It would appear the Brian Goodwin era with the Cincinnati Reds will indeed be a short one.
After being acquired over the summer from the Los Angeles Angels in a deal that included pitching prospect Packy Naughton heading west, Goodwin struggled in a part-time role with the Reds, posting just a .563 OPS in 55 PA. That paired with his pending second trip through the arbitration process made his projected salary of between $2.5-3.2 million for the 2021 season a bit on the pricey side for bench bat, and with Wednesday’s non-tender deadline on the horizon, it appears the Reds decided move on.
At least, that’s certainly what Goodwin’s own tweet would seem to relay.
Alexa play Free Agent by Big Krit— B. Goooood (@thatBoy_GOOD1) December 2, 2020
The Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale later confirmed the non-tender.
At times, Goodwin has been a plenty serviceable player in the bigs despite being rather well traveled to date. In his first real regular role in 2019, he posted a 108 OPS+ in 458 PA with the Angels, bonking 17 homers in the process. But with the status of the DH in question in the National League for 2021 - and with the 28-man rosters we saw for much of 2020 shrinking back to just 26 - the roster alignment for next year is going to likely be much, much different. Factor in the team’s OF glut with Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, Nick Castellanos, Shogo Akiyama, and Aristides Aquino all in-house, and it was Goodwin getting the squeeze.
Goodwin, it’s worth noting, is also out of options, so the Reds couldn’t simply keep him and stash him in AAA. That said, since they liked him enough to trade for him just a few months ago, it wouldn’t be too shocking to see them try to keep him around on a minor league deal should he not land a guaranteed big league contract elsewhere.
With rumors that the Reds are going to try to swing big to land an established shortstop this winter, and with the financial/revenue issues facing all teams during this pandemic, every last payroll dollar is becoming prioritized this offseason. Hopefully, this is a move that signal that the Reds are going to reallocate that money and not simply pocket it.
If my math is correct, that now leaves 35 players on the team’s 40-man roster.