Cincinnati Reds Roster
- NL Central
- Great American Ball Park
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Spencer Steer could be set up to play the outfield regularly moving forward following the team's acquisition of corner infielder Jeimer Candelario this week. When the Reds traded for Steer in 2022, he brought up the idea of learning the outfield to the team's player development staff because he recognized that the Reds already had a surplus of infielders. The 26-year-old did make 38 starts in the outfield for the Reds in 2023, so it's not like he has absolute zero experience out there. Adding outfield eligibility to his fantasy profile would make Steer even more attractive to fantasy managers heading into draft season next spring after he slashed .271/.356/.464 with an .820 OPS, 23 home runs, 37 doubles, three triples, 86 RBI, 15 stolen bases and 74 runs scored in 156 games in his first full big-league season.
The Cincinnati Reds agreed to an undisclosed deal with free-agent infielder Jeimer Candelario on Wednesday night, according to a source. The deal is pending a physical. The Reds were not one of the teams expected to land Candelario, as they already have plenty of third base options at the big-league level in Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Noelvi Marte and Spencer Steer. Cincy has been rumored to be interested in some high-level starting pitchers on the trade market, though, so perhaps their plan is to flip several of their young players for a rotation arm. The 30-year-old Candelario is a switch-hitter and can also play first base. He'll be a bit more interesting with the Reds from a fantasy perspective after hitting .251/.336/.471 with an .807 OPS, career-high 22 home runs, 70 RBI and eight stolen bases in 140 total games with the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs in 2023.
Cincinnati Reds general manager Nick Krall said that starting pitchers Nick Lodolo (leg) and Graham Ashcraft (toe) are on track to be ready for spring training next year. Lodolo did not require surgery for an injured left tibia that limited him to only seven starts in his second big-league season in 2023. The young left-hander also dealt with a calf injury. Despite the injuries and basically a lost season, the 25-year-old southpaw has a lot of strikeout upside and will have a locked in spot in Cincy's starting rotation in 2024 as long as he's healthy. Lodolo had an ERA over 6.00 in his seven starts this year, but he posted a 3.66 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with 131 K's in 103 1/3 innings in his rookie season in 2022. Ashcraft had surgery in September to fix a stress reaction in his big right toe. The 25-year-old righty went 7-9 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 26 starts in his second major-league campaign in 2023.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Matt McLain (oblique) said his right-oblique injury is fully healed. "Things are going good. I started to swing, no problems. Lifting, no problems," McLain said. The 24-year-old was having an excellent rookie season in 2023 for the upstart Reds before his season came to an end prematurely at the tail end of the year when he was put on the injured list in late August. McLain resumed baseball activities at the tail end of the regular season in September and should have a pretty normal offseason as long as he doesn't suffer any setbacks. He'll be a popular middle-infield target in 2024 fantasy drafts after he hit . 290/.357/.507 with an .864 OPS, 16 home runs, 50 RBI, 14 stolen bases and 65 runs scored for the Reds in 365 at-bats.
Free-agent right-hander Nick Martinez and the Cincinnati Reds are in agreement on a two-year, $26 million deal on Thursday that includes an opt-out clause after the first year, according to sources. The 33-year-old opted out of the last two years and $16 million of his deal with the San Diego Padres this offseason to reach the open market. Martinez went 10-8 over the last two years with the Friars while posting a 3.45 ERA (4.17 FIP), 1.27 WHIP, nine saves, 81 walks and 201 strikeouts over 110 outings (19 starts) and 216 2/3 innings. He wasn't all that effective as a closer in San Diego, but he did have 23 holds and should work as a useful swing man in Cincinnati with the back end of the bullpen already locked down with Alexis Diaz and recent signing Emilio Pagan.