The Cincinnati Reds will enter spring training with a few position battles that David Bell hopes will sort themselves out. However, players who have no minor league options remaining tend to get the benefit of the doubt if the position battle is tight.
The Reds 40-man roster currently consists of five players who have no minor league options remaining. Let's look at all five, and see whether or not Reds fans can expect the entire quintet to be part of Cincinnati's Opening Day lineup.
Which 5 Reds are out of minor league options next season?
Of the five players who are out of minor league options, I believe that Aristides Aquino is the one in jeopardy of losing his spot on the roster. After breaking out in August of 2019, The Punisher has done little to maintain his spot on the Reds roster.
The remaining four players are all pitchers, and to be more direct, they're all relief pitchers. Amir Garrett, Lucas Sims, Luis Cessa, and Jeff Hoffman are all out of minor league options. Let's look at their case one at a time, shall we?
AG was horrendous in 2021, but was tendered a contract for the 2022 season. While it remains to be seen what Garrett's salary will be next season, most outlets assume it'll be over $2M. As one of the few lefties in the Reds bullpen, chances are very good that Garrett is on the roster come March 31st when the season kicks off.
Sims is a virtual lock to be part of the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster in 2022. Though he dealt with a couple nagging injuries last season, Sims has the makeup of a closer, and he'll get my vote to take the ball in the ninth inning when the game hangs in the balance.
Cessa, just like Sims, is a lock to be part of next year's squad. Cessa was one of Cincinnati's key pick ups at last year's trade deadline, and along with Justin Wilson will form a nice righty/ lefty punch out of the pen next season.
Finally, we come to Jeff Hoffman. While I was skeptical of Hoffman as a starter, he performed admirably as a reliever. A veteran arm that can go multiple innings brings value to the team, and I believe we'll see Hoffman on the Reds roster when the Chicago Cubs come to town at the end of March.