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.

98 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Does this mean a bigger role for Barrero? Hope so.

    • Old-school

      Not yet- at least on the position side of things.

      First ? of offseason was votto – thats answered
      2nd ? Senzel- thats answered
      3rd ? is india – thats arguably bigger than Votto.
      4 th is Steer – is he OF a lot or mostly infield?

      Reds have said they want a righty outfielder. If it isnt Steer, India is traded, Steer backfills the infield with India Senzel and Votto out and Reds acquire external RH hitting solution

      Then Barrero would become infield utility player

      • MK

        Barrero can definitely fill the Newman role. Without pressure of starting he might finally hit his stride.

      • VaRedsFan

        We don’t need to carry a below replacement level hitter on the team.

        Stop being fooled by AAAA players that hit a little at AAA. We had a half dozen of those guys this year, and the hardly did anything when called up

  2. Doc

    I guess this also means Senzel had very little trade value. Someone might pick him up, but at salary cost only without having to give up a player.

    • BK

      Nontendered players don’t pass through waivers; they are immediately free agents.

    • MK

      Why trade a player when it was pretty obvious he would be non-tendered. If by chance he was tendered then make you trade proposal.

  3. Josh

    Law decision is a little weird. He was decent and if they did it to save $1.4 million, that worries me that they are pinching pennies- get ready for a Luke Weaver type starter.

    • Stock

      I hope this means they plan on acquiring 2 RP better than Law on the FA market or via trade.

    • BK

      I thought so too until I looked at his FIP and expected ERA; both show he may have benefited from good luck in 2023.

    • MK

      Bullpen was pretty good. I was hoping they would keep Law and Farmer.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Looking at the 40-man the Reds only have 9 relievers as of now (of the 19 pitchers listed) and one of those guys is Antone who I don’t trust to be healthy. Mileage may vary on whether you believe Stout, Richardson, Spiers, and Roa remain starters or not but for now that’s the role they have filled.
      Based on this roster construction alone, I’d expect the Reds to bring in a reliever or two during the offseason, and likely a few more on minor league/NRI types (like Santillan) to compete in spring training.

    • JayTheRed

      I don’t get the Law situation either. He was a very productive bullpen piece the past 2 years. His salary was on the lower end too. I am still worried that the Reds are not going to spend money like they should be. I expect to at least match last year’s payroll and I would hope they would shoot for around 100 million.

      • VaRedsFan

        He was OK unless it was a super high pressure situation.

    • Optimist

      BK has the answer to this decision. I expect they may invite him back on a non-roster, MiLB contract, along with a bunch of similar types. Essentially, they think they can open a roster spot for a better choice with options available. These are the single season/end of pen spots.

      • Still a Red

        Agree that the Law decision was not $$ motivated but roster motivated. Tendering Antone is risky, but you probably had to do that to see if he can rebound. If you can bring Law back on a minor league contract and invite to ST, and if Antone doesn’t survive ST, you can add Law back. Of course, lots of other juggling going on.

  4. Ryan

    Same contract as last year with incentives, but no way Senzel deserves a raise. The fractured economics of baseball rears its ugly head again

    • Doc

      In my world, the top third in arbitration should get a raise, the middle third maybe a minimal raise, and the bottom third no raise and maybe even a cut. Baseball certainly has enough statistics to find something to determine which third a player fits into.

  5. Mark Moore

    Hoping Senzel finds a 3B only home somewhere and settles in. Preferably not with an NLC team (more like an ALC team). My opinion – a lot of jerking around early and then his vertigo and injuries. Bad combinations.

    • VaRedsFan

      Injuries definitely stunted his growth. Some guys just get hurt alot. I think good baseball players can play anywhere…especially moving from infield to outfield. He never did achieve his potential, partly because of injuries, partly because he wasn’t very good.

  6. Stock

    I don’t think dropping Law has anything to do with money. He was due to make $500,000 over the minimum next year. Not really much in baseball terms.

    I hope and think it was about the Roster spot. I hope this means the Reds have a plan and it means Law will not be one of the top 8 RP on opening day 2024.

    • MBS

      I think it has mostly to due with options. If they do add a high leverage reliever, and kept Law 7 of the spots would be filled with people who can’t/won’t be sent down. That doesn’t give a manager a lot of options.

      Diaz, Young, and Moll have options but they won’t be sent down. Gibaut and Sims are out of options, so that leaves 3 spots.

      We’ll see what they do, I wouldn’t be surprised if they go big on a high leverage reliever, but I also won’t be surprised if the fill those 3 spots with 5 to 6 guys with options that can rotate up and down I71.

      Relievers with options on the 40 man, Antone, Cruz, Duarte, and Legumina. Potential relievers on the 40 man Spires, Roa, and Stoudt.

      • Redsvol

        I think you hit the nail on the head @MBS. Managers and teams need big part of the relief corp to have options. As we’ve seen, the trend is to not let starters go past 6 innings. This uses up a bullpen and they have to have the ability to pull some fresh arms up for the next series.

        Every team is doing it and some are doing it very well (Rays). The bullpen is going to look different next year. And I’m hoping they sign a couple starters who also have bullpen experience (Perez, Lugo, Martinez, Lorenzen).

      • BK

        The lack of optionable players added to bullpen fatigue in 2023. Good observation.

      • JayTheRed

        Here is the thing about options though and getting a fresh arm for the next series as some have put it. It’s not like these players who are called up and down are just sitting waiting to pitch with fresh arms. They are pitching their hearts out in AAA or whatever level to get a call up. So technically this is not a fresh arm when called up it’s more of a hope they are strong or even good at this level. Law, after 2 seasons has proved he can be a very strong bullpen piece. Why mess with that.

        If the Reds go out and get 3 good relief pitchers, I’ll shut up about it. otherwise, I don’t get this move.

      • MBS

        No, but if you have multiple options in AAA, you bring up the arm with the most rest. It’s also easier to manage the workload in AAA, than it is in the MLB where winning is the 1st priority.

  7. Optimist

    Concur that Senzel should end up in the AL Central, and hope and expect he thrives there. A little surprised he had no trade value, even as a 3rd or 4th guy throw in bounceback spot. Somebody should stick him at 3rd and get 300 platoon ABs, and perhaps more if he adjusts OK.

    Law and Sanmartin make sense, not so much for money but clearing roster spots. Perhaps we see one filled quickly with a claim or deal.

  8. Votto4life

    Another $5 Million dollars or so off the books. If they trade India that you can add $3.7 million to that. Is anyone other than Hunter Greene and Tyler Stephenson earning more than league minimum?

    • wkuchad

      Joey Votto will make $7 million 🙂

    • BK

      Antone, Sims, Fraley and Young will go through arbitration. Maile was signed as a free agent.

      • Votto4life

        Yeah, I forgot about Maile. It is a bit surprising they will go through arbitration with Antone considering he has had TJ surgery twice. I am glad they are though, he is now my favorite Red. Guess I should change my monicker to Antone4life.

    • jon

      Who ever they get for India will make money.

      • Votto4life

        I hope you are right, but the jury is still out on that.

    • VaRedsFan

      What a great problem to have.
      Overpaying for washed up veterans is not a smart way to go.
      Ask the Mets, if they would swap rosters and salary obligations right now. 100%.

  9. LDS

    It all makes sense depending on how Krall fills out the roster. I’ve not seen any non-tender announcements today that scream “let’s take a chance on that guy”. I’m expecting that whatever the Reds do, it will more likely be traded rather than FA signings. I saw a Nightengale comment, who seems to have inside info sometimes, that Wacha and Miley were the Reds likely FA targets. Miley is 37. Maybe he can match last year or maybe not. Seems expensive to find out.

  10. James K

    Now India is the only player left who has been with the Reds for More than two years, right?

  11. Old-school

    The non tender of brandon woodruff by the brewers is interesting. Cards getting rid of guys too

    It seems cards and cubs are prepared for a spending spree in FA and brewers the opposite

    • Optimist

      Woodruff is the big salary version of Sanmartin – out next season, so you’d have to sign him for 2 years and hope the recovery is complete by ST 2025. The Brewers press release was effusive in praise, essentially offering him a deal for 2025 and beyond – just couldn’t reach a deal for 2 years to get past the $11M due this season.

      Lots of these lost season non-tenders among the pitchers.

      • RedBB

        Reports are he could pitch at season end or in playoffs. Reds won’t do it but I would offer him something like $5M in 2024 with an option for like $15M in 2025 or $2M buyout. So basically rolling the dice for $7M for a significant upside. I mean we blew more money on Will Myers.

        Keep in mind he also has a QO which is valuable.

    • MK

      Woodruff we be great to fill a roster spot.

  12. Linda Moeller

    I’m still hoping they keep India.

  13. Greenfield Red

    Of the three, I think only NS is about value for cost. I think the other two are about bringing in better players… via trade or free agency.

  14. Rednat

    I feel Senzel has a higher upside than India. While injury prone I actually think Senzel is more durable than India. India just seemed to break down physically as the season went on this year and that is concerning.
    I Really think Senzel is coming in to his own. Shame to see him go

    • Doc

      When did Senzel last have a season in which he played 150 games, as India did his rookie year? Hard to buy the Senzel more durable than India at this point. India’s injuries were musculoskeletal which, in theory, can be proactively fixed with modifications to the fitness and training routines. Senzel’s problems were generally more true injuries that don’t have a fix other than playing more cautiously, or the vertigo, which doesn’t have an easy fix.

    • JB WV

      Don’t need platoon players that feel ill-treated. Senzel has moped his way out of a Reds uniform.

      • Still a Red

        Not sure I’ve seen him moping. Wanting more playing time, yes, but that’s not moping. I think I might have projected my moping for him onto him.

  15. Tar Heel Red

    With their current payroll sitting at just over $31M (according to Spotrac), the Reds should be spending money to bring in quality major league players…I just have little-to-no confidence that they will do so.

    With that in mind there are a few non-tendered players that could help the team in ’24, such as…Adam Cimber, Yonny Chirinos, Penn Murphy, Angel Perdomo, Dakota Hudson, Josh Fleming, Cooper Criswell, Spencer Turnbull and Anthony Misiewicz among the pitchers and OF Kyle Lewis. Hudson’s non-tender is curious in that the Cardinals have stated they wish to bring in starting pitching, and yet they let one of theirs walk for nothing? Personally, I would go after Murphy, Chirinos, Hudson, Cimber and Fleming. If I could get two of these pitchers I would still have money available to get other “higher dollar” types, but we will see…

    • Redsvol

      There were some interesting names non-tendered (released) this week. But its going to be about options. If a player has no options then the best they will get is a minor league deal and invite to spring training. I would expect some low level trades coming now that all teams know what they have and what is out there in non-tenders.

    • Votto4life

      “ With their current payroll sitting at just over $31M (according to Spotrac), the Reds should be spending money to bring in quality major league players…I just have little-to-no confidence that they will do so”

      Same. I am concerned the Reds new approach, for the most part, is to non-tender or trade players as they reach arbitration.

      I expect them to claim the prices for free agents were just too high and the asking price was too high to make trades. They will claim to have payroll flexibility to add players at next year’s trading deadline.

      We will see what happens, but I am not optimistic. So far, almost all of the rumors have been about who the Reds are trying to move.

      • VaRedsFan

        Not really. Just the ones that aren’t very good.
        Or would you rather they pay the not very good ones?

    • JayTheRed

      2 out of the last 3 seasons Cimber has been really good for Toronto. Since that is my 2nd fav. team I have seen him pitch quite a bit. Not sure why his numbers took a hit this past season. Feel like he could help. I too wonder about Hudson. He seemed like he was not terrible.

  16. TR

    I always pulled for Nick Senzel. I wish him well.

    • west larry

      I hope he lands with K C , White sox or Oakland. Those three teams could let him play against all lefty’s and some righty’s. Besides, I don’t want him in the N L central where Senzel could get some revenge against the reds

  17. doofus

    Senzel will do well on his next team.

    • doofus

      Mil, Was, CC, AZ, NYY, Det, Tor, LAA, Oak, KC could use a third baseman. One of these teams will benefit from the 2nd player chosen in the ‘16 draft.

    • Mario

      I suspect he’ll do as well as a guy like Dominic Smith who was a disappointment long enough to be cast aside by the Mets. Then after one season, he was cast aside by the last place Nationals. I can’t think of many cases where a player was discarded by his original team (at that age) and went on to become a star elsewhere.

      • Mario

        oh by the way, I voted to keep him if his attitude was in check. Only the club knows that part of the story. $3 million ain’t bad for a decent backup infielder who can hit LHP.

    • Still a Red

      I live in DC and the Nats are my second team. They have lots of holes and Senzel could fill one or two of them. I would love to see him come here to see how he does. I think there is still untapped potential there, but he probably needs the change of scene. He would only be able to hurt us 6 games (or less if we throw our righties at him), and he should be familiar with the pitching he would face.

  18. kypodman

    Big mistake letting Senzel go. I said this before, if he is willing to except the utility/bench role he would be a valuable option for only 3 mil. A lot cheaper than the Reds bringing in Newman last year and he could only play the infield, Senzel could play every position in the infield and outfield. Huge mistake!

    • William

      Where do we go? After that terrible trade deadline, I went to the Texas Rangers. I really enjoyed the ride to a World Series championship! I thought the Rangers could get to the World Series. I am back to checking on the Reds. I grew up a Big Red machine fan. Pete Rose was my favorite player as a child. That said, the Reds are on tract to being competitive, but not close to being a World Series champion. It is a leadership problem. I watched the Texas manager closely. He is much better than Bell. The Reds GM is not spending enough. He seems to kiss up to the owners. I like the eight young Reds position players. I give the GM his credit there. They are young and very talented. However, the Reds need to spend atleast $50 million on free agent pitchers. The GM needs to make sure they get the right pitchers. It may not be enough. They are not even close to where they need to be to win a World Series championship with the pitching.

      • TR

        Welcome back from the Rangers. The Reds have the nucleus of a competitive team. Becoming a top team to beat largely depends on this offseason and getting an established starting pitcher or two and having a knockout bullpen. They apparently have the money. Will the owner support what the GM comes up with?

      • Greenfield Red

        “Terrible deadline”?

        They brought in one of the most successful pitchers who was dealt and did not waste high end prospects for a bust.

      • Oldtimer

        He is a LH reliever who pitches an inning in the 7th or 8th. Decent but not great. End of the bullpen.

        Yes. Lousy trade deadline.

      • JayTheRed

        I look at it this way I am following Toronto since 2 years ago when the sell off started. It’s been watching that team change and they are looking at spending 220 million this coming year for overall team payroll. I still keep up with the Reds, they are my NL team but each season I feel my attention pulling a little farther away from them and more to a team that is exciting to watch and is willing to spend money to make a winning team that makes the playoffs.

      • Greenfield Red

        What trade(s) could they have made that would have gotten to win the WS? The way all the rookies faded in the last two months, they would have needed at least 3 bats and 3 pitchers to make positive high impacts.

        The Reds had a very successful trade deadline in that they continued to set themselves up for 24 and beyond. There was virtually no way to win it all in 23.

  19. RedFuture

    I fully expect Senzel to blossom now and make at least one all-star game. The hitting talent that got him drafted #2 overall must still be in there. I don’t think he had an injury that reduced his hitting ceiling. I agree that he should find a team to play 3B, where he is very good (minus one atrocious game after complaining to management). He is absolutely terrible defensively in the outfield so I think that is the primary reason they non-tendered him. They still need a platoon RH vs LHP like him but much better in the field. This may mean also that they are going for a full-time RH hitting outfielder with plus defensive skills. Senzel was a far cry better than Will Meyers and Hunter Renfroe!

    • Scott in Texas

      I don’t think you have watched the same Senzel that I have…but honestly hope you are right.

  20. Roger Garrett

    No shocker here.Senzel and the money,Law for me doesn’t strike out enough hitters and the lefty will miss some time next year.Hopefully just clearing the deck for legit needs in a right handed hitting outfielder,a starter or two and 3 power arms that throw 98 or above.Spending money wisely I hope.Big fan of Senzel and if healthy and given 400 or 500 at bats he will do well.Barrero may take his spot and is cheaper and better defensively and only 25.Reds appeared to throw him away without a clear plan for him so maybe we see him opening day.

  21. SR

    The reds did senzel a favor. Rather than trade him for a bag of balls to a team that might not play him full time either, he can now find out on his own his value in the MLB with other teams. His career splits against righthanders and his missed time due to injuries are not going to help his quest for a full time role.

    • RedBB

      I’m sure they tried and figured out they would get little to nothing. I mean who wants to pay $3M + for a 0WAR guy? His ability to hit LHP last year was offset by bad defense. GL to him but I think he will have to earn a spot on a MLB next year.

      • Doc

        Plus the fact that more than 60% of the pitchers in baseball are right handed.

        My early prediction is that the starting pitching staff will include at least four of the young bucks who handled the load this year. Greene, Ashcraft, Abbott, Williamson/Petty/Phillips/Richardson/Lodolo…and that with the experience they have gained, they will be better as a group in 2024 than they were in 2023. Lodolo should be able to fully recover with a winter of rest.

  22. MBS

    I glad they are moving away from some of these guys over the last couple of weeks.

    There are now 3 spots to add to this team, and we need a SP 1/2, a CL/SU, and a Big Bat.

    I’d be happy with this, but I think the 40 man could be gutted by at least 2 more in order to bring in more impact players.

  23. west larry

    Good starting pitching in the free agent pool will be very expensive if it’s a true 1 or 2 starter. I would try to get Glasgow (spelling) from Tampa Bay. That will require multiple good prospects. A “big bat” as a free agent=very few=and over twenty-five million per year. let’s see how much the reds are ready to spend this off season. I think you will be disappointed by the expenditure.

    • MBS

      When am I not disappointed with what the Reds do in signing talent? I know good players cost money, and the Reds are in a position to spend if they want to win. It’s clear what they need, almost everyone on here has pointed to the same main issues. The question is how much are the Reds willing to do to win.

      They did say they made more money last year than they expected, and that money would be reinvested into the team. If they start the season with a sub $50M payroll I’ll be shocked. They don’t need to spend $150M this year, but hopefully they split the difference.

      • Optimist

        My comment heading into October:

        “3 obvious, oft repeated goals for the off season –
        1 – get a good to great starter (Sonny?!?!), likely only via FA.?
        2 – get a proven MLB power-hitting outfielder (may be available via trade)?
        3 – get a new managing partner”

  24. Laredo Slider

    All Reds fans should be glad Senzel’s finally gone, the guy’s poison. Reds record post Senzel’s media whine in games he started in ’23 was abysmal. Good the FO finally admitted drafting the guy was a huge error but shows they are serious about contending.

    • Greenfield Red

      Doug has pointed out many times, the draft is a crap shoot. Based on averages, I’d say NS had had an above average ML career if he never has another at bat.

      Not a “huge error”.

      • Doug Gray

        I don’t know that I’ve said it’s a crap shoot as much as I’ve said that people think 1st round picks are supposed to turn out to be far more valuable that they almost ever are. By the time you get to the middle of the 1st round the average pick turns out to be a fringy every day player or a solid reliever. And things get worse from there.

      • Optimist

        A useful example is to go look at the WAR for the 41 picks in the 2016 draft first round. Keep in mind to have a negative WAR means a player made MLB. 13 of the 41 appeared in more than 100 games the past 7 years.

        The HS players drafted are generally hitting their peak years 26-28, and the college players (like Nick S.) are 28 and up.

        Without looking further, I expect this is a fairly typical draft class.

      • Laredo Slider

        Yeah, a RH hitter hitting .150 vs RHP is “above average ML career.” Wow.

      • Greenfield Red

        NZ’s stats would better than more than half of the players who have made the MLs. How many career WAR does he have?

    • doofus

      Just how was Senzel “poison?”

      He accepted multiple position changes since 2019. Did not complain about it. Went and learned the OF. Worked through multiple injuries.

      He has an interview this season where he says, he wants to play everyday. He did not demand to be traded or trash the organization. I would want a player like that on my team. Where is he poison?

  25. MBS

    Playing around with a less expensive build.

    DH FRALEY 5/9 INDIA 4/9
    1B CES 7/9 STEPHENSON 2/9
    2B McLAIN 7/9 INDIA 2/9
    3B EDLC 7/9 STEER 2/9
    SS MARTE 7/9 ROSARIO 2/9
    RF BENSON 7/9 STEER 2/9
    LF GURRIEL 7/9 STEER 2/9

    Spotrac has GURRIEL ($14.6M * 5Y)
    and Amed Rosario ($6.3M*1Y)

    That would have the team around $50M leaving plenty of room to add pitching. This way also keeps us from signing a guy who received qualifying offers, at least on the offensive side of things.

    • JayTheRed

      Would love this, big fan of Gurriel. Teoscar Hernandez would be a nice choice too. As long as they get the pitching to go with it. Probably would put the payroll around 90 million or so.

  26. Votto4life

    According to MLBTR Nick Krall is now saying the Reds may hang on to India.

  27. Votto4life

    According to MLBTR Nick Krall is now saying the Reds may hang on to India.

    • DaveCT

      That article seems shoddy to me. I mean, teams come knocking on the Reds’ door, they listen and, now, they’re being shady about trying to trade India? Since when were we ever trading Jonathon India? This has had the feeling of a story developing a life of its own more than anything factual from day one. Do better, MLTR.

      • MBS

        People need to make headlines in the offseason to.

    • LDS

      I’m thinking Krall’s comments are trying to shape the market. Too much smoke for there not to be a bit of fire.

  28. Kevin H

    Wishing Nick Senzel the best, and I hope he settles at 3rd base. Also allowing Nick to hit like he did his rookie season. It seemed he was hitting well and then they tinkered with his swing cause they wanted more power and well we all know the results.

    I am not sure if moving 18 different position’s affected his ability to hit, however I do believe his best position is 3rd base. So here’s to a fresh start and putting up big numbers. Will he? who knows, however I do think the Reds didn’t handle him very well and as mentioned seemed to be always tinkering with his swing..