Teams around Major League Baseball have until 6pm ET tonight to add players to the 40-man roster in order to keep them protected and in the organization and ineligible for the upcoming Rule 5 draft in December. For the Cincinnati Reds, they could add up to eight players as their current 40-man roster is at 32.

With that said, there’s almost no way that the organization will add eight players. With the way that the 2020 season didn’t play out for minor leaguers, since there was no season, a large group of newly eligible players simply didn’t get a chance to show any improvements they made on the field to anyone. It leaves a large group of players with only rookie or Low-A experience, and that’s a group of players that historically go largely unselected except in very rare cases. For the Reds specifically, their drafts from 2016 and 2017 that make up the first time eligible class, trades have left a small number of players to even consider.

With that said, it seems that they will add at least some players to the roster. The number of players will likely be small, though. Two guys, both pitchers, feel like safe bets to be added. Newly acquired right-handed pitcher Riley O’Brien and 2016 international signing Vladimir Gutierrez are safe bets to be added in my opinion. Both guys have that upper level experience that would give teams some comfort in believing that they could stick to a roster all year, and there’s enough stuff there for both guys to at least work out of the bullpen if needed, while providing some future upside.

It’s the remaining players that don’t quite feel as likely to be protected. The one guy that seems reasonable that could be added is outfielder TJ Friedl. He spent the year at Prasco Park in the 60-man player pool. While he didn’t get to the big leagues this year, he was on the field and was able to show his skills to both the Reds and other teams thanks to the sharing network many teams participated in that allowed access to video from the alternate sites as well as data sharing recorded from the sites.

Over the past week we covered plenty of players, but it’s those three that feel like the most likely to be protected later today. If you are interested in reading up on some of the other guys, we’ve got everyone we covered below with links.



Starting Pitchers

Relief Pitchers

5 Responses

  1. chiredsfan

    Can u recall a less crowded 40 man roster? Usually there at least a couple of tough calls to make but this year it seems they will have at least 5 open spots with which to work

    • Doug Gray

      I think had their been a regular season for minor leaguers we’d have another candidate or three we’d be truly considering. Someone would have taken a step or two forward we all would have seen. One of the young guys probably would have done something in Dayton that would have at least had us talking about an outside chance someone buys in.

  2. Kyle

    I like the two guys you want to protect and Friedl as well. To be honest, Kuhnel hasn’t shown me much IMO to protect him so I’m okay with leaving him unprotected.

  3. Michael E

    Does this less-than-full 40 man impact finances in any way? I was thinking, as I saw this, that maybe the big dip in revenue might play a role and that many teams may have quite a bit less than 40 man roster?

    • Doug Gray

      Players don’t get paid until the season starts – so right now, it means absolutely nothing. I also don’t recall the last time a team had less than 40 players on the 40-man roster during the season. I can’t imagine that will happen, either.