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 relief pitcher Lucas Sims (39) celebrates.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Lucas Sims (39) celebrates. / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

What might the Reds bullpen look like on Opening Day 2022?

Lucas Sims, Tony Santillan, Luis Cessa, Dauri Moreta, Justin Wilson, Reiver Sanmartin, Art Warren, Andrew Chafin

The Cincinnati Reds bullpen was woeful in 2021 and, unfortunately, their best reliever (Tejay Antone) will be out of action next season after undergoing Tommy John surgery earlier this year.

I find it hard to believe that Amir Garrett will be back in 2022. Look for AG to be non-tendered later this year.

But, the Reds do return some productive members of their relief corps. Lucas Sims, Tony Santillan, Luis Cessa, Justin Wilson, and Art Warren are virtual locks to be in the pen next season.

Sims, though he had an up-and-down season in 2021, should be counted as key member at the back of the bullpen and may be the top candidate to be the Reds closer in 2022.

Cessa and Wilson will definitely be back in 2022. Both were part of a deal with the New York Yankees at the trade deadline last July.

Cessa, like Sims, will be counted on in high-leverage situations. Wilson gives Bell a veteran lefty out of the pen who's capable to go more than one inning.

Santillan and Sanmartin both came up through the Reds farm system as starters, but it would seem like the bullpen is where they'll find a home in 2022.

Warren was easily one of the most surprising pitchers on the Reds staff last season. The right-hander posted a 1.29 ERA and didn't allow a run after returning from the 60-day IL in September.

Dauri Moreta shut down opponents at Triple-A Louisville last season and made his big league debut in September. Look for Moreta to battle it out with fellow right-hander Ryan Hendrix for a spot in the Reds pen next spring.

Finally, the Cincinnati Reds will have to invest some money into the bullpen. Pitchers like Yimi García, Kendall Graveman, and Trevor Rosenthal could emerge as potential free agents who could entice the Reds front office.

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But I'm going to go with Ohio native Andrew Chafin. The 31-year-old appeared in 71 games for both the Chicago Cubs and Oakland A's last season while posting a 1.83 ERA. Chafin has mutual option for the 2022 season, but could probably get more than the $5.25M he'd receive from the A's.