Friday's non-tender deadline will not be a pleasant experience for several players throughout Major League Baseball.
Teams will be making tough decisions about which players will be tendered contracts for the 2024 season and which players will no longer be part of their organization.
The Cincinnati Reds will have a few tough decisions, but one of the most interesting names to keep an eye on ahead of Friday's deadline will be Jose Barrero. While it may be tempting to cut ties with the free-swinging infielder, the Reds should not cut Barrero.
Why the Reds shouldn't cut Jose Barrero at Friday's non-tender deadline
The Cincinnati Reds have given Jose Barrero several opportunities to show that he has the chops to be a major leaguer. To this point, the shortstop has been a disappointment.
While I could make the argument that the Reds have never given Barrero an extended look, he's shown enough over the years to suggest that his elite athletic ability is not enough to garner him significant playing time in the major leagues.
However, being part of the team after the non-tender deadline is not a guarantee that Jose Barrero will be on the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster. But it gives the Reds time this offseason to work out a potential trade or craft a contingency plan.
Jose Barrero is pre-arbitration eligible, so his 2024 salary implications are nonexistent. While Barrero scuffled at the major league level last season, the shortstop had sustained success in Triple-A.
Barrero hit just .218/.295/.323 in 46 games with the Reds last season, but with consistent playing time down in the minors, the 25-year-old posted a slash line of .258/.333/.540 with a wRC+ of 110 according to FanGraphs.
Jose Barrero could still have a role with the Reds in 2024
If the Cincinnati Reds decide, as most assume they will, to part ways with Nick Senzel and trade Jonathan India, all of the sudden, the team's infield depth takes a massive hit.
If the Reds are able to carve out a role for Barrero, similar to what Senzel had in 2023, perhaps there's reason to believe the former top prospect could help fill out David Bell's bench in 2024.
In no way can the Reds count on Jose Barrero to be a key contributor next season, but he has enough positional versatility to serve as the 26th man on the roster. At worst, if he struggles during spring training or shows that he can't get the job done, the Reds can designate him for assignment.
Releasing a player before the non-tender deadline has more to do with salary obiligations than roster space. While it's unlikely that Barrero will ascend to the heights many predicted back in 2021, there's no need to move on so quickly. Barrero should not be a casualty of the non-tender deadline.