After several weeks of subpar performances, the Cincinnati Reds finally decided it was time to part company with Luke Weaver. The team's lone pitcher who was signed to a major-league free agent deal this offseason was designated for assignment.
With Weaver gone, the Reds can now add Hunter Greene back to the 40-man roster without making a corresponding move. But Greene won't be the only player retruning from injury who'll be in need of a roster spot.
Nick Lodolo, Justin Dunn, Tejay Antone, and maybe even Vladimir Gutierrez will all be looking to join the big league club in the next few weeks. Is Buck Farmer in danger of being DFA'd?
Buck Farmer may be the next veteran to be DFA'd by the Reds.
Buck Farmer has been a workhorse for the Cincinnati Reds this season. The former Detroit Tigers reliever is 3-5 with a 4.07 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 55.1 innings of work. Farmer's 54 appearances rank fifth among all NL relievers.
It's been a tale of two halves for Farmer this season. Before the All-Star break, Farmer was 2-3 with a 3.65 ERA, 4.55 FIP and opponents were hitting just .213. Since then, however, Farmer has made 12 appearances and owns a 5.73 ERA, 4.81 FIP, and the opposition is touching him up to the tune of .237.
Farmer will be a free agent after this season. If the Reds have any intentions of bringing the right-hander back in 2024, then obviously fans should not expect to see Farmer sent packing. But it may boil down to simple math. Do the Reds have enough 40-man roster spots to keep Farmer in the bullpen?
If you take into consideration that Cincinnati may need up to three spots in order to activate Nick Lodolo, Tejay Antone, and Justin Dunn from the 60-day IL, Buck Farmer may be one of the unlucky players who loses his spot on the 40-man roster.
Farmer is out of minor-league options, so sending him down to Triple-A would require that the Reds attempt to outright him to Louisville. Farmer could also refuse such an assignment. Maybe a phantom stint on the IL is in the right-hander's future, but that still doesn't solve the 40-man roster problem.
Alan Busenitz would seem to be a likely candidate to lose his roster spot, but after that, it gets very dicey. Almost every other player currently on the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster offers team control beyond 2023. Buck Farmer could be the odd man out.