Cincinnati Reds: Why Brian Goodwin should be non-tendered

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 14: Brian Goodwin #17 of the Cincinnati Reds bats. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 14: Brian Goodwin #17 of the Cincinnati Reds bats. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Reds can find a less expensive fit for the outfield than Brian Goodwin.

Outfielder Brian Goodwin’s stay in the Queen City should be a very short one. That’s not to say that Goodwin isn’t a major league talent who will surely find a job in 2021, but a crowded outfield and economics are not working in his favor to remain part of the Cincinnati Reds.

Goodwin, who just recently turned 30-years old, was acquired in an August 31st trade with the Los Angeles Angels. Appearing in 20 games with the Redlegs and accumulating 49 at-bats, the left-handed batter slashed just .163/.236/.327 with two homers while striking out an eyebrow-raising 19 times.

At the time of the deal, the Reds front office was completely justified in making the move. The offense was struggling mightily, and centerfielder Nick Senzel was on the injured list and his return was uncertain. Goodwin was hitting .242./.330/.463 with four homers and 17 RBI in 95 at-bats for Los Angeles Angels club out of contention.

All indications point to the National League abandoning the designated hitter for the 2021 season leaving Goodwin in an unenviable position. Barring any trades this offseason, manager David Bell is going to have difficulty on a daily basis fitting Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Shogo Akiyama, and Nick Senzel on the lineup card. Additionally, there’s still the presence of Aristides Aquino.

However, economics will ultimately decide Goodwin’s fate. The North Carolina native is entering his second year of arbitration eligibility and was rewarded with a $2.2M deal for the 2020 season, his first experience with the arbitration process.

Estimates from MLB Trade Rumors have Brian Goodwin’s 2021 salary around $3.6M. That number is nowhere near what a fifth outfielder who will primarily be used as a left-handed pinch-hitter and late-inning defensive replacement should be receiving.

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Considering estimates from Spotrac have Aquino earning $575,000 as a non-arbitration eligible player, the decision to non-tender Goodwin should be a no-brainer for general manager Nick Krall and the Cincinnati Reds front office.