Today was the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players for the 2024 season. The Cincinnati Reds had plenty of guys that fit that description – eight of them, in fact. The club decided to non-tender three of those eight players, opting to allow Derek Law, Reiver Sanmartin, and Nick Senzel to become free agents rather than tender them contracts for the 2024 season.
Nick Senzel being non-tendered is an interesting decision. Last season he was a platoon machine and crushed left-handed pitching, but he struggled in a huge way against right-handed pitching. In his 126 plate appearances against lefties he hit .348/.389/.619 with nine home runs. On the flip side of that he had 204 plate appearances against right-handed pitching and hit .164/.240/.257 with four home runs. In total he hit .236/.297/.399.
Defensively, Senzel can play all over the outfield, as well as third base. He even has some past experience at second base. There’s some defensive flexibility there. As a bench player he could also provide speed on the bases. MLB Trade Rumors projected a raise to $3,000,000 for Senzel in 2024. The club seemed to believe that they could use that money in a better manner for next season, it would appear.
Derek Law pitched well for the Reds in 2023. He appeared in 54 games and threw 55.0 innings with an ERA of 3.60 (and 1 27 ERA+). During that time he gave up 50 hits, walked 26 batters, and he struck out 45. It was his second season with Cincinnati and it was better than his first. MLB Trade Rumors had his arbitration salary for 2024 at $1,400,000. This is another case where the club seems to feel that money could be used in a different way that would improve the team more.
The final player the Reds non-tendered was Reiver Sanmartin. The left-handed reliever pitched in parts of the last three seasons with the Reds. In 2023 he made 14 appearances before winding up on the injured list. He underwent Tommy John surgery in early July and will miss at least some of the 2024 season as he rehabs his way back from that. Unlike the other two players, Sanmartin was not arbitration eligible and would make the league minimum had they kept him around. During his three seasons with the Reds he posted a 5.77 ERA in 82.2 innings pitched.
With the non-tenders of these three players this evening the Reds 40-man roster drops down to 37 players.