3 tricky 40-man roster additions the Reds should make during the offseason and 2 they shouldn't

The Cincinnati Reds are going to have some difficult choices to make in the coming months.

Carson Spiers throws a pitch
Carson Spiers throws a pitch / Nigel Cook/News-Journal via Imagn
2 of 5

When it comes to the Cincinnati Reds, making additions to the 40-man roster during the offseason will be crucial. That's especially true when it comes to which prospects the club will need to protect from the Rule 5 Draft.

Any player left unprotected during the offseason, who meets certain criteria, can be selected during the Rule 5 Draft. The Reds added players like Elly De La Cruz and Noelvi Marte this past offseason in order to ensure they wouldn't be plucked by an opposing team.

Now, players like Connor Phillips and Rece Hinds are no-brainers when it comes to some of the Reds prospects who'll be added to the 40-man roster this winter. But there are some tough decisions that will need to be made as well.

Reds prospect Carson Spiers should be added to the 40-man roster this offseason.

Carson Spiers is not a name that many Reds fans have heard. Pitchers like Connor Phillips and Andrew Abbott have overshadowed Spiers' performance this season. But the right-hander has seen sustained success nonetheless.

Spiers has spent all season at Double-A Chattanooga and floated between the starting rotation and the bullpen. All the while, Spiers has kept his ERA below 4.00 and his strikeout-rate above 25-percent.

Spiers came to Cincinnati as an undrafted free agent in 2020. The 25-year-old likely would have been drafted that year had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic shrinking the 2020 MLB Draft to just five rounds.

Spiers was a two-pitch pitcher at the University of Clemson and could use that fastball/ changeup combination coming out of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen next season. Spiers has since added a breaking ball to his repertoire and could be a fringe starter if that third offering is above average.

Carson Spiers will be a name to watch as the Reds offseason unfolds. His ability to throw strikes will no doubt secure him a roster spot, but several other pitchers (Levi Stoudt, Casey Legumina, and Lyon Richardson) are looking to fill a similar role in 2024.

Note: Carson Spiers was added to active roster as a substitute player and has yet to be added to the 40-man roster.

Reds prospect Jacob Hurtibise should be added to the 40-man roster this offseason.

Jacob Hurtibise is a feel-good story. The outfield prospect went undrafted out of West Point in 2020 and signed with the Cincinnati Reds. Hurtibise has always been known for his speed, but there's been more development to his game this season.

Hurtibise is not going to be confused for Elly De La Cruz; he doesn't have that kind of power. But the 25-year-old has shown some pop this season. In over 90 games split between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville, Hurtibise has a slugging percnetage near .500.

Couple that with his left-handed swing, speed on the base paths, and ability to reach base at over a 40-percent clip, and the Reds have a keeper on their hands. At such an advanced age as well, Hurtibise is prime candidate to be plucked from an organization during the Rule 5 Draft.

Jacob Hurtibise fits the mold of what Reds fans have seen this season from the likes of TJ Friedl; a grinder who's going to try to get on base any way he can and cause chaos once he reaches safely.

The biggest issue with Hurtibise will be the fact the Reds will have yet another left-handed hitting outfielder. With Friedl, Jake Fraley, Will Benson, and Michael Siani all on the roster, some future alterations may need to be made to the 40-man roster this offseason.

Reds prospect Christian Roa should be added to the 40-man roster this offseason.

Christian Roa doesn't have the same cache that a player like Connor Phillips does, but the former second-round pick will probably be added to the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster during the offseason.

What Roa's role with the club will be in 2024 is yet to be determined. The right-hander has continually been run out as a starter, and while he has four pitches, none of them are overly impressive. Roa looks to be more of a middle reliever than a starter. But those types of pitchers are necessary as well.

The 24-year-old has all the measurables you look for in a potential starter. Roa is 6-foot-4 with an impressive frame, has plenty of experience at both the collegiate and professional level, and he throws strikes.

Unfortunately, like many young pitchers, control and command are certainly an area that needs improvement. A walk-rate above 16-percent is not going to get Roa a ticket to the big leagues.

But, as the old adage goes, you can never have enough pitching. Adding Christian Roa to the 40-man roster would bolster the Cincinnati Reds depth in the minor leagues, and at the very least, give the team a spot starter who could develop into a quality long reliever at the big league level.

Reds prospect Jose Acuña should not be added to the 40-man roster this offseason.

The Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets pulled off an under-the-radar trade last summer that was supposed to help both teams. The Reds were looking to add minor league talent to their farm sytem and the Mets needs a left-handed bat to help them make a push toward the playoffs.

The Reds dealt Tyler Naquin, who was scheduled to be a free agent during the offseason, and landed two lower-level prospects in return. One of those prospects is outfielder Hector Rodriguez who has now landed among the team's Top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline. The other is Jose Acuña.

While Rodriguez might be the bigger name at the moment, Acuña has put together a solid season at High-A Dayton as well. At just 20 years old, Acuña has a sub-4.00 ERA in over 15 starts for the Dragons this season.

Because of his age and level of play, it's plausible that the Cincinnati Reds may not add Acuña to the 40-man roster. If a team selects a player during the Rule 5 Draft, said player must remain on the team's active roster for the entire season.

In order to option a player back to the minors, that player would have to be offered back to their original team first. A prospect who's yet to play above A-Ball is unlikely to spend the entire season in the major leagues, so the Reds should feel safe leaving Jose Acuña off the 40-man roster.

Reds prospect Yerlin Confidan should not be added to the 40-man roster this offseason.

Yerlin Confidan falls into the same category as Jose Acuña when it comes to a young, inexperienced player that is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. Except that Confidan has yet to even get out of Daytona.

Not only that, Confidan has regressed this season. The international signee was supposed to be a power-bat that would enhance the Reds farm system. But after a strong showing two years ago in the Arizona Complex League, Confidan has fallen off the map.

Last season, Confidan barely appeared in over 30 games, but this season has seen the field over 60 times. In a little over 200 at-bats, Confidan has fewer than five home runs. This after racking up double-digit dingers in 2021 in the ACL.

Rather than add him to the 40-man roster. Yerlin Confidan could be a perfect candidate to join the Arizona Fall League. Previous players like Tyler Stephenson, Matt McLain, and Jonathan India have gained a tremendous amount of tutelage in the AFL while also putting in more work alongside budding stars.

Confidan has the raw tools that would have almost any GM salivating, but there's no need to add him to the Cincinnati Reds roster just yet. Other borderline players who'll be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft include Johnny Pereda, Alex McGarry, Drew Mount, Daniel Vellojin, and Vin Timpanelli.