3 Reds who don’t deserve to be on the 40-man roster

The fate of these players is hanging by a thread.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Jose Barrero
Cincinnati Reds infielder Jose Barrero / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages
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Spots on the 40-man roster are extremely valuable. But unless the Cincinnati Reds make another major-league addition this offseason, it's unlikely fans will see any subtractions from the 40-man roster before Opening Day. But that doesn't mean that everyone currently occupying a spot on roster is deserving of it.

Every year there are a handful of players who enter spring training with one last chance to make an impression on the front office, the manager, and the coaching staff. Typically, these players have been on the fringe of the roster for quite some time, have run out of minor league options, or represent a journeyman who's clinging to the hope of one more year in the big leagues.

But the Reds began their 40-man roster purge earlier this offseason after non-tendering players like Nick Senzel and Derek Law. The Reds also refused to pick up Joey Votto's club-option. With several talented players receiving non-roster invites to Goodyear this month, it's only a matter of time before these three players are handed their walking papers.

Nick Martini, Outfielder

Nick Martini has value. The veteran provided two clutch moments during the Cincinnati Reds run last season, and has been rewarded for his performance and leadership by maintaining a 40-man roster spot throughout the offseason. But Martini represents a redundancy on the Reds roster.

Though he can play first base, Martini's primary duties will either be in the outfield or acting as the Reds designated hitter. Martini is a left-handed batter, and the Reds already have a roster chock-full of such players. Jake Fraley, Will Benson, and TJ Friedl should all be getting at-bats ahead of Martini. An argument could even be made for non-roster invitee Conner Capel and prospect Jacob Hurtubise.

The Reds made a mistake last month when they signed Brent Suter to a major league deal and decided to hold on to Martini over Daniel Duarte. Cincinnati designated Duarte for assignment and later traded him to the Texas Rangers. Duarte has since been DFA'd by Texas. An opportunity to re-sign the right-handed reliever to a minor-league deal fell apart after the Minnesota Twins claimed Duarte offer waivers.

This is not to suggest that Nick Martini is a bad player or that he shouldn't be given an opportunity to have a role in the organization, but the 33-year-old does not belong on the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster.