In a significant move by the Cincinnati Reds, the team has chosen not to tender a contract to Nick Senzel, as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Senzel, the second overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, bid an emotional farewell to the Reds through a heartfelt message on Instagram, marking the end of his tenure with the organization.
Hailing from the University of Tennessee, Senzel was a promising talent who quickly became a standout in the minor leagues. His performance there earned him a spot as a consensus top prospect leading up to his Major League debut in 2019.
However, his journey with the Reds has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows. In his five seasons with the team, Senzel posted a .239/.302/.369 batting line, struggling to maintain consistent success against major league pitching.
The 2022 season saw Senzel as the primary center fielder for the Reds. The team's strategy included shifting him back to his position at third base, hoping to ignite his offensive capabilities. Senzel began the year on a high note, showing particular strength against left-handed pitchers.
Despite this promising start, a slump in June hindered his momentum, culminating in a .236/.297/.399 line with 13 home runs over 330 plate appearances.
Senzel's Precarious Position
Senzel's journey with the Reds also included a brief demotion to Triple-A, but he concluded the season in the majors.
With the emergence of younger talents like Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, and Noelvi Marte, particularly on the infield's left side, Senzel's position in the team became increasingly precarious. Projected to earn around $3M if offered a contract, according to MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, the decision to non-tender him seemed almost inevitable.
At 28, Senzel now enters free agency, bypassing the waiver process. He is a former top prospect and impressive .286/.334/.459 line against lefties makes him an attractive option for teams seeking a third baseman. Speculations are rife about his next destination, with teams like the Washington Nationals, Oakland A's, Kansas City Royals, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Detroit Tigers potentially interested in taking a chance on him.
Senzel's departure from the Reds marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter in his career. As he ventures into free agency, the baseball world watches keenly to see where this former top prospect will make his next mark.