LF.

      • BK

        Per Statcast, based on 2023 Outs Above Average:

        1. McLain (+2, 2 runs prevented)
        2. EDLC (+1, 1 run prevented)
        3. Barrero (-3, -2 runs prevented). Barrero was also below average in 2022, but comparable to EDLC in 2020 and 2021.

      • Melvin

        If India does stay, which I doubt, he could move to 1B, CES to RF, and Steer to 2B. I would also say Barrero is better defensively than the stats would indicate. As a “supersub” he could most likely hit well enough.

      • BK

        If the Reds don’t trade him first, a strong Spring Training performance will be necessary for Barrero to make the team. The potential is present, but time is no longer on his side with the Reds. From watching him play, like EDLC, he struggled mostly on routine plays. At age 25, with three years of AAA/MLB experience, it’s a much harder argument to overlook those errors as products of adjustment rather than being what he is capable of. He should be trending in the other direction defensively, but he’s not.

      • Chris

        LDS, just because you type it doesn’t make it true. 🙂 Barrero is NOT better than McLain at SS.

      • LDS

        @Chris, Doug actually wrote it Barrero > EDLC > McLain. I’m simply repeating it.

      • Mario

        BK, don’t quote statistics. It’s not going to change our minds! Lol. Didn’t anyone tell you that RLN opinions are infallible.

      • LDS

        Actually if he was quoting meaningful statistics it would be different. Most “analytics” are useless.

      • Doug Gray

        Analytics are statistics. They just aren’t the ones you like.

      • LDS

        Not a question of like or dislike. It’s a question of whether they have predictive value.

      • BK

        They have descriptive value by providing an objective measure to evaluate players, making for more informed discussion.

  9. RedBB

    NT Senzel and Hopkins. Wouldn’t surprise for them to the same for Barrero or anyone on this list though. None of them are indispensable and there are replacements in the wings that need 40 man spots (ie Hurtubise)

  10. RedBB

    NT Senzel and Hopkins. Wouldn’t surprise for them to the same for Barrero or anyone on this list though. None of them are indispensable and there are replacements in the wings that need 40 man spots (ie Hurtubise)

    • Chris

      Why would you non tender Senzel? If you believe the Reds are a playoff team, why would you NOT keep a kid who hits .360 against lefties and can play everywhere? You arguable have the best bench bats against lefties in the league, in Senzel.

      • RedBB

        Cuz he’s gonna make $3M next year and I don’t believe he can repeat what he did last year vs LHP based on career numbers. Remember how good Phil Ervin that one year vs LHP? He was better than Senzel

    • Dan

      Elly Rf Friehl Cf Benson Lf Strand 1st base Steer 2nd base McLain SS Marte 3rd base. Fraley DH Trade India, Barreo for relief pitcher

  11. Optimist

    Some related comments.

    1 – It’s the Reds, yes, but these amounts are minimal – tender them all. It postpones the roster decisions, but that’s OK to simply buy a little time to see what, if any, deals can be arranged.

    2 – The deals include FA signings (I’ll be surprised if it’s more than one) and trades. As for trades, look at the roster and which non-pitchers past age 26 are untradeable? Everyone is tradeable for the right return, but the only 2 which I’d really need a haul for are TySteve (always need catching), and Fraley – his splits are high on the list of league leaders. Of the rest, India likely has the greatest value, and would be difficult to see leave, but it may return serious talent. All the others would be like-for-like deals, which seem unnecessary, but one or more probably will occur.

  12. BK

    From MLB’s Glossary, “When a club “non-tenders” a player, it declines to give that player a contract for the upcoming season, thereby immediately making him a free agent.” This is different from Designating a Player for Assignment (DFA) , which starts a seven-day clock within which “the player can either be traded or placed on outright or unconditional release waivers.”

    It’s far more likely the Reds would DFA a player like Barrero (and some others) and open a window to trade him (them) than to non-tender him (them). I would expect multiple teams to place waiver claims on Barrero, Fairchild, and even Senzel. The Reds would be doing each of these players a favor to non-tender them, forgoing at least a minor trade return and allowing these players to become free agents early.

    The Reds can afford all of these players, so the question will be a matter of preference, with finances weighing little on these decisions as there is no long-term commitment to tendering any of these players a contract.

    On the other hand, Hopkins and Martini may not be attractive to other teams. In that case, it would be advantageous, provided the Reds want them back, to non-tender them and immediately offer them a minor league contract, as they don’t have to wait for a non-tendered player to clear the waiver process.

  13. MK

    I could see Barrero taking the active roster spot of Newman next year. His ability to play three infield positions as well as the outfield could make him valuable. By being placed in a reserve role it might remove. some of the pressure to be the man. I hope they can convince Martini to sign a minor league deal as he could be quite useful in the role he had in September, especially with Votto gone.

    • greenmtred

      He’d be valuable if he could hit. My recollection is that he couldn’t lay off breaking stuff low and away and couldn’t hit it. either.

  14. MK

    Checking the stats, the trade for Benson looks a little better.. The two prospects traded: Boyd (OF) hit.140 and Hajjar (lhp) who had a shoulder issue, had a .365 ERA, both at High A Lake County.

    • JayTheRed

      Benson trade was a steal, anyone who thinks otherwise… Well don’t know what you’re talking about

  15. redfanorbust

    Non tender, trade, any, all or none of these players. Whatever moves the needle clearly FORWARD and not in neutral or reverse. NOW is the time to strike. The division at least is up for grabs. The talented rookies have some games and confidence under their belts and the Reds will be flush with money for FA’s this off season. Of course some good luck with health for a change would also go a long way.
    So much talk about putting ELDC in the OF. He is struggling with his hitting right now. Not sure having him learn a new position right now would be in his best
    interest. If there is a free agent or tradeable outfielder out there that can hit you 30+ HR’S with respectable average and defence then Reds should go after him. As we all know GABP is a hitters park and not to have at least one bonafide banger is big waste of natural resources IMHO. All our team speed is nice but in our outfield/stadium I would rather have power. For example, even if the Reds got four F/A’S at say $20M a year each they would ONLY be around the league average for team salaries. Enough of losing seasons or striving for mediocrity to placate the fans!

    • jon

      He would go down to AAA if they wanted to learn the outfield and work on his hitting.

  16. Mark Moore

    Getting something back for Nick would be ideal, but I realize that’s probably a longshot at this point. I think with a change of scenery and some positional consistency, he could be fine somewhere. Sometimes the top prospects work, sometimes they don’t. That’s just baseball.

    I’d probably be inclined to go the non-tender route for those without options. Barrero isn’t likely to make it back to The Show in our organization.

  17. Chris

    I believe the only reason Senzel will not be a Red next season is because his agent makes it clear that Senzel does not want to be a platoon/bench bat. If that doesn’t happen the Reds would be unbelievably foolish to let Senzel go.

  18. Mark Moore

    Apologies if this duplicates. I think I messed up the name/e-mail combination.

    Getting something back for Nick would be ideal, but I realize that’s probably a longshot at this point. I think with a change of scenery and some positional consistency, he could be fine somewhere. Sometimes the top prospects work, sometimes they don’t. That’s just baseball.

    I’d probably be inclined to go the non-tender route for those without options. Barrero isn’t likely to make it back to The Show in our organization.

    • David

      If Barrero is non-tendered, then he will be gone. He will sign with someone. The Reds get bupkis for him.

      I favor giving him a spot on the 40 man, and at least he could be a player in a trade throughout the winter.

      Senzel will have some value for someone, but I am reluctant to give a part time player $3 million to ride the bench. If the Reds go through arbitration with him, then he has that 3 Mill contract, and would be hard to trade, IMHO. He may also be an unhappy guy (if he stays) in the clubhouse, which is not desirable.

      The Reds have a much bigger need to spend money on signing a Free Agent starting pitcher, and improving the bull pen.

    • Melvin

      “Barrero isn’t likely to make it back to The Show in our organization.”

      It would seem that this organization DOES NOT LIKE Barrero any longer. Too bad.

      • TR

        If a non-pitcher reaches the Bigs and his hitting is still questionable and it’s a struggle to hit .225 or more, his chance as a regular is not good. Barrero should be included in a trade to improve pitching, along with Senzel. Convert EDLC to an outfielder or else spend some of the money from expired contracts to acquire an outfielder who is a good hitter from both sides of the plate.

  19. Rick

    I’d keep Martini & acquire a RH outfielder with some power to platoon with Benson. A guy that could hit righties better than Fairchild & Senzel, if/when he may need to start for a week here and there due to injuries. Clear those 2 roster spots for Dunn & possibly Hinds on the 40 man. Our team wasn’t good enough in 23 so upgrades for role guys should be part of the off season strategy.
    Barrero, if he was in our plans for 24, then it sppears that he wasn’t utilized in Louisville to be more proficient at other positions beyond SS and I’m guessing a sprinkling of CF. He appears to have fallen out of favor.
    Kind of get the feeling that he may have rubbed somebody wrong in Cincy & was banished, and thus likely could be a trade throw in, this winter.
    Since there’s more money to work with I’m hoping that we upgrade our bench guys especially due to Bell’s penchant for playing guys alot regardless of what the back of their bb card tells us about them.

    • BK

      Dunn doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster as he is ineligible for the Rule 5 draft. The Reds won’t add him in 2024 until they are ready to add him to the 26-man roster.

      A possible explanation for the Red’s usage of Barrero at AAA is that they wanted him to focus on hitting and felt that mainly playing SS best allowed him to do so. Even if he could be better defensively, he is more than passable in a utility role. The question remains: will he hit enough?

      • Melvin

        For a utility player he should be just fine with potential to get a lot better.

      • Rick

        Yeah, just used 2 names to signify spots.
        Jose didn’t look good in a limited look there. He collided enough to trip up the LF’er in one game and a near miss at least one other time. He also had a terrible miss play on a ball to the RC power alley. So my point here is that reps fix most of those most of the time. Role/utility guys need those reps in the minors. We got burned a few times in 2023 with guys playing out of position. Blowouts are the only time in the majors should be when you throw a guy in a new position. In Louisville I would have played him some at every position except catcher and 1B. That would have been Krall’s call, I imagine.
        Your last question is very valid and my concern too. Especially the slider & change.

      • BK

        @Rick, while I agree with you, the Reds have time to get Barrero reps in the outfield this winter if he’s in their plans. I tend to doubt they are going to give a player who hit 35 percent below average another shot when they are trying to field a contending team.

        When everyone is healthy, Steer can fill an outfield spot in lieu of Fraley. That just leaves the need for one bench player to platoon with Benson. Senzel would be my choice if the Reds will just use him as a platoon player. Fairchild would be my choice if they want to play him more than in a platoon role. I would have to see an actual player who meets your criteria of being a good platoon partner AND able to hit RHP–that sounds like a player who should be able to find a starting role in the majors. Perhaps that player turns out to be Dunn.

      • Rick

        @BK, I’m intrigued by Jose’s athletic ability but soured on his inability to lay off those low & away sliders and above the zone fastballs.
        On the rh OF, I probably poorly explained that part. A guy that hits lefties well and have some power from the right-side that can go yard at least on mistake fb’s or hanging off speed stuff against righties. Who might that likely be? Maybe another young Adam Duvall lurking out there, or a FA, trade? I haven’t done the homework to have a list of guys.
        I personally envision Steer in LF, Fraley DH’ing vs righties. That might keep Jake healthier.
        Pitching first and foremost for sure. Nick has enough help to do multitasking now.

      • Rick

        BK, I agree about Senzel being used solely against southpaws. If, Bell would hold to that premise.

  20. Kevin Patrick

    Are there any doubts McClain will come back from injury problem free? A ripple of decisions could be made regarding this. To my eyes, the best third baseman on the team was Elly De La Cruz. I don’t want Cruz getting injured running into another outfielder or the wall. I like Encarnacion-Strand at 1st. Who would be better at 2nd? …Marte or India…or Senzel…or Barrero? Here’s the thing…out of most of the guys, its Cruz that I would give the most rope. The way Marte was hitting towards the end of the year, I would be inclined to give him a shot now. I would keep Steer backing up anywhere. I think the Reds should move India during the spring perhaps…when the Reds find out if they are healthy enough to start strong. Barrero, Fairchild, Senzel and Martini are all good…and all are replaceable. Luke Maile may be more valuable than many of us realize. My hope is that some of these guys can be flipped for a controllable catcher…especially if they have to replace Casali. Out of all these guys, I think Martini is the first on the chopping block because I don’t believe the Reds really have a plan for Votto yet. Depending on what the front office has to deal with regarding Senzel and his representatives, I would guess he’s next on the block. I also think Fairchild slightly has the edge over Hopkins to be retained. They just extended Bell…who did he want to play? I would think a bench of Steer and Barrero is about as versatile as possible if you want Votto AND Encarnacion Strand…I don’t think the Reds are reliable enough with their pitching to not try to field an elite defending outfield. Friedl is the only outfielder that I think is essential to keep. If any of the other guys can bring back pitching that is more valuable at any level, they should do it.

    • Optimist

      All very valid and just two minor comments to add.

      1 – I forget who (perhaps Jason L?) observed that EDLC and McLain played very well together in AAA as SS/2b – namely McLain at 2b helps EDLC as a SS. Also like EDLC at 3rd – so use both their flexibility moving thru the infield. This also gets Steer time at 2b, also recalling an interview where he thought that was his best/most comfortable position.

      2 – Not forgetting Marte – I think he may be the backup to CES at 1b when not at 3b. CES is the only one of these guys limited defensively. They all share DHing as well.

      All very good problems to have.

      • Kevin Patrick

        I won’t complain if McClain ends up at second and Cruz ends up at short, but feel as if defense at third is more important than many others think perhaps. Cruz’s arm is unreal. I don’t think Brooks Robinson had much more to offer than what we saw from Cruz at third. I just want McClain to be batting ALL the time…and don’t want him to have to share at bats with any of the other deserving players who could likely play 2nd. He looked more than solid at short anyway.

  21. Redsvol

    Kyle (coulda been a Red) Schwarber – 117 mph HR off the bat in 1st at bat of NLCS.

    Doug – we need a playoff thread for us Reds fans that like any baseball.

    • Redsvol

      Followed by Nick (coulda been a Red) Castellanos – HR off the bat in his 1st at bat of the NLCS.

      I didn’t mention the guy who smashed the HR in between them in his 1st at bat because he was never gonna be a Red.

  22. Redlegs1869

    Okay. A bit off topic. But there must be a story behind the sledge hammer in the picture.

    • Laredo Slider

      Sledge makes the bat feel lighter.

      • Redlegs1869

        Makes sense I guess. Just never saw a player swing one for that reason. Way, way heavier than a bat.