The Cincinnati Reds are continuing to build their roster ahead of the 2024 season, as more and more names begin to emerge. On Thursday, the team agreed to terms with all their arbitration-eligible players except for Jonathan India, and signed reliever Brent Suter to a one-year contract.
The Reds also revealed a number of minor league players who'll be invited to join the team in major league camp at Goodyear this spring. That group of young players, most of whom are highly-touted prospects, will join several veterans looking to re-establish themselves back in the big leagues.
It's obviously still early, and more minor-league signings are likely to be on the horizon, but which non-roster invitees have the best chance to sneak onto the Reds 2024 Opening Day roster.
1. Catcher Austin Wynns could sneak onto the Reds 2024 Opening Day roster
Austin Wynns signed a split-contract with the Reds earlier this offseason, but after signing Frankie Montas to a one-year deal, the catcher was designated for assignment. Seeing an opportunity, Wynns accepted the outright assignment and will be part of Reds spring training.
Wynns is a glove-first catcher, so Reds fans should not be expecting a poor man's J.T. Realmuto. While his skills in the batters' box are lacking, Wynns does a good job controlling the run game. In today's game, with such an emphasis on swiping bases, having a catcher who can keep would-be base stealers in check is an important part of the job.
Wynns' opportunity, however, is tied to health of the two catchers currently on the Reds 40-man roster. If Tyler Stephenson and Luke Maile are able to survive the spring unscathed, those will be the two catchers leaving Goodyear on the active roster.
But injuries happen, and donning the tools of ignorance can be one of the most taxing jobs in baseball. If either Stephenson or Maile suffers an injury during spring training, Wynns will be the next man up. If not, the hope is that he'll remain in Triple-A for depth behind the dish.