Cincinnati Reds: Three players helped by the delay to the 2020 season

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12: Eugenio Suarez #7 and Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12: Eugenio Suarez #7 and Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 28: Mark Payton #34 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

3. Mark Payton, Outfielder

The delayed start to the 2020 season likely means an increased amount of doubleheaders for every major league team. With multiple doubleheaders on the horizon, there’s a likelihood of rosters expanding beyond 26 players. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that rosters will likely expand to 29. This could be great news for Mark Payton.

While most people look at the Reds roster and think they have too many outfielders already, having a left-handed bat like Payton off the bench would be a solid addition. Formerly of the New York Yankees and Oakland A’s, Payton is a Rule 5 draftee. His status makes his standing with with ball club a bit more precarious.

As a Rule 5 draftee, if Payton does not make the Opening Day (whenever that is) roster, then he must be offered back to the A’s. The Reds would, in effect, lose Payton. With the uncertainty in the Reds outfield, having a versatile player like Payton, who’s able to play all three spots, is a luxury that additional roster space could warrant.

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Some fans may feel as though an extra roster spot would be better used for a player like Aristides Aquino, but The Punisher has a minor-league option remaining and didn’t have a great showing in the Dominican Winter League or in the early-going of spring training. A left-handed bat like Payton with power and defensive versatility would be nice to have on the Reds bench.