The Cincinnati Reds hand agreed to a deal with Venezuelan catching prospect Alfredo Duno. As I reported earlier today, the Reds will holding their official signings for the 2023 international signing class on Monday afternoon at their complex in the Dominican Republic.

For a long time the Cincinnati Reds didn’t do much signing of players to 7-figure signing bonuses unless they were Cuban players who were a bit older than the typical 16-year-old players that tend to make up the bulk of international signings. Until the rules were changed in 2017 to cap all spending the Reds had signed just three non-Cuban players on the international scene to 7-figure deals. The team couldn’t spend more than $300,000 on any player in the 2017/18 or 2018/19 classes after facing penalties for what they spend on Cuban-born players Jose Barrero, Alfredo Rodriguez, and Vladimir Gutierrez. But in the last four years they have signed five players to 7-figure signing bonuses.

In 2022 the Reds signed Venezuelan shortstop Ricardo Cabrera to a then record setting bonus for the organization. He made his debut this year for the complex team in the Dominican Republic and after a slow start to the year turned things around in a big way over the final two months. The signing bonus for Alfredo Duno tops that and now sits as the largest bonus for a non-Cuban international signing for the club.

Depending on where you look, Alfredo Duno is anywhere from the #3 rated prospect in the class to the #7 rated prospect in the class. Even while reading the various public reports you can see that some evaluators have Duno as the top guy in the class. He’s a potential 5-tool catcher, and given how catchers tend to run, that’s quite the rarity.

His raw power may be his best tool, grading out as a plus to plus-plus tool thanks to big time bat speed and his strength. His hit tool projects to be average in the future, which for a catcher sticks out. The same goes for his speed where he’s an average runner, but at the position it sticks out. Behind the plate he’s got plus arm strength, good hands, can receive well, and has plenty of athleticism that should help him block well.

The club also announced that they have agreements with 12 other players. Here’s the full list of those players:

Player Pos From
Alfredo Alcantara SS Dominican Republic
Alfredo Duno C Venezuela
Andre Vasquez RHP Dominican Republic
Angel De La Cruz OF Dominican Republic
Anielson Buten Utility Haiti
Brayan Joseph SS Dominican Republic
Bryan Diaz LHP Dominican Republic
Emmanuel Talavera RHP Venezuela
Irvin Gonzalez RHP Venezuela
Rafael Leon RHP Colombia
Rafhlmil Torres SS Venezuela
Sergio Villa RHP Colombia
Yeycol Soriano CF Dominican Republic


31 Responses

  1. Old-school

    So reds invested 2.7 mil in cabrera last year and switch hitting elite catcher for more than that this year. Maybe Krall has a plan and is stockpiling high ceiling young players. Reds get # 7 pick in draft in july

    Minors pipeline is growing and getting deeper

    Reds have invested over $10 million in elite teenagers last year in Collier, Cabrera, and Duno. Sure beats signing a has been pham or Minor.

    • RedBB

      They also got 3 pretty good INTL prospects last year at the trade deadline.

    • Melvin

      Things are looking better and better for a sale next year…hopefully.

    • Doug Gray

      The Reds have always spent every penny allowable in the draft and international market for years. This isn’t anything new for the Reds or Krall – the only new thing is that they don’t want to pay big leaguers anymore.

    • Kevin H

      Pham and Minor had decent big league success. The three players you mentioned are at this time prospects who may never make it.

      • greenmtred

        They might not, but would Pham and Minor have been key contributors on a good team in the next few years?

  2. redfanorbust

    This player if truly legit he should get to the big leagues just in time for Stevenson to have reached his peak, ready to have a payday, just in time for the Reds to trade Stevenson. 🙂

    • Doug Gray

      Unlikely. Only one catcher has spent a full season in the big leagues at the age you’re talking about for this scenario to play out since 2010 and it was Jesus Montero back in 2012.

      • redfanorbust

        Oh I was talking 4-5 years from now. Mostly just making a comment on how the Reds might be starting to do business from now on.

  3. Kelly

    We’ll Keep dreaming and praying for Miracle Reds Baseball Season. Everything to go their way. Just get rid of Bob and Phil!!!!!!

  4. Rednat

    i still don’t quite understand these international signings? how do these work?. these players come from impoverished countries. most don’t speak english i assume. It seems like they could be taken advantage of fairly easily. i really think there should be some type of draft system for the central american players.

    • Doug Gray

      They all have agents, so they at least within the financial rules, they aren’t being taken advantage of. A draft isn’t going to fix plenty of the problems that are very much in the international signing system, which I could go on about for days. That said, I do think a draft could fix a few of the problems, but I also think it could lead to a few new ones.

  5. Frankie Tomatoes

    It is good to have the Reds finding a way to sign top players here because they aren’t going to be doing that anywhere else unless they luck into the top pick in the draft. They won’t sign anything beyond middle of the road free agents so they need to hit it big here and hope they can a superstar or three.

  6. Kelly

    So how much Money is this kid Duno going to get?

  7. David

    Listed…Angel De La Cruz.

    Any relationship to Elly De La Cruz, highly regarding Reds AAA player (for 2023)?

    Also from the Dominican Republic.

  8. Tom Diesman

    Noted a 14th entry in the Reds transactions not on the original list of 13. Maybe a late add?

    01/15/23 Cincinnati Reds signed free agent SS Brauli Diaz to a minor league contract.

  9. Gonzo Reds

    Jesús Aguilar 1B/DH about the only thing left of relevance on the FA market at this point. He’d be a good replacement for Votto if he’s not ready or could spell him if he’s not and of course would be a solid DH.

    Pitching it’s just Wacha and the Reds have already signed one Cardinals reject this offseason.

    • MBS

      Solano is still out there, and in the pen Chapman, and Will Smith. Grab 2 of those for 12M total.

  10. GreatRedLegsFan

    By looking at current payroll, Reds are expected to open this season at about $80MM, which drops to almost zero after season’s end, creating a very attractive organization to prospective buyers, with minimal financial commitments and a highly rated farm system. Perhaps they’re finally on the verge of an ownership change.

    • Melvin

      That’s pretty much the way I look at it too. Hope we’re right. 🙂

      • MBS

        Hope the 2 of you are right, but I don’t think Phil would be giving a speech about how hard it is to be a small market team if they were in the process of selling a small market team.

      • Melvin

        Phil is bananas. He just blurts out things because he has no worries about getting in any kind of trouble for it. lol

    • Old Big Ed

      I used to think that, too, but I’ve pretty much decided that there is no real indication that ownership wants to sell. If anything, I suspect that they are all saying, “Well, we took so many slings and arrows over the last 3 years about tanking, we may as well enjoy the good times.” In other words, if the payroll/farm system makes the business attractive to a prospective buyer, then it is also attractive to existing ownership.

      If you think Phumblin’ Phil is unbearable now, wait until the Reds get hot in 2024 and he thinks that it proves his genius.

      • GreatRedLegsFan

        You may be right, however is yet to be seen if under such circumstances and beyond 2024, will they look to put a winning team on the field or just happy with a 4th/5th division place?

      • Melvin

        Judging by what he said the writing is kind of on the wall don’t you think? That is that they don’t believe in multi year (three years and up) contracts anymore. If that is the case you really can’t run a MLB club that way. Selling would be the probable way to go in my view. There’s no telling what’s going on in the heads of Big Bob & Son though. About the only thing we can count on will be cheap and selfish thoughts when it comes to the Reds at least. Time will tell and we can only hope the team is sold to a “winning buyer”.

  11. CI3J

    Alfredo Duno just turned 17 about 2 weeks ago.

    IF he makes it to the big leauges (and with players this young, that’s always a huge “if”), we won’t be seeing him until about 2030.