2 players on the 60-day IL the Reds should release this offseason and 1 they're excited to see return

Cincinnati Reds infielder Mike Moustakas
Cincinnati Reds infielder Mike Moustakas / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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Reds infielder Mike Moustakas should be released this offseason.

This one would definitely hurt Bob Castellini's wallet, but the Cincinnati Reds cannot enter the 2023 season with Mike Moustakas occupying a roster spot. The 33-year-old has made six separate trips to the injured list this season and it's time for the Reds to just cut their losses.

Moustakas, even if he returns to his All-Star form in 2023 (which is highly unlikely), will still go down as one of the worst free agent signing in the history of the Reds franchise. Only Eric Milton's deal will rival the four-year/$64M contract that Moose signed prior to the 2020 season.

Moustakas has been plagued by injuries throughout his tenure with the Cincinnati Reds. But with players like Spencer Steer, Elly De La Cruz, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Matt McLain making their way up through the pipeline, Cincinnati cannot afford to allow Moustakas to take away meaningful ABs from their up-and-coming prospects.

Now, if the Reds decide to move on from Mike Moustakas, it'll cost them a lot of money. Moose is owed $18M in 2023 and has a $20M team-option for the 2024 season with a $4M buyout. If he's released, Cincinnati would owe the three-time All-Star $22M.

That's a steep price, but one the rebuilding Reds should be willing to take on in order to allow a player like Steer to try to establish himself as a major league player. Moose is little more than a left-handed hitting DH at this point in his career, and that's not something Cincinnati needs next season.