Reds players with minor-league options on the 40-man roster

Players with no minor league options remaining could force the Reds management into some tough decisions.
Cincinnati Reds players Spencer Steer, TJ Friedl, and Noelvi Marte
Cincinnati Reds players Spencer Steer, TJ Friedl, and Noelvi Marte / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

When crafting a major league roster, several things come into play. One aspect of building a roster, which is often overlooked, is how many players have minor-league options remaining? For those who don't know, being optioned to the minors allows a player to be removed from the active roster but remain with the organization.

Each player is only allotted three minor-league options throughout their career. Once a player is added to the 40-man roster, if he's sent down to minor leagues for at least 20 days, he will lose an option. However, only one optioned is used per season regardless of how many times a player is shuffled back and forth between the major and minor leagues.

Which Cincinnati Reds players have minor league options remaining, and who might be designated for assignment if they fail to make the Opening Day roster? All stats provided by FanGraphs.

Reds players with minor-league options on the 40-man roster

Which Reds players have 3 minor-league options remaining?

  • Matt McLain, IF
  • Spencer Steer, IF/ OF
  • Connor Phillips, RHP
  • Tejay Antone, RHP
  • Carson Spiers, RHP
  • Jonathan India, 2B
  • Hunter Greene, RHP
  • Graham Ashcraft, RHP
  • Christian Encarnacion-Strand, IF
  • Andrew Abbott, LHP
  • Rece Hinds, OF
  • Christian Roa, RHP
  • Fernando Cruz
  • Nick Lodolo, LHP
  • Alexis Diaz, RHP
  • Jacob Hurtubise, OF

The names from this list that probably jump out to Reds fans are Matt McLain, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Andrew Abbott. After all, didn't they begin last season in the minor leagues? While that's correct, those three players were not part of the Reds 40-man roster at the time they were assigned to the play in the minors.

Christian Roa, Rece Hinds, and Jacob Hurtubise all joined the Reds roster this offseason, but all three will likely be optioned to Triple-A Louisville to begin the 2024 season. Carson Spiers, Connor Phillips, and perhaps even Tejay Antone will begin the upcoming season in the Derby City as well.

Which Reds players have 2 minor-league options remaining?

  • TJ Friedl, OF
  • Elly De La Cruz, SS
  • Noelvi Marte, IF
  • Casey Legumina, RHP
  • Lyon Richardson, RHP
  • Jake Fraley, OF
  • Brandon Williamson, LHP
  • Levi Stoudt, RHP

These eight players still have two options remaining. There's been whispers about Noelvi Marte or even Elly De La Cruz beginning the 2024 season in the minor leagues. That seems a bit farfetched given the expectations surrounding both infielders.

Jake Fraley and TJ Friedl will undoubtedly begin the season in the big leagues, but the trio of Brandon Williamson, Lyon Richardson, and Levi Stoudt all have an uphill climb to leave Goodyear on a plane for Cincinnati.

Which Reds players have 1 minor-league option remaining?

  • Sam Moll, LHP
  • Alex Young, LHP
  • Nick Martini, OF

The list is getting smaller. Sam Moll is a shoo-in to break camp with the Reds, but Nick Martini is going to have a tough time doing so. However, Martini has remained on the 40-man roster so far this winter, and with a minor-league option remaining, could remain be sent down to Louisville to begin the 2024 season. Alex Young could start the season in the big leagues, but just as easily be a depth option in Triple-A.

Which Reds players have no minor-league options remaining?

  • Jose Barrero, SS
  • Brent Suter, LHP
  • Emilio Pagán, RHP
  • Luke Maile, C
  • Nick Martinez, RHP
  • Buck Farmer, RHP
  • Stuart Fairchild, OF
  • Ian Gibaut, RHP
  • Jeimer Candelario, IF
  • Lucas Sims, RHP
  • Frankie Montas, RHP

Most players listed here are major league veterans who, if healthy, will be part of the Reds Opening Day roster. However, both Stuart Fairchild and Jose Barrero will be competing for the 26th spot on the roster.

It's quite possible that one or both could be designated for assignment before the Reds leave Arizona. The good news, of course, is that if Fairchild and Barrero are the only players Cincinnati may have to cut loose when it comes time to make roster cuts, the roster is extremely deep and very fluid.