The Cincinnati Reds are adding a new team to their farm system. In 2024 the club will have two teams in the Dominican Summer League to go along with their five teams in the US – the Arizona Complex League Reds, the Daytona Tortugas, the Dayton Dragons, the Chattanooga Lookouts, and the Louisville Bats.

20 organizations had two teams in the Dominican Summer League prior to 2024. In 2021 when minor league baseball lost a bunch of teams due to Major League Baseball deciding to cut down on the number of teams and players. The Reds, who had just recently picked up what was then an 8th team in the farm system with the Greeneville team, would lose both Greeneville and Billings in the process, leaving them with six clubs beginning in 2022.

Buried in the latest collective bargaining agreement that was reached two years ago was that starting in 2024 that the number of minor league roster spots was being reduced from 180 players to 165 players. That number, though, only applies to domestic teams (teams within the US and Canada in the minor leagues). It does not apply to the teams in the Dominican Summer League.

That is an important distinction at this point because without an additional three roster spots on each of the rosters in the US, there was going to be a group of players without jobs at the end of spring training that there wouldn’t be just a year earlier. By adding an extra Dominican Summer League team the Reds don’t necessarily have to push players up to fill out the Arizona Complex League roster from the Dominican Summer League to clear a few spots for some new signings. It causes a full on trickle effect that no longer has to happen with an additional team that allows the club to give some players more developmental time.

It’s not quite the same as having an additional domestic team, but it does allow the Reds to not only give international players more time to develop, but it also give them more players to give an opportunity to that they otherwise couldn’t because of the limited roster spots. More chances, and a longer developmental period is a good thing.

With the decision to have a second team in the Dominican Summer League, it’s going to – and already has – led to more signings by the club. You may or may not have noticed that the club made a handful of international pick ups in November and December before that signing period ended. They then made 18 signings this week, and they’ve still got some money to spend on more deals, too. With an entire second team, Cincinnati has had to make more signings so they can fill out an additional roster.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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20 Responses

  1. RedsGettingBetter

    It also means more innings available to the kids for playing so may develop quicker. Even it opens the door to new coaching staff to learn more about the players development and baseball game aspects…

  2. DaveCT

    I’m getting to the point where I just cannot tolerate the intelligence in the front office’s decision making much more.

    I may have to switch teams to follow. The Mets may be a good candidate.

    • Greenfield Red

      Not sure my friend what you mean. I see adding a second DSL team as a real possitive.

    • Old Big Ed

      Ha!

      The Mets are setting the standard since Cohen came aboard. Having paid about $80 million on their contracts last year with Scherzer and Verlander contracts, they are still on the hook for about $59 million going forward. They did get four months from each of them last season, before doing a white flag trade for three seemingly decent prospects. One of the prospects is Ronald Acuna, Jr.’s soon-to-be 22-year-old little brother, who managed to slash .243/.317/.304 for the Mets at AA after the trade.

      I remember watching the Mets against the Reds in early May, and thinking that “this team is old, slow and hopeless.” It looks to be true again this year.

      As always, the Angels are another team for you to consider following.

      And the Cardinals, too, who went Full-Mets this winter by signing 36-year-olds Kyle Gibson and Lance Lynn. Gibson gave up a league-leading 198 hits, while sporting an ERA+ of 87, a SO/9 of 7.4, and a career high 44.5% hard-hit rate. Not to be outdone, the soon-to-be 37 Lynn yielded an MLB-high 44 homers and sported a 77 ERA+. Plus, they just signed 38-year-old Matt Carpenter, fresh off his .319 slg% and -0.3 bWAR last season. Granted, they did sign 34-year-old youngster Sonny Gray to a 3-year, $75 million deal, for his age 34-36 seasons.

      Can’t wait to see Elly etc. hit against those guys.

      • PTBNL

        and Sonny wanted to go to the Cardinals because they place a high priority on winning. Wonder if he regrets that decision now?

  3. E

    Rookie question- can we send drafted players to the DSL to stay under the 165 cap? I’m thinking like a Saftura starting in the DSL as opposed to the ACL.

    • Doug Gray

      I honestly don’t know, but I’ve never seen it happen before.

    • MK

      I’ve always wondered the same thing. Sending some American kids could really help both groups within easier social adjustments as careers continue.

      • Doug Gray

        So I still don’t know the answer to this, but I do know this much: Until guys get to the US – they are NOT a part of the players association. They don’t get the same pay as players in the US (at the complex level – and it’s not particularly close, either). I would think that as a part of the standard contract for draftees and non-drafted free agents (as opposed to international free agents), there’s something in there about remaining stateside (or Canada). I’ve been wrong before, though.

      • DaveCT

        One thing that could be a lot of fun is to send the US complex kids, or at least the younger, more age appropriate ones, to the Dominican for an in season tournament.

  4. Laredo Slider

    Has a coaching staff been named for this extra team?

  5. Greenfield Red

    Anyone been to a Antarctic Summer League game or do they play in Winter. I’m confused.

    • DaveCT

      I’d suggest the Moon except, you know, the Moon landing was faked.

      As for Antarctica, wouldn’t there be risks of players running off the edge of the earth?