3 players the Reds could DFA in order to make room for Spencer Steer

Cincinnati Reds Spencer Steer
Cincinnati Reds Spencer Steer / Billie Weiss/GettyImages
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If the Cincinnati Reds have any plans to call up Spencer Steer in the near future, they'll need to make room. Not only on the 40-man roster, but also in the everyday lineup. If Steer is deemed ready for the big leagues, then just like Jose Barrero, he needs to play almost every day.

Steer was part of the trade with the Twins that sent Tyler Mahle to join his former teammate Sonny Gray in Minnesota. Steer, Steve Hajjar, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand were part of the return for Mahle's services.

Steer has hit the ground running since joining the Cincinnati Reds organization. The 24-year-old has shown versatility as a fielder and the ability to get on base with regularity. For those fans looking for the type of player who puts the ball in play, Steer is your guy.

With regulars like Joey Votto and Tyler Stephenson out for the rest of the 2022 season, now is the perfect time to elevate Steer to the majors and allow him to get his feet wet. But which players could be designated for assignment (DFA'd) in order to get Steer's bat into the lineup?

1. Reds could DFA Matt Reynolds in order to make room for Spencer Steer.

This is an option, but it doesn't feel like the smartest one. Matt Reynolds could be described much like those throughout Reds Country like to refer to fellow infielder Kyle Farmer; he's a ballplayer. Reynolds has paid his dues and fought his tail off to get to where he's at but the 31-year-old is out of minor league options.

Reynolds isn't going to wow you with his slash line, but the former New York Mets infielder is a versatile defender. With Joey Votto out for the remainder of the 2022 season, Reynolds may be the right-handed hitting first baseman that David Bell turns to when there's a southpaw on the bump.

Reynolds is under team control through the 2026 season and is still pre-arbitration eligible. Still, with an OPS of just .655, you really have to wonder what the Reds would be missing if they decided to designate Matt Reynolds for assignment.

If Cincinnati has no intent of keeping Reynolds on the offseason roster, then it's foolish to hang on to him with Spencer Steer ready to make his debut. But it's not as if Reynolds is anything more than a bench bat, so would moving on from the former second-round pick really open up a spot for Steer to play every day?

2. Reds could DFA Aristides Aquino in order to make room for Spencer Steer.

This is a tough one because it feels as if the Cincinnati Reds are giving Aristides Aquino one last chance to prove that he can be an asset on a major league team. However, the Reds already DFA'd Aquino earlier this season, so they've proven that he's no essential to their long-term plans.

With Tommy Pham and Tyler Naquin, both of whom were headed into free agency anyway, having been traded at the deadline, the Reds roster is stocked with speedy defenders who can patrol the outfield grass (Nick Senzel, Jake Fraley, and TJ Friedl), but no one who really scares an opposing pitcher with the ability to go deep.

The Reds lack any sort of power-hitting outfielder heading into next season outside of Aquino. The Punisher's problem, however, is that his moonshots are few and far between. No matter how many opportunities he's given, it seems like the breaking ball low and away will be Aquino's Achilles heel for the foreseeable future.

But Aristides Aquino has shown that he's more than just a power bat. Aquino has been Cincinnati's best defensive outfielder this season with the speed and arm to track down balls and gun down runners. While some fans may not like it, Aquino could be the team's starting right fielder next season. But the Reds could also decide to DFA Aquino again and give Spencer Steer a chance to play.

3. Reds could DFA Albert Almora Jr. in order to make room for Spencer Steer.

Of all the ways that the Cincinnati Reds could think of to get Spencer Steer onto the 40-man roster, this one feels like correct avenue to take. Albert Almora Jr. has been a solid contributor to this year's Reds team, but is he going to be part of the 2023 roster?

The simple is maybe. The Reds maintain team control over Almora Jr. through next season, but is it really necessary for Cincinnati to hang on to the 28-year-old with so many outfielders on the current roster who have a similar profile?

TJ Friedl and Jake Fraley are both very capable of taking Almora Jr.'s reps in the outfield. The former Chicago Cubs centerfielder is hitting just .226/.283/.356 on the season and is honestly taking valuable playing time away from some of the organization's younger players.

Highly-regarded center field prospect Mike Siani must be added to the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster this offseason in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Much like Almora Jr. during his early days with the Cubs, Siani is an elite defender who struggles to hit. But Siani's defense could be categorized as elite and you have to assume that the Reds will get him opportunities in 2023.

Short of a season-ending injury, which the Reds have had enough of to this point, Cincinnati will have to designate a veteran for assignment in order to find a spot on the roster for Spencer Steer. The more likely scenario is that the team will wait until September and find another player, currently on the 40-man roster, to designate for assignment.