1 key factor that may lead the Reds to keep Alex Young over Derek Law

If the Reds decide to keep one veteran reliever, who will it be?
Cincinnati Reds reliever Alex Young
Cincinnati Reds reliever Alex Young / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Looking at the bullpen heading into the 2023-24 offseason, it's safe to say that the Cincinnati Reds need to add a reliever or two through free agency or a trade.

Alexis Diaz, Fernando Cruz, Lucas Sims, Ian Gibaut, and Sam Moll all feel like comfortable locks heading into next season. If healthy, you can add Tejay Antone to that list as well.

But if the Reds were going to hang on to at least one more veteran reliever from the current roster, who should it be; Alex Young or Derek Law?

1 key factor that could lead the Reds to keep Alex Young over Derek Law

Buck Farmer is a free agent. While the Cincinanti Reds could bring Farmer back in 2024, it would have to be at the right price. The team has two other veteran relievers under team control for next season, but only one really makes sense.

Both Alex Young and Derek Law are up for arbitration this winter. According to MLB Trade Rumors, neither is expected to take home more than $2-million in 2024, so that's not of any concern.

If making a choice between the two, many Reds fans would choose Young simply because of the fact that he's left-handed. However, Young had reverse splits last season, so that hardly seems valid.

Putting the stat's side-by-side, you'll see that both Young and Law had very similar seasons. Young posted a 3.86 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 53.2 innings pitched and a 1.360 WHIP. Law finished the 2023 season with a 3.60 ERA, 1.382 WHIP, and 45 punch outs in 55 innings of work.

But Alex Young, according to FanGraphs, actually has one minor-league option remaining while Derek Law does not. The ability to move a player up and down between Triple-A and the big leagues is vitally important for a team like the Cincinnati Reds.

Several other pitchers (Daniel Duarte, Casey Legumina, Lyon Richardson, and Carson Spiers) in the Reds bullpen all have minor-league options remaining. The absence of minor-league options may necessitate that Derek Law be non-tendered this offseason.

The same thing occurred to Law last winter, and both he and the team agreed to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training. If another major league opportunity doesn't present itself this offseason, Law could rejoin the Cincinnati Reds in good year on a minor-league deal once again.