3 big questions the Reds must answer ahead of the upcoming deadlines

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Mike Moustakas.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Mike Moustakas. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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There are three major deadlines on the horizon this week - one of which will be of no concern to the Cincinnati Reds.

Tuesday marks the deadline for players that received qualifying offers to either accept it reject it. Last season, the Reds extended a qualifying offer to outfielder Nick Castellanos. The All-Star rejected it, signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, and Cincinnati received draft pick compensation. The Reds did not extend a QO to any free agent this offseason.

The other two deadlines, however, are very important to the Reds. By 6 PM ET, teams must decide which young prospects to protect from the Rule 5 Draft. MLB's non-tender deadline is set for Friday. By that date, every team must decide whether or not to tender a contract to every player on its 40-man roster.

With all of that as a backdrop, the Cincinnati Reds have some key decisions to make. Let's look at the three biggest decisions facing the Reds ahead of this week's deadlines.

1. Will the Reds add Lyon Richardson and Ivan Johnson to the 40-man roster?

At one time, both Lyon Richardson and Ivan Johnson were top prospects within the Cincinnati Reds farm system. Fast-forward to now, and neither is ranked among the Top 25 prospects according to MLB Pipeline, and there's a good chance that both may be left off the 40-man roster ahead of Tuesday evening's deadline.

Johnson missed significant time due to injury last season. The switch-hitting middle infielder slashe .261/.325/.428 at Double-A Chattanooga, but after adding so many middle infielders via trades over the last year, Johnson's future in the Reds organization is very cloudy.

Richardson didn't step foot on a mound after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The former second-round pick has dealt with injuries throughout his entire minor league career, but his raw talent has always kept Richardson among the best prospects in the Cincinnati farm system.

The Cincinnati Reds have at least four players (Elly De La Cruz, Brandon Williamson, Noelvi Marte, and Levi Stoudt) who'll be added to the 40-man roster by Tuesday evening. Will Ivan Johnson and Lyon Richardson make it six?