Who's the most likely Reds player to be released at the non-tender deadline?

Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds have already made several moves ahead of the upcoming non-tender deadline. Aramis Garcia was waived earlier during the offseason, the team designated Jeff Hoffman, Aristides Aquino, and Derek Law for assignment, and signed Buck Farmer to a one-year contract.

All of these transactions leave the Reds with six arbitration-eligible players remaining on the 40-man roster. With Friday's 8 PM ET deadline looming, will Cincinnati make any additional moves in the next few hours?

If the deadline passes and Cincinnati stands firm, then all six players will be guaranteed a contract heading into next season. Who's the one player the Reds could surprisingly bid farewell?

Who's the most likely Reds player to be released at the non-tender deadline?

The six players up for arbitration are Kyle Farmer, Nick Senzel, Lucas Sims, Tejay Antone, Justin Dunn, and Luis Cessa. The trio of relievers are all but safe. The Reds bullpen needs the likes of Sims, Antone, and Cessa back in 2023. According to MLB Trade Rumors, those three pitchers are only expected to take home $4.7M collectively.

That leaves Farmer, Senzel, and Dunn. If Farmer is not part of the Reds in 2023, the Cincinnati faithful might actually revolt. While his estimated arbitration number ($5.9M) is high, Farmer was the best position on the team last season and the Reds cannot afford to just let him go.

Senzel is an interesting case. The former first-round pick has been a disappointment throughout his entire major league career. However, the Reds still maintain three more years of team control and have shown insane amounts of patience with struggling first-round picks over the years. It feels as though Senzel will be safe.

The same cannot be said for Dunn. Yes, the Reds just brought the right-hander to Cincinnati last spring as part of the return for trading Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to the Seattle Mariners.

But Dunn barely saw the field in 2022 and one could assume that the same thing could occur next season. When Dunn was healthy, he was rather ineffective. The 27-year-old posted a 6.10 ERA in seven starts and just 21 strikeouts in 31 innings of work.

The Cincinnati Reds have three of the five spots in next year's starting rotation spoken for. After adding Levi Stoudt and Brandon Williamson to the 40-man roster, the former Mariners' prospcts will surely be added to the mix. Connor Overton and Luis Cessa will also be part of the equation.

It's more than likely that all six players who are eligible for arbitration this offseason will be tendered a contract, but Justin Dunn could be in a very precarious spot for the next few hours.

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