The Cincinnati Reds officially signed Brent Suter today. We knew the move was coming and wrote about it on Thursday, but Suter still needed to pass a physical and then put his signature on some papers. With that now having taken place, the Reds needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster and that spot comes in the way of reliever Daniel Duarte being designated for assignment.

Duarte, who originally signed out of Mexico with the Texas Rangers back in 2013 but spent time in the Rangers and Kansas City Royals organizations until 2020 when he signed with Cincinnati as a free agent. With the minor league season cancelled, the Reds released him in June of that year. A year and a day later he was still unemployed, but signed with the Reds once again on a minor league deal.

Cincinnati added him to the 40-man roster that offseason and in April of 2022 he was called up for his big league debut. A little more than two weeks later he went on the injured list and missed four-and-a-half months before returning. He would only pitch in three big league games during the season, allowing three runs in 2.2 innings. Duarte was designated for assignment following the season and opted for free agency, but re-signed with the club after just four days on a minor league deal.

In the middle of June, after having a strong showing in Triple-A, the Reds called Duarte back up. He rode the back-and-forth bus a little bit during the summer, but his time with Cincinnati saw him keep runs off of the board at a good rate until he went on the injured list with shoulder tightness in the final week of the regular season. In 31 outings he went 3-0 with a save, throwing 31.2 innings with a 3.69 ERA.

Duarte did walk a fine line, though, as he walked 20 batters and had just 23 strikeouts. During those 31 games he inherited seven runners and he didn’t allow any of them to score. You can see his career stats here.

47 Responses

  1. Oldtimer

    Hope he gets an MLB chance somewhere. I think he deserves it.

  2. AllTheHype

    Thought it might be Legumina instead. Wonder if he’ll pass thru so we can retain him? Good depth piece for sure.

    • BK

      Yep, I was wrong about who was most vulnerable on the 40-man roster. I’m expecting him to be claimed but hoping he brings back a lower level prospect in a minor trade.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I had the same thought. Hopefully he can pass through waivers and stick around for depth.

    • MK

      Didn’t think they would get rid of Legumina since they traded a player,Farmer,for him.

  3. Optimist

    He and Legumina are/were the obvious choices, and I expect they’ll make another acquisition and do the same with Legumina. It’s both the good and bad of having a full 40-man roster, but mostly good in the sense they’re raising the level of the 35th-40th spots. For years those have been many AAAA players and a very few protected prospects. Now they have all of last season’s rookies, Phillips and Hinds, and anticipate many more in the pipeline.

    It will be nice, as BK notes, if they are at the point where they begin fielding trade offers following these DFAs, rather than waiting to see if they accept non-roster contracts.

  4. LDS

    Good choice, Suter is a definite upgrade. And too soon to pull the plug on Fairchild and Barrero, though I’d give up Fairchild before Barrero.

    • Oldtimer

      Lots of SS became CF in MLB. Two names. Mickey Mantle was mediocre defensive SS in 1950 minors and great defensive CF for NYY in 1951.

      Eric Davis drafted as SS out of Compton, CA but great CF for Reds in 1980s and 1990s.

      • Cincy6464

        Robin Yount wasn’t too bad either!

      • MuddyCleats

        Billy Hamilton; didn’t realize Eric Davis was a SS? Good enough for E Davis, why not Elly n CF. Not like this team doesn’t have enough young SS

      • Oldtimer

        Yes in Robin Yount. Maybe Paul Molitor, too.

    • Melvin

      ” though I’d give up Fairchild before Barrero.”

      I agree. Barrero still hanging on. 😉

    • Redsvol

      I agree with this. By now, we know what we have with Fairchild. I’d rather roll the dice with the younger, more athletic, more position-utility player in Barerro.

      • Adam

        No one has any idea what Stuart Fairchild can do. Still early.

  5. bryant

    Does the looming arbitration hearing with India raise the liklihood India is traded?

    • BK

      No. Given India’s injury history, I am not surprised they couldn’t come to an agreement. The Reds have gone to hearing before without rupturing their relationship with the player.

      • Melvin

        “The Reds have gone to hearing before without rupturing their relationship with the player.”

        That’s probably true but I’d say that and the trade rumors aren’t exactly helping it.

      • redfanorbust

        I am surprised that they could not come to an agreement with India.
        Especially with the money they have been spending. Does this signal a trade is more likely? I wonder if a meet me halfway figure was offered by either side and was rejected by either side? Seems to me the distraction and bitter taste of arbitration would not be worth it for either side.

      • BK

        The Reds have acted as a “file and trial” team for the last several years so don’t expect a “split-the-difference” settlement. In practice, this means they will only sign multi-year contracts once both sides submit their arbitration numbers. Teams realized they were accelerating the growth in contract costs by splitting the difference and have stopped doing this for the most part.

        As for the trade rumors, India has publicly stated that the Red’s front office has been upfront with him and kept him well-informed.

    • 2020ball

      The idea this is somehow a rift between team and player is being way overblown. Typical of this and perhaps any fanbase.

    • 2020ball

      And as far as the news everyone is worried about, its just India sticking up for future players. Good for him IMO, i low key hope he wins his hearing based on that.

  6. RedBB

    Bummer…I would have DFA’s Legume. Hope Krall knows something. Either way he wasn’t making the 26 man so…

  7. MBS

    I’m just glad they used a pitchers spot instead of a position player.

    If all are healthy we can only keep 1 of Barrero, and Fairchild since both are out of options. That will take us back down to 39 roster spots. Maybe the plan is to grab an upgrade to the 40 man when teams have to make similarly difficult roster decisions.

    • BK

      I agree. Earlier in the off-season, I expected the Reds to part with one of Fairchild or Barrero once they began signing free agents. You convinced me they were at the bare minimum as far as position players go once they DFA Hopkins, Wynns, and Thompson.

  8. Mauired

    If they do upgrade the bench which Krall stated would be the only thing left,besides bullpen which is pretty loaded now, I think Martini is the odd man out. He doesn’t really bring much to the table that Reds aren’t already getting with Benson and Fraley. And he’s much older and not as good as them. If he gets knocked off the 40 man, he would probably stick around to play at Louisville. With all the free agents, wouldn’t surprise me to see some kind of deal even though I don’t think Reds need more.

    • Optimist

      Also, they’re in a spot where they may be able to trade some of the AAAA/40-man roster spots (Duarte/Legumina/Martini, etc.) for another teams difficult DFAs. Unless there is a real talent DFA’d at the end of spring, this may be the first season in a while that they don’t pick up a few castoffs. Very interesting watching other teams pick up former Reds that were pretty far down our depth chart – i.e. Dodgers just signed Okey. Undertand that everyone has to staff AAA teams, but there’s still a difference going into this spring.

      • Mauired

        Could be. They did pick up Brandon Phillips during spring training many moons ago

      • Oldtimer

        Jeff Stevens for Brandon Phillips in 2004 ST.

  9. CI3J

    It’s a positive sign that the Reds are improving so much that fringe players like Duarte are being pushed off the 40-man to make room for better players.

    That said, while Duarte is not a great pitcher, he’s not horrible either. I think he probably deserves to be on someone’s MLB roster somewhere. If he passes through waivers, the Reds could stash him and he would be a good backup backup backup backup plan if injuries hit hard again.

    But hopefully it never comes to that.

  10. Mauired

    I’m starting to think Joey Votto return might be possible. Krall said he was done with big moves but also said he was trying to improve bench. And when Votto’s option was declined Krall also said it was because they didn’t have “enough” abs for him. Clearly Votto is not going back to being an everyday player. He is essentially a part time DH and pinch hitter. Not very versatile but the Reds have plenty of that already. However if improving the bench with a veteran professional hitter that can come in the game in later innings and work a tough walk or hit a dramatic homer run, what better MLB player than Hall of Famer Joey. I think he still has a little left in the tank. Despite coming back from a big injury, he did smash 14 homers in 62 games. Toronto still hasn’t signed a new DH so he could definitely go home to finish his career. But it would be nice to see him win a ring and retire as a Red.

    • Reaganspad

      I actually like this thought. I know it costs us a roster spot, but if he comes back knowing he is pinch hit, part time DH, it could check a box. Minor league contract with an invite to spring training. He cannot hit 200 and make the team.

      And if he catches 2021 Votto lightning in a bottle, huge upside. Worse case, he pinch hits on a World Series championship team at the end of his career.

      Nice way to send him off

      • Greenfield Red

        My opinion, he does not want to be a pinch hit/ part time DH. He wants to play 1st and bat 3rd. That’s the way it’s always been.

      • wkuchad

        I think the ship sailed on Votto rejoining the Reds after we signed Candelario. That could change if we trade someone away. But based on current roster construction, it’s not happening.

        Also, I very much doubt Votto would accept a minor league contract.

        I agree with 2020, I think he could have a rebound year and I’ll be rooting for him.

      • Kevin Patrick

        ….read that comment “…and if he catches”…and imagined a return to not only a 3 catcher roster but a return of Joey to his original position! Lol That would really be something wouldn’t it. Count me in the camp of it being worth it to be on a potentially weaker team WITH Votto than see him play for the stupid Cubs…or Cardinals (shudder).

    • 2020ball

      Would not be the least bit surprised if Joey has a good year. Rooting for him regardless of the team he is on. I have zero issue if that ended up being the Reds, as long as the manager doesnt play him too often.

      • Tom Reeves

        The best thing that could happen for Votto is that he’s not picked up by anyone and he decides to retire a Red.

    • Colorado Red

      God forbid.
      Will Bell he will start, and CES will not get the required at bats. The Reds will win fewer games. Joey is over the hill now, he is NOT the player he used to be.
      Get over it, the ship has sailed.

  11. Rednat

    Doug, thank you for the narrative on these journeymen players. These stories are what keep me tied to the reds and baseball. Didnt know Durate has been around so long. Sound like it has been a long road but he has stuck with it. I will definitely follow him if he winds up somewhere else. Thanks again!

  12. Mark A Verticchio

    No thank you on Votto. Between his desire to play full time and Bell as manager it would cost some much younger and more effective player at bats. Time to move on, all good things come to an end. I really like Votto but it just won’t work.

    • 2020ball

      The surest path I see to him returning is in the event of a ST injury, so long as he’s unsigned still then, since he doesn’t have a spot on the bench defensively (i.e. he’s not a CF or SS). End of the day if he’s better than someone else on the bench then he improves the roster, and that’s all I care about. That’s obviously debatable whether thats true or not.

  13. Mark A Verticchio

    The questions are: 1. Will he accept a bench role? and 2. Will Bell resist the temptation to use him as more than a bench player?

  14. Eddiek957

    As I’ve said before I’d hate to see the Reds have to DFA Joey

  15. Mauired

    He’s 40 years old and hasn’t been healthy since 2021. He’s not a full time player and he knows it. Doesn’t mean he can’t contribute. There’s plenty of abs for a part time dh, pinch hitter, maybe even a start at 1st every week or two. Preferably not too much though because CES and Candelario are probably a lot better at 1st. He’s getting a major league deal wherever he plays. He would retire for signing a minor league contract. But yeah it’s difficult to see his fit on the big league roster with so much talent. Unless there was an injury or unexpected demotion to one of the rookies last year like Marte, Reds would have to release Fairchild AND Barrero to make room for Votto

  16. Mark Moore

    The last run of rumors and thoughts on Joey I saw were posted on MLBTR yesterday:

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2024/01/latest-on-joey-votto.html

    The comments are amusing. If somebody wants to give him a spot on their 26-man, so be it. I’m pretty sure it isn’t us. And remember he doesn’t HAVE to play anywhere. He just WANTS to (at this point, anyway).

    • Kevin Patrick

      Thanks for suggesting those comments

    • TR

      A time to move on is a fact of life. As Joey Votto’s fine career with the Reds has come to a close, I’d like to see the Red’s give him a special day, which he more than deserves, when he’s not playing with another team. Votto has much to offer as a member of the Red’s media or organization.