The Reds left a few talented players off the 40-man roster.
The Cincinnati Reds, and every other Major League Baseball team, made some adjustments to their 40-man roster yesterday. November 20th was the deadline to add certain prospects to the roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft which will be held later this winter. But, with four spots on the roster still open, why did the Reds leave these three players unprotected?
The Rule 5 Draft allows teams to pilfer the minor leagues in search of talent. Last season, we saw the Reds pick up Mark Payton from the Oakland A’s, only to send him back to the Bay Area. Unexpectedly, Cincinnati and Oakland worked out a trade, and Payton is now part of the Reds roster heading into the offseason.
Not every situation ends like that. Players first signed to their contract at age 18 or younger must be added to the 40-man roster within five seasons, and players signing at 19-years of age or older must be added after four seasons. Cincinnati added Vladimir Gutierrez, Jared Solomon, and Riley O’Brien to the roster on Friday. So, who’s at risk of being taken in the Rule 5 Draft?
1. Reiver Sanmartin, Left-handed pitcher
Reiver Sanmartin was acquired in the deal prior to the 2019 season that brought Sonny Gray to the Queen City. Sanmartin is left-handed pitcher who was originally signed as a international free agent by the Texas Rangers organization, made his way to the Big Apple as part of trade that sent Ronald Herrera to the Lone Star State.
Sanmartin does not fall among the Reds Top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not a valuable asset. Cincinnati is very short on left-handed relievers, and Sanmartin fits the mold of what Nick Krall is looking for; relief help with minor league options remaining.
Sanmartin started 25 games for the Reds organization in 2019, playing at both Advanced-A Daytona and Double-A Chattanooga. The southpaw put up 4.05 ERA and struck out 114 batters over 122.1 innings. Sanmartin has the look of pitcher who could take care of lefties with his fastball-slider combo, so a reliever is probably his best bet to make the team.