Prospect Nick Quintana will present the Reds front office with a quandary this offseason

Former Detroit Tigers prospect Nick Quintana
Former Detroit Tigers prospect Nick Quintana / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

Not many fans remember the name of the prospect who was acquired from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Tucker Barnhart shortly after last season ended. His name is Nick Quintana.

When the Cincinnati Reds traded for Quintana, the move was seen as little more than a salary dump. Barnhart was owed $7.5M in 2022 should Cincinnati have decided to pick up his team-option. But with Tyler Stephenson emerging as the team's everyday catcher, it made little since to retain Barnhart for such a steep price.

The Reds decided instead to deal the two-time Gold Glove recipient to the Tigers in exchange for an infield prospect with a low ceiling. Quintana was a second-round pick of the Tigers back in 2019, but he'd failed to produce at the dish since joining Detroit's organization.

Nick Quintana will present the Reds front office with a tough decision during the offseason.

But Nick Quintana has been anything but underwhelming since joining the Cincinnati Reds. The 24-year-old enjoyed a fruitful 59-game stay at High-A Dayton where he slashed .257/.372/.421 with six home runs and 32 RBIs.

That performance saw Quintana promoted to Double-A Chattanooga where he has continued to play at a high level. In 25 games with the Lookouts, Quintana is hitting .283/.394/.435 with a 15.6% walk-rate and 10 extra base hits. Quintana's defense continues to lag behind, as he's committed eight errors while playing both second and third base in the minors this season.

It's fair to say that the Cincinnati Reds have received more than they expected from Quintana whose batting average prior to the trade was sitting at .190 with a wRC+ of just 77. This season combined, Quintana is hitting .265 with a wRC+ of 124 according to FanGraphs.

Here's where the problem lies; Nick Quintana will need to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Quintana is not alone, as fellow infield prospects Elly De La Cruz, Spencer Steer, and Ivan Johnson will need to be added also. There's also pitchers Brandon Williamson and Levi Stoudt as well as catcher Daniel Vellojin.

This is where the roster crunch is sure to become quite interesting. Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall and his staff will have their work cut out for them during the offseason. There will be many key decisions that need to be made and adding Nick Quintana to the 40-man roster is one of them.

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