The Cincinnati Reds will enter the 2023-24 offseason with a lot of positions already claimed heading into Opening Day next season.
Players like Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, and Spencer Steer should feel very comfortable about their standing on the 40-man roster heading into this winter. But other players are not as fortunate.
This year's non-tender deadline is Friday, November 18th. Between now and then, the Reds font office has some questions to answer. If no trades are made to lighten the load on the 40-man roster, these five players should be non-tendered.
1. Reds OF TJ Hopkins should be non-tendered
TJ Hopkins was left off the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster last offseason, but no other team took a flier on the outfielder during the Rule 5 Draft. Hopkins got his shot in the big leagues earlier this year, and while it was little more than a cup of coffee, Hopkins didn't do enough to keep his roster spot.
That's not to say that Hopkins shouldn't be retained by the Reds heading into next season, but Cincinnati will be looking to upgrade the roster during the offseason and the 26-year-old is certainly expendable.
Hopkins didn't get a very long look and logged just seven hits in 41 at-bats. Though Hopkins has the positional versatility to play all three outfield positions, the Cincinnati Reds have plenty of those players on the roster already.
Jake Fraley, TJ Friedl, and Will Benson can each play all three outfield spots, and so can Stuart Fairchild. Hopkins would give the Reds an additional right-handed bat, but Spencer Steer will likely see more time in the outfield next season.
In 94 games at Triple-A, TJ Hopkins posted a .924 OPS, so there's an outside chance that Cincinnati will look to keep the South Carolina alum around. However, with the likely selection of Rece Hinds to the 40-man roster, the Reds are going to need to make some room.