Way-too-early Cincinnati Reds roster prediction for the 2022 season

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jose Barrero (38) reacts with first baseman Joey Votto.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jose Barrero (38) reacts with first baseman Joey Votto. / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle (30) throws a pitch.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle (30) throws a pitch. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

What might the Reds starting rotation look like on Opening Day 2022?

Tyler Mahle, Luis Castillo, Wade Miley, Vladimir Gutierrez, Hunter Greene

The Reds would be foolish not to pick up Wade Miley's $10M team-option. Miley was Cincinnati's best starter last season and should be in the starting rotation next season.

Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle are both heading into Year 2 of the arbitration process. According to MLB Trade Rumors, the duo will likely take home a combined $13.2M in 2022. That's a steal considering the numbers those two put up last season.

Vladimir Gutierrez made his major league debut in 2021 and proved to be a valuable piece of the Cincinnati rotation. While he hit a bit of a wall at the end of the season, look for Gutierrez to be firmly entrenched as the No. 5 starter.

It's time for Hunter Greene to make his long awaited major league debut. The flamethrower was taken second-overall in the 2017 MLB Draft and seems to have fully recovered from Tommy John surgery.

In 2021, Greene spent time at both Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville and reached his innings-limit after hurling 100-plus innings. Greene struck out 139 batters in the minors last season.

Sadly, I think we'll see the Reds move on from Sonny Gray this winter. The right-hander had an underwhelming and injury-plagued campaign in 2021.

Gray's nearly $11M salary in 2022 is something the Reds will want to eliminate, especially if the franchise has aspirations of locking up Mahle, Castillo, or Jesse Winker for the long haul.