Alejo Lopez was a fan-favorite in 2022. A scrappy, diminutive infielder who was drafted in the 27th round of the 2015 MLB Draft, Lopez won the hearts of Reds Country with his fiery personality and excellent bat-to-ball skills.
Lopez was even recalled this season after several players landed on the COVID-19-related injured list. Lopez's disagreement with the home plate umpire resulted in his ejection.
But Lopez is unlikely to be back in a Cincinnati Reds uniform next season. According to Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Lopez has elected free agency.
Fan-favorite elects free agency after spending 2023 season in Reds minor leagues
Alejo Lopez actually made his major league debut in 2021, but showed promise during the 2022 season. Able to hold down both second and third base, Lopez filled in for several games while Jonathan India was on the IL in 2022.
For his major league career, Lopez has hit .265/.309/.329 and played very well down at Triple-A Louisville this past season. In 125 games with the Louisville Bats, Lopez hit .291/.401/.410 with seven home runs and 42 RBI.
Alejo Lopez wasn't the only minor league player to elect free agency. Pitcher Michael Marriot, Kevin Herget, and Alec Mills, along with infielder Matt Reynolds are all entering the free agent market this offseason as well. All five players saw small amounts of playing time with the Cincinnati Reds this season.
Cincinnati may look to sign Alejo Lopez, or any of those players that recently elected free agency, to a minor league deal this offseason with an invite to spring training. The Reds will certainly be looking to add depth to their Triple-A roster, especially on the pitching side.