Senzel's time with Reds ends with non-tender decision

November 18th, 2023

Facing an infield logjam, the Reds parted ways with ahead of Friday’s contract tender deadline, the club confirmed.

“It was an honor,” Senzel posted to Instagram with a picture of him in a Reds uniform with his family. “Excited for the future.”

The club also non-tendered right-hander Derek Law and lefty Reiver Sanmartin, while tendering contracts to six arbitration-eligible players by Friday’s 8 p.m. ET deadline.

The decision ends the time in the Reds organization for Senzel, the second overall pick in the 2016 Draft, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time. He is now a free agent.

“We’ve got seven infielders still on the 40-man,” GM Nick Krall said on a Zoom call. “We looked at where Senzel was and it was a little bit of, ‘How does all this work?’”

Senzel, 28, has hit .239/.302/.369 with 33 home runs over parts of five big league seasons, all with the Reds. He hit a career-high 13 home runs in 2023 but watched his playing time shrink this summer as the Reds promoted a wave of exciting young prospects to Cincinnati. Senzel, who also missed time to injuries in each of the past three seasons, mostly split time between third base and center field in '23. But he has big league experience at five defensive positions, including second base and both corner outfield spots.

“His career was derailed by injuries, which has sucked,” Krall said. “He got bounced around and it’s a tough situation, but he handled it well and did a good job. At this point, where we are is a bench role, and it didn’t make much sense.”

It was not an entirely unexpected move given Cincinnati’s glut of young, controllable position players it will need to find playing time for in 2024. The Reds’ infield group has Jonathan India, Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Noelvi Marte . Also in the mix is Jose Barrero, who finished '23 at Triple-A Louisville but is out of Minor League options heading into next spring.

The logjam is the reason India’s name has been floating around in trade rumors early this winter. It was also the driving force behind the Reds protecting two outfielders from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the 40-man roster earlier this week, and in the organization’s decision on Friday to move on from Senzel.

“We talked to a handful of teams and obviously didn’t find the interest to move him,” Krall said. “So we decided this was probably best for our organization, to move on and let him find a place where he can play every day.”