3 Reds players we'll be glad are gone in 2024 and 2 we wish stayed

The Reds might miss some of these players more than you think.

Washington Nationals infielder Nick Senzel
Washington Nationals infielder Nick Senzel / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds roster has seen some turnover this offseason. One of the greatest players to ever wear a Reds uniform is no longer part of the franchise, but Cincinnati also sunk over $100 million into the free agent market in order to help build a contender.

After a surprising run in 2023, the Reds are looking to make some noise in 2024 and get back to the postseason for the first time since 2020. And while the new additions paired with the young core should help Cincinnati capitalize on last year's success, the Reds will miss some of those players who are no longer on the roster.

However, while a few players will be missed, there are other who the Reds fanbase will be happy not to see on the roster heading into the upcoming season.

3 Reds players we'll be glad are gone in 2024 and 2 we wish stayed

The Reds will be glad to be rid of the injury-plagued Justin Dunn

When the Cincinnati Reds made the trade with the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2022 season, Justin Dunn was more than just a "throw in". The Reds traded Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to the Mariners in exchange for Dunn, Jake Fraley, Brandon Williamson, and a player to be named later (Connor Phillips).

Dunn was a former first-round pick, and though he suffered a shoulder injury midway through his 2021 campaign that kept him out of the second half of the season, it was expected that the right-hander could be part of the Reds rotation in 2022.

That never materialized. Dunn started a handful of games for the Reds in 2022 and never saw the field this past season. The Reds made the decision in October to outright Dunn off the 40-man roster. Rather than accept an assignment to Triple-A, Dunn elected free agency and is still seeking a deal.

It's hard to miss something you never really had, and Reds fans won't miss Dunn being part of the roster. Players like Phillips, Carson Spiers, and Lyon Richardson are next in line for that spot that Dunn never filled during his time in Cincinnati.

The Reds will miss Ben Lively

It's still surprising that the Cincinnati Reds outrighted Ben Lively off the 40-man roster and made no real attempt to re-sign the fiery right-hander to a minor-league deal. And if indeed the Reds sought to bring Lively back to the Queen City, they failed in their efforts after he agreed to terms with the Cleveland Guardians.

Lively is never going to be a frontline starter, but after all the injuries the befell the Reds rotation in 2023, it was assumed that keeping a low-cost, established pitcher like Lively was all but a foregone conclusion. As it turned out, the Reds front office had other plans.

None of this is to say that Cincinnati is going into the 2024 season unprepared. President of baseball operations Nick Krall and his team have done a good job of restocking the Reds roster with quality and quantity. But Lively seemed to fit the roster so well.

After having success overseas in 2021, Lively signed a minor-league deal with the Reds prior to 2022. After spending all season at Triple-A, the veteran earned a trip back to the big leagues last season. Lively worked as a starter and reliever, and were it not for one bad outing, his stat line would look a whole lot better.

This was an odd move, especially given the timing of it. Had the Reds decided after making some offseason additions that Ben Lively was no longer needed, so be it. But to let him go prior to the start of free agency seemed like a mistake. Let's hope it doesn't cost the Reds in 2024.

The Reds were wise to non-tender Nick Senzel

This is bound to be a bit controversial, but the Cincinnati Reds are not going to miss Nick Senzel during the upcoming season. No, Senzel never lived up to the hype of being a top prospect and former first-round pick, but the Reds didn't do him any favors. Senzel signed a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals earlier this winter.

After being drafted as a third baseman, the Reds made an attempt to turn Senzel into an outfielder prior to his major league debut. Senzel was unable to stay healthy, and the rest is history.

There was some observable bitterness and hurt feelings tlast season. With so many talented young players coming up through the Reds farm system, Senzel's role became that of a platoon bat. While he had success in that role, it's not one that he foresaw nor really accepted.

The whole relationship between Senzel and the Reds came to a head after he was optioned to Triple-A last summer. Senzel took his time reporting to Louisville, and was then passed over by lesser players when the Reds roster was rocked by injury. Cincinnati finally recalled the University of Tennessee alum, and Senzel finished the season with the Reds.

Cincinnati might miss Senzel's bat against left-handed pitchers, but it also gives the Reds a chance to give those opportunities to other young players. Senzel's absence will open the door for a player like Blake Dunn or Jacob Hurtubise, and his new home in D.C. gives the 28-year-old a new chance to show what he can do. This separation was a win-win.

The Reds will regret letting Vladimir Gutierrez go

Allowing Ben Lively to test free agency was odd enough, but it was almost as if the Cincinnati Reds decided to double-down on bad decisions by outrighting Vladimir Gutierrez as well. The Reds paid a steep price for Gutierrez when they signed him as an international free agent all those years ago.

Gutierrez had a terrific rookie campaign, but fell apart in 2022. Gutierrez made the switch to the bullpen in 2022 before landing on the IL with an elbow injury. Gutierrez eventually underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all of last season as he continued to rehab.

Gutierrez would have likely found himself against some stiff competition this spring. Young hurlers like Andrew Abbott, Connor Phillips, and Chase Petty are looking to establish themselves and eventually find a permanent spot in the Reds rotation.

But as is the case with the aforementioned Lively, having an experienced pitchers who possess the ability to work as a starter andf reliever cannot be ignored. While the Reds have a faith in several of their young pitchers, you can never have enough arms.

Gutierrez reportedly signed a minor-league deal with the Miami Marlins. His performance in 2024 will go a long way toward proving whether or not the Reds made a mistake letting him go.

Though it may sting, the Reds were right to bid farewell to Joey Votto

Joey Votto is one of the greatest players in Cincinnati Reds history. Though he's been rather polarizing over the past few seasons, having fallen short of the expectations that come with such a huge contract, Votto will be recognized among the all-time greats in Reds history.

That being said, a farewell tour is not a reason to bring Votto back to Cincinnati. Quite frankly, his final game in front of the home fans at Great American Ball Park couldn't have been any better.

But Votto has no place on the Reds roster as currently constructed. Even Jonathan India is having a hard time fitting in. Votto's performance, whether due to injury or age, has declined over the past couple of seasons. He certainly wasn't worth the $20 million team-option, and if Votto's truly seeking an everyday opportunity, he wasn't going to find it in Cincinnati.

For all those preaching the need for Votto's mentorship and veteran leadership; at some point, all good things come to an end. The Reds brought in several veterans this offseason, and players like India and Tyler Stephenson are well equipped to become the next wave of clubhouse leaders.

It's going to sting a bit when Opening Day comes around and No. 19 isn't on the field. But Joey Votto's best days are behind him, and the Cincinnati Reds best days are on the horizon. The Reds made the correct decision in letting Votto, and the team will be better in 2024 for having done so.