The Cincinnati Reds no longer have infielder/outfielder Jose Barrero on their roster. He was apparently put on waivers and this afternoon was claimed by the Texas Rangers. With the Reds, it appeared that Barrero was fighting for the final spot on the roster, but that’s no longer going to be the case.

The former top prospect for the Reds, who was rated as highly as the #33 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America after the 2021 season, Barrero was out of options. That left the Cincinnati front office in a situation of either having him in the big leagues in a bench role, trying to trade him if they weren’t sure he was going to make the team, or designating him for assignment and seeing if anyone picked him up (and if they didn’t, then sending him to the minor leagues).

The 25-year-old came up as a shortstop, but in the last few years has gotten a little bit of experience in the outfield as the team had begun to use him in more of a utility role as he struggled to hit enough to play every day in the big leagues. Last season he spent the first two months in the big leagues, but in early June he was optioned to Triple-A after posting a .619 OPS in 46 games played. He would spend the rest of the season in Louisville, playing 80 games, hitting 19 home runs, stealing 20 bases, and posting an .873 OPS. Cincinnati did not call him back up at any point later in the season, even when the rosters expanded to 28 players in September.

It does seem a bit confusing as to why the Cincinnati Reds would place Jose Barrero on waivers in the first week of March. There didn’t seem to be any need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, which would have necessitated a move like that for someone. With Barrero now off of the roster, there are 44 players remaining in big league camp and 39 players on the 40-man roster.

162 Responses

  1. Tracy Jones

    Seems like the defending World Champs might know something about talent. Reds Front office has mishandled this situation with their usual aplomb.

    • weigarp

      Apparently most major league teams passed on him, too.

      • Stock

        Agreed. If the Rangers got him 28 other teams passed on him.

    • Zeebach Radeem

      I thought his effort level was strong. His defensenrver waivered even as he struggled at the plate. I hope the best for him.

  2. Tar Heel Red

    It might be an indication of another move coming since the 40-man is now at 39.

    Even more interesting is that, since he was claimed by the defending champions, 28 other teams passed on him. I find this rather telling.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Let me correct my previous statement. MLB designated waiver claims in reverse order of winning percentage from the previous season…meaning 23 other teams passed on Barrero, not 28 as I posted. Phillies actually tied with the Rangers win percentage, but won the tie breaker due to having a lower percentage in 2022. Hope that clears things up.

    • AllTheHype

      More than likely, Texas will let him play a few games in ST but he won’t make their roster either, and will find himself on the waiver wire again.

  3. MK

    I’ve read that this might have been a trade as much as a waiver claim. Maybe the use of waivers was a way to move Barrero sooner, to get him acclimated to big league team, with a follow-up player coming to the Reds late, maybe again through the waiver process.

    • Doug Gray

      How would this possibly work? Other teams could just claim the guy before he got to the Reds, who would have to see the guy get entirely through the AL and then partially through the NL before their claim would matter.

    • Jim Walker

      This scenario would only work if the wink and nod agreement was with the team at the top of the waiver award list, not the team at the bottom of it.

    • Stock

      If they were doing this why not just make the trade?

  4. wkuchad

    Not a fan of just letting him go like this. You had a guy under control for cheap for 6 years that can more than adequately backup multiple premium defensive positions.

    • Melvin

      Yes. This is a strange move in my view. Not a fan of it either.

    • Melvin

      “You had a guy under control for cheap for 6 years that can more than adequately backup multiple premium defensive positions.”

      YES. Not only that but a guy who is just as good now (with potential to be a lot better) as any “veteran” they’re mostly likely going to replace him with

      • earmbrister

        “A guy who is just as good now (with potential to be a lot better) as any “veteran” they’re mostly likely going to replace him with”.

        Really, how so? Barrero has a career OPS+ of 34 (!). Which veteran or veterans is he better than?

        Mind you, I bought into the annual “This is the year that Nick Senzel is going to break out” mantra, so I’m familiar with the thinking. However even Senzel has a career OPS+ of 77 (more than double Barrero’s), but still quite poor. An OPS+ of 34 isn’t poor, it’s abysmal.

        I’ve long since moved on from Barrero. Maybe he will somehow someway blossom elsewhere, but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Melvin

        Not looking at career stats but what he is developing into. Keeping him all winter and then letting him go while making progress in ST makes no sense. Again, he still has great potential to be MUCH better than guys who will be replacing him right now. Which veteran has the skills that Barrero has to play well all over the field? Which one has speed, quickness, and a great arm? An argument can be made that he has more power too. His biggest weakness was his Ks. So far this Spring he’s walked as much as he’s struckout.

    • VegasRed

      Another Reds head scratcher. Maybe Bell really just wanted rid of Jose but he could have been released or traded later in spring which would make more sense. I think he will make the grade somewhere in the bigs.

      • CI3J

        I think so as well.

        All he needs is consistent playing time and a manager who is willing to patiently support him.

        He certainly never got either of those in Cincinnati.

    • JayTheRed

      The only good thing about Barrero was his defense, speed, and ability to play several positions. He never hit at the big-league level; he was even inconsistent hitting at AAA as well. Not really that sad to see him go. That’s just me but move on and who knows maybe there is a trade coming.

  5. LDS

    Good for Barrero. Hopefully, he does better in the Texas organization. I’m really interested to see which dinosaur Bell gets Krall to add to the 40.

    • Melvin

      Correct me if I’m wrong but won’t they need another player on the 26th man roster now that Marte is gone? I thought sure that would be Barrero now. Fairchild had the last spot locked up before that. It’s even more strange that they did it the day after the news of Marte. Not only that but Barrero was showing signs of being more patient at the plate this spring. The BA didn’t show it yet but it was coming. STRANGE.

      • Oldtimer

        Harrison or Kemp might get the open 40 man spot. Both have INF and OF experience in MLB.

  6. Mark A Verticchio

    With the loss of Marte I don’t understand this move especially with 19 days to go until opening day. I also can’t believe so many teams passed on Barrero. You just have to hope that this move doesn’t come back to haunt the Reds. I am sorry to all the Fairchild lovers but Barrero had a much bigger upside. Not a good 2 days for this Red’s fan of over 50 years.

    • Jimbo44CN

      I agree, losing Marte was the big blow, but having Barrero as a backup seemed like a good thing. God I hope they don’t keep Kemp. Harrison is a little better but not much.

      • Greenfield Red

        DId I read correctly that he was waived today… after the Marte announcement? Doesn’t make sense. Must be something more to it.

    • Doug Gray

      I’d imagine that Barrero was put on waivers prior to yesterday afternoon when the team allegedly found out about Marte.

      • Tbone

        But if the Reds had really wanted to keep him, they could have pulled him back after they got the Marte news, correct? They would have keep him on the 40-man, though.

      • Jim Walker

        @TBone, I don’t believe the waivers could have been “pulled back”. He would have been on outright (or release) waivers and as far as I can find, those are both irrevocable waivers.

        The old recallable “trade waivers” are no more since trades of players on 40 man rosters are no longer allowed after the July 31 deadline.

    • Melvin

      “Not a good 2 days for this Red’s fan of over 50 years.”

      I understand your feelings. It makes one feel as if the Reds mishandled both Marte and Barrero.

    • RedBB

      He also has a bottomless floor. Fairchild floor is much much higher.

      • Justin T

        Goodness gracious. The ceiling/floor stuff is todays Reds fan lingo. Ive watched Fairchild for awhile now and he is a below average big leaguer. Point blank period. But hey his floor is higher than Berrero’s. Guess what happens when you play beliw average players? You get below average results.

  7. Craig Z

    If he wasn’t in the Reds’ plans, I’m glad he’s getting a chance someplace. He’s young enough to have a long MLB career even if only as a backup.

    • Melvin

      “He’s young enough to have a long MLB career even if only as a backup.”

      Yeah. Doesn’t turn 26 until April.

  8. Dan

    This is baffling… There was no reason at all to make this move right now, was there?

    • 2020ball

      This is my take, why didnt they wait until the spring played out?

      • Melvin

        Yes. Especially given the fact that both the health of India and McLain is still up in the air.

      • earmbrister

        The Reds have seen Barrero day in and day out for a month and a half. Perhaps they’ve been trying to trade him and they gotten no interest from other teams. This does show that the Reds are looking to add someone to the 40.

  9. Beaufort Red

    Maybe all the GMs that passed on Barrero may actually know more than the people on this board. I know that’s hard to believe.

    • LDS

      Ah one of my favorite RLN canards – the “secret knowledge”. Look at the number of guys that the Reds cut loose in the last few years and the number that thrived elsewhere. Winker, not so much, but I think he’s a bit of a head case. Even Jankowski, who hit .067 as a Red managed to hit .263 with Texas last season. He re-signed this off season with Texas. Bottom line, the Reds under Bell/DJ haven’t been particularly good at helping the prospects reach their ceilings. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out this season with EDLC.

      • Optimist

        Serious Q LDS – who are the players the Reds “cut loose”, or traded very early, that have “thrived elsewhere”, and for a considerable time.

        Going back 30 years I come up with Konerko and Turner? Who am I missing?

        I’m watching Boyle and Siri, and perhaps Senzel, but is there someone else obvious to point at that got away from them?

      • Doug Gray

        Edwin Encarnacion is the big one you are missing.

      • LDS

        @Optimist, how about the various pitchers? Gausman, for example. Or as others noted, Siri. There are more without going back to Encarnacion.

      • DaveCt

        Prohibited from realizing success in the big leagues by the Reds: Suarez, Farmer, India, McLain, CES, Winker (all star), Castellano (all star), Friedl, Stephenson, Steer, Benson, Fraley, Fairchild, Castillo, Mahle, Gray, Bauer, Disco, Abbott, Williamson, the big three, when healthy, Diaz, Sims, Antone, Gausman (left via free agency), and the kids coming in hot.

        You’re going to trot out Jankowski and Siri vs this crew? I concede Senzel, now Barrero. But Acquino (slider away), Garrett (slider off the plate). Jeter Downs? The glass is much closer to being full than even just half.

      • earmbrister

        The Houston Astros moved on from Jose Siri after he had an OPS+ of 81 over two years with them. Are the Astros a poorly run team?

        Edwin Encarnacion is a good example, but it’s from 15 years ago (7/31/09). Don’t think we can blame Nick Krall for that one and he hardly would qualify as one of the guys that the Reds cut loose in the last few years and that thrived elsewhere. Even Gausman was back in 2019 and the Reds acquired him off waivers from the Atlanta Braves (another poorly run team). He became a much better pitcher after he left Atlanta, sometimes guys are late bloomers.

        Face it, even good organizations make bad personnel decisions from time to time. The Reds haven’t had many bad choices in the last few years.

      • Optimist

        Gausman doesn’t count as I understand the issue – he was a waiver pickup and released rather than resigned as a high$ arb retention. A very successful rejuvenation, after a few seasons with the Giants as well, but at a high price. If anything, the Braves gave him up for far less than the Reds.

        As for Encarnacion, we got a HOFer in return, arguably the key to the last good run of seasons they’ve had. Not a Mathewson/Rusie embarrasment, and Edwin had his limits, but in the win-one/lose-one category it’s added to the Konerko deal.

        Point is, that’s 30 years and no real clunkers in there, and a fairly limited list – it’s not like they’re repeatedly waiving future all-stars or badly misjudging trade after trade.

        Now, about draft and international scouting and evaluation . . .

      • greenmtred

        You need to check guys other teams released or traded through the years to make any kind of case, LDS. The Yankees parted company with Sonny Gray, for example, and he rediscovered his effectiveness with another team. I would guess that the Reds were hoping and expecting that Bareero would pass through waivers. And he almost did. And yes, the knowledge may not be secret in the Harry Potter sense, but it should be obvious to you that MLB teams have data –to include scouts’ and coaches’ evaluations–that you and I do not have.

      • greenmtred

        And Encarnacion was a hitter in desperate need of a league with the DH. He was a defensive liability, so of course the move to the American League benefited him and–who knows?–may have contributed to his improvement as a hitter since he was freed from the pressure of playing 3rd base.

      • Oldtimer

        Josh Hamilton did well after his Reds playing year(s).

      • Justin T

        My favorite is the guys that think the Reds move 2 or 3 moves ahead. Hey we let him go because we are making room for a big acquisition…

        The Reds could serve poop sandwiches and there would be fans here saying they still have a +252 sandwich rating according to statmaster inc.

        It frustrates me to see this front office treat the fans the way they do. Especially the loyal (at times gullible) ones that think Nick Krall is some diabolical genius thats secretly smarter than everyone else. I guess the ones who accept reality are just the old grumpy negative group.

        Edited: Don’t avoid the swear filter with asterisks. Just use poop instead.

    • greenmtred

      It does strain credulity, doesn’t it, Beaufort Red, but the thought crossed my mind, too.

    • Justin T

      Its baseball, we arent splitting conjoined twins here my friend. Nick Krall has absolutely no track record to think he knew anything other than Bell wanted an old veteran in that spot. Like everyone said. Guess what? Thats exactly what will happen.

      What more needs to happen before fans start believing their eyes and see the lack of competency in this front office?

      • greenmtred

        I’d have to see the current youth movement collapse. The Reds went from 62 wins to 82 wins and Bell played the young guys a lot. They put Barrero on waivers because Bell wanted an old veteran? Time will tell, but my observation has been that Bell, like many managers can only only play the guys he has. The young guys got lots of playing time when they arrived and, in fact, there was plenty of complaining here about EDLC playing as much as he did.

  10. VaRedsFan

    I don’t think Barrero had much of a future in Cincinnati, except as a backup. I do think they could have retained him until the last week of Spring.

    The Reds obviously didn’t feel like he was in their plans last year when he didn’t get called back up when the rosters expanded.

    Could it be work ethic, or attitude? It’s a guess as to why they didn’t want him anymore. Maybe he’ll release a statement.

  11. Mark A Verticchio

    As others have said considering the Marte situation the timing on this seems really strange. It looks to me like Fairchild and Harrison will make the roster, not what I had hoped just a few days ago.

  12. Mike W

    Barrero could play IF and OF. Barrero is only 25 and the Reds had control of him for the next 6 years. Why would we give him up?! On the other hand, why did 28 teams pass on him? All I know is every year I find myself wondering why the Reds did what they did numerous times. From trading MVP Triple Crown winner Frank Robinson, to resigning Bell as manager after a career losing record worst than most, why we didn’t sign Sonny Grey for a million more this year, why Bell didn’t make more guys bunt last year when one half of the infield was wide open due to a (formally allowed) shift, why Bell batted Benson — when he had Benson — with the best OPS in baseball — batting 8th or 9th resulting in the fewest ABs in the lineup. I’m sorry Bell fans, but I wish we had released Bell rather than extend his contract. Hopefully we’ll score so many runs and allow so few runs, that we still win 90, even when Bell is trying to make almost everyone happy by playing his “platoon games” with players based on lefty right situations, or defensive moves. Put who you think are our best guys and let them play. Give it 30 days, you might be surprised at us going 15-10 (,600). As my daughter would day “whatever!” To which I’d add “play ball!’

  13. LDS

    Harrison? Ah yes, a 37-year-old journeyman with a career 95 OPS+, the perfect player in Bell’s mind – look at all of Harrison’s utility. This season’s answer to Newman, et al.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      Agree 100%, at one time he was a decent player but that time has long passed.

    • RED THUNDER

      Just look at the Dayton Dragons manger’s last name. This could be a clue! Part of the Reds family. We have to have that, right??? Go Reds

  14. Kevin fox

    It now has to be Josh Harrison making the team. He has veteran leadership.

  15. Nick in NKY

    I had always hoped that Jose would turn it around. The timing here also seems strange; right after the Marte news, then they put him on waivers? Is it possible they thought he would make it all the way through waivers and they could keep him on a minor league deal? I know his track record hasn’t been spectacular, but with his upside, youth, and price, he seems like a great trade candidate for a team that wants to swap a lotto ticket pitcher or something.

    • Doug Gray

      Assuming we believe the Reds, that’s not how the timeline likely played out. When guys are put on waivers it almost never gets finalized the next day. And the Reds, via David Bell, say they were told about the Marte suspension yesterday. Unless told otherwise, there’s no way I will believe that the team didn’t put Barrero on waivers prior to yesterday. The turn around on the waiver claim going through was too quick.

  16. CI3J

    Barrero was very much a “change of scenery” candidate. I’m still annoyed that he had built so much momentum in the minors, only to be called up to the Reds and made to ride the bench. After that season, he never seemed to recover his mojo. It’s true he got injured injured, but I also think the way he was treated really his destroyed his confidence and he never really recovered.

    So good for him. I hope the Rangers give him the fair shot he never received in Cincinnati (and before the “He HAd (x number) oF At-BAts To ProVe HiMsELf” people respond to this, no, he was never given CONSISTENT ABs in Cincinnati).

    I have a sneaking feeling this is going to be an Edwin Encarnacion situation, who was also jerked around by Jerry Narron while in Cincinnati then exploded into an All-Star when he got a fresh start in Toronto. It may take a little time, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing Barrero in MLB again.

    Good luck, Jose.

  17. Jim Walker

    This move makes no baseball sense. As others have noted, the last week or even the last few days of spring training is the time to send a guy through waivers if a team has any real desire to keep him because often other teams will have set their roster and prefer not to stir the waters on an unsure waiver pick.

    The only logical conclusion is that the Reds wanted Barrero out of the organization ASAP.

    • Optimist

      Or they need a 40-man spot asap for an acquisition of their own – we’ll know soon enough.

      • Doug Gray

        You don’t waive someone to create a roster spot for something that might happen. You waive someone the second you file the paperwork with MLB because the contract now has ink on it and the guy didn’t fail his physical or change his mind about writing his name on the line.

      • Optimist

        That was the “soon enough”. Didn’t happen – remains inexplicable.

    • Melvin

      “The only logical conclusion is that the Reds wanted Barrero out of the organization ASAP.”

      haha Yeah. It seems silly but it’s almost like they wanted him out before he made too much progress. Then again why did they keep him all winter? Did they all of a sudden find someone they liked better? Me no understand. 🙂

  18. AllTheHype

    mlbtradrumors suggests that one reporter says it is a trade and not a claim. This would make more sense if he was DFA and the Reds had 7 days to trade before waivers.

    • Doug Gray

      Francys Romero reported it was a trade. But the Reds officially reported it as a waiver claim. They did not indicate in any way that it was a trade.

      • AllTheHype

        Just seems odd, what the Reds official suggests. Typical path for waivers for someone on 40 would be DFA first, then waivers after 7 days if no trade. I guess they could bump up the 7 days but why would they, he’s off the 40 at the time of initial DFA? And they apparently don’t need the rsoter spot at this time anyway.

        Perhaps he was DFA like 10 days ago and it was never announced, then 7 days passed, then waivers and 3 or so more to figure out who was awarded the claim.

  19. Hotto4Votto

    Not much the Reds have done with Barrero has made sense. This is just the last thing to not make sense.

    • CI3J

      Really reminds me of Edwin Encarnacion.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Poor decision to call him up in 2020 when he hadn’t played above A-ball.
        Poor decision to call him up in 2022 after he was obviously struggling to recover from hamate surgery.
        Even last season having him competing for time with Newman instead of utilizing his last option year to get right in AAA, eventually sending him down anyway, letting him start playing well only not to call him back up but instead go with Bader.

        All of it compounded by the fact that the Reds were too cheap to go out and sign a SS in 2020 or 2021 when it was a glaring need on the roster.

        Fortunately for the Reds these sorts of missteps are becoming less frequent, but they really botched Barrero’s development.

  20. Jeremiah

    I like Barrero overall, his talent, seems like a good guy. I think for his career personally this is good. MLB is tough… he kind of had his chances and then he got overtaken by better prospects. But I could see him being a good player it’ll be interesting to see I’ll be rooting for him. I actually don’t mind Josh Harrison as a backup. He’s been a solid major leaguer and being a Cincinnati local I think maybe he’ll have a little more to play for and bring some veteran leadership that I think they do need. He just has to be decent he doesn’t have to be great as long as he’s not hitting like 200. I don’t think Barrero eould be very good utility type of player. He’s a guy that I think is either going to be a starting player that’s pretty good or never really make it I don’t think he’s the type of guy that could cut it as a utility pinch hit type of player whereas Harrison is more that type of guy currently.

  21. Jason Franklin

    So, do the Rangers have to send a player or cash? Or if he’s claimed like this, Barrero is just theres now?

    • Doug Gray

      They get him for nothing at all other than agreeing to take on his contract (which they don’t have to even begin paying him for until the season begins).

      • Jason Franklin

        Thanks for the clarification on this. What a waste by the Reds. Also, thank you for the message about moderation/logins. Gracias.

  22. Indy Red Man

    Can’t say I understand, but if nobody wanted to give him steady at-bats across Mlb then that says something. He’s definitely not an OFer

    • Mauired

      How is he definitely not an outfielder? Because he played like 10 games so he’s supposed to look like a gold Glover? Give me a break.

  23. 44Reds

    JD Davis placed on waivers by the Giants. Anyone think he would be a good fit as a RH bench bat that could play OF and 3B? Might benefit from a more hitter friendly park. Would the Reds have to pay his full salary?

  24. Old-school

    Barrero’s die was cast in 2022 and 2023 plus his hamate injury

    LDS and I were pointing out daily this time last year why was Kevin Newman sharing time with Barrero after Farmer was traded to open up SS for Barrero? Barrero career and development was blocked by 2 journeyman utility players in Farmer and Newman. Barrero never got a year , let alone 3 to grow and develop into a MLB SS like Cozart or Peraza or suarez got. Clearly, Reds made decision Elly and McLain were plan A and B and Barrero wasnt a long time ago and thats the right decision.

    Barrero cant possibly fill a 26 man role playing RF or CF twice a week against lefties and being a late inning switch.

    This was decided in 2022 when reds lost 100 games and Barrero never got 140 games and 550 at bats

    • Jim Walker

      I’d see you that point even further back to 2021 when Barrero was sent down to make room for a clearly unready Moustakis to return from the DL and immediately play a key role in the team losing 2 games to the Marlins which marked the beginning of their fold from an apparent playoff run.

      • CI3J

        Truth.

        One thing is clear: SOMEONE in the Reds organization does not like Barrero. There is simply no other explanation why Barrero, as a young player, was not given the same fair chance that other young players get.

      • earmbrister

        It might be as simple as Barrero having an attitude problem and being more trouble than he was worth.

        What I don’t understand is why we’re making such a big deal about a guy that has a career OPS+ of 34. Yeah, you can argue about how much opportunity he has gotten (did he not earn it?) but even admitting the small sample size his high water mark in OPS+ over four years was last year with a 67.

        Nick Senzel lite.

      • Doug Gray

        The big deal is that it simply doesn’t make sense. If they put Barrero on waivers on March 25th I don’t think there’d be much conversation at all (assuming he didn’t have a solid/good spring). But doing in the first week of March when they didn’t need to open a 40-man roster spot for someone just doesn’t make an ounce of sense from an actual baseball standpoint.

      • Mauired

        Earmbrister. You are clueless. Attitude problems? Just pure nonsensical speculation.

      • Earmbrister

        Mauired, why thank you. I thought you Hawaiians were chill. Guess there are exceptions to every rule.

        Why is the possibility of attitude problems nonsensical speculation? Isn’t everyone’s views on this speculation? When a ball player is moved off a team, for no apparent reason, quite often it’s because he was more trouble than he was worth. And yes, this is just conjecture in Barrero’s case. The only problem I personally had with Jose was his lack of production.

        It’s been real

      • Doug Gray

        Speculation on “attitude problems” isn’t exactly something we’re looking for when it comes to conversation here.

        “I think that Player ABC can hit for more power because (insert reason here)” is speculation that is worthy of conversation. “This guy might have an attitude problem that we have zero evidence of” is not.

    • Melvin

      Never understood Newman playing over Barrero. It wasn’t like we were planning on winning much so even if Newman was a little better than Barrero it still made no sense playing him over a prospect with great potential. One would have to wander if David Bell doesn’t like Barrero. Krall could have “put his foot down” too but didn’t. Something’s going on that we don’t know about and probably never will.

      • greenmtred

        Melvin: we, some of us anyway, think he has great potential. But when all but one MLB team doesn’t claim him when he’s put on waivers, doesn’t that suggest that there are a substantial number of baseball execs who disagree with us? Maybe having a good arm and looking like a ballplayer isn’t enough. Michael Jordan was one of the great athletes of his generation and he couldn’t stay in MLB: he couldn’t hit well enough.

      • Melvin

        I think you’ve got your Micheal Jordan history a little wrong big guy. 😉

      • greenmtred

        How so? He hit .209 with a sub-.300 OBP and was known to have a throwing arm too weak for an effective right fielder. If you are contesting the characterization of him as a great athletes, there are numerous highlight reels from his NBA days.

  25. H.B.

    I think the Reds have given up on Berrera and are looking at leaving an open spot on the roster to make a claim for someone who they believe will be available. They may have several targets in mind that may or may not become available. This will be a chance for a change of scenery that may give the young man an opportunity to reset his career. Best of luck to him and I wish him well. Not a huge Bell fan, but I think Nick Krall knows what he is doing. Hope I’m right, but time will tell.

    • Jim Walker

      Except as Doug said above, you don’t put the cart ahead of the horse. The Reds are well down the waiver claim order list. When/ if they win a waiver claim, if they need to open a spot, then they would DFA someone.

      • Harry Stoner

        I think we’re on the cusp of a “Krall knows things!” moment.

  26. DW

    Hopefully he gets waived by Texas and picked up by a team needs a starting shortstop. I would love to see him given a full season of consistent AB’s to really make adjustments.

    As stated well by many above…this makes no sense, but is just the final mishandling of a long line of mishandling of Barrero by the Reds. Still tons of potential in a young player there.

  27. RedsMonk65

    Strange indeed, I agree. Very strange. And along with the Marte news, somewhat disturbing. Combined, both developments help sort out the infield logjam, but not necessarily in a good way. Marte: Just stupid on his part, bad luck for the Reds. Barrero: There must be more to it than we know. Why not trade him? Seems to me like (for a long time now), the Reds wanted to be rid of him. To me, personally, he seemed like a valuable bench player or trade piece. Huh…..

  28. Brian Rutherford

    Wow. weird. Hope we learn more about what happened here.

    On the bright side, fantastic use of “canard” in a comment. Need to see this more often.

  29. Harry Stoner

    So the two big, expensive highly touted international SS signings (Barerro and Rodriguez) amount to nothing, with both let go with zero return.

    That’s rathering depressing.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Gutierrez was part of that penalty inducing IFA class as well. And also was DFA’d without accomplishing much.

  30. Mauired

    What an illogical move from a loser organization. Typical.

    Reds signed this guy for 5 million as a teenager out of Cuba in 2017. Basically top 10 pick money. Oakland gave the sixth pick in the draft that year 5.3 million. Bubba Thompson was even a late 1st round pick and got 2 million.

    He hit his way to the majors as expected after the huge signing bonus.

    Age 20 2018 .634 OPS
    Age 21 2019 .779 OPS
    Age 23 2021 .919 OPS
    *Age 24 2022 .639 OPS *hamate surgery
    Age 25 2023 .873 OPS

    Outside of the outlier season where he was clearly not healthy, he has had a productive minor league career while showing the power and speed.

    While other top prospects get opportunity after opportunity Barrero basically got four cups of coffee. He has averaged 29 games in four years with the Reds. That’s not enough time to call it a bust. Even De La Cruz has almost as many MLB abs and he just debuted before the all star break last year. Senzel was on the Reds as a starting player for five years before they gave up on him. I think a bust is someone not performing after a full season or two. Barrero’s longest “chance” was two months.

    The timing couldn’t be stranger. Halfway through spring. Key regulars like India and McLain haven’t proven to be healthy since last year. Marte suspended for half the year and playoffs. Maybe Reds put Barrero on waivers before suspension. Either way, what’s the rush. He has a 1.029 OPS this spring with just as many walks as strikeouts. His biggest flaw has always been plate discipline but so far this spring not a problem. So why release him? So they can put another retread journeyman on the roster that hits .200 and gets designated for assignment in two months. Loser organization.

    • Brian Rutherford

      I hope you can find it in your heart to cheer for the Reds when they win the Central and make the playoffs this year. Even if they are a loser organization.

      As a Reds fan that cheers for the losers, I hope you feel better.

      Good luck.

      • Mauired

        Brian I’ve been cheering for this loser organization for decades.

      • Brian Rutherford

        I have no doubt of that Maui. I’m just sorry that something that should be so much fun (baseball, cheering for the Reds) has become such a negative for you.

        Like I said, I hope you come around and cheer again. They have a good team this year and got there by smart drafting and some good trades. Should be some room for giving credit for those decisions too (I hope).

        Have fun this season.

  31. Mauired

    Agreed that they have potentially a very good team this year. But in my opinion these types of decisions are what has led to 7 winning seasons out of 24 this century and zero playoffs series wins since 1995. Longest in all of American sports!

    And I really don’t know if Barrero is a future All Star or a complete bust. But Reds don’t either! But they were willing to give him 5 million for the Rangers to find out for free. Maybe there’s a reason Rangers are the champs.

  32. Brian Rutherford

    I am too lazy to list every name here, but the list of Cuban free agents that have flamed out goes back multiple decades and contains most teams. The Reds are hardly an outlier in terms of Cuban players who haven’t panned out.

    I’m not defending this decision on Barrero but like others have said it seems to me that a team that has made so many good decisions recently and is very used to handling decisions on player options deserves some leeway. How they made it through the season last year with as many pitchers that were called up and sent down, released and signed, was nothing short of amazing.

    Will be interesting to hear from the FO on this one.

    • CI3J

      I am too lazy to list every name here, but the list of Cuban free agents that have flamed out goes back multiple decades and contains most teams.

      What does Cuba have to do with anything? The VAST majority of prospects, no matter what country they are from, don’t pan out. In fact, the VAST majority of prospects never have the kind of success Barrero had in the minor leagues.

      Now ask yourself, why was a player who performed better than the VAST majority of prospects never given a fair shot at the MLB level?

      • Brian Rutherford

        There were comments talking about the $$$ wasted on the Cuban free agents. I was addressing that part of the conversation.

        As to who was given a fair shot; I am of the belief that the Reds want their players to play well and do their best to put them in the best position to succeed. I don’t know why Barrero wasn’t successful with the Reds but I am sure they wanted him to be a superstar. He wasn’t. The comments in the game threads when the guy was striking out 4 times a game certainly didn’t make him out to be a fan favorite or someone who needed more time. They were brutal.

        I agree that prospects in general succeed and fail and generally the same rate. I was addressing the point raised about money “wasted” on international free agents.

      • CI3J

        If the Reds wanted him to be successful, they would have given him consistent at-bats and not jerked him around. His longest stint in MLB lasted 2 months.

        If the Reds really wanted him to succeed, they would have given him at least a full year at SS, and said “Hey kid, this is your position, sink or swim. Show us what you got.” Especially in the years when the team wasn’t competitive anyway.

        He never got that chance, despite having earned it with his play in the minor leagues. Why were the Reds so impatient with Barrero but were willing to give long looks at other young players. A recent example? TJ Friedl in 2022 had a good August, but every other month he was pretty terrible. Yet, the Reds stuck with him and kept giving him chances, and he rewarded them with a great year last year. Why him and not Barrero?

        You don’t know why Barrero wasn’t successful with the Reds? He was never given the chance to be successful.

      • CI3J

        More to the point, riddle me this:

        Matt McLain was lighting up the minor leagues. He was promoted and he started almost every day from then on.

        Elly De La Cruz was lighting up the minor leagues. He was promoted and started almost every game from then on.

        In 2021, Jose Barrero was lighting up the minor leagues (19HR, .303 BA, .380 OBP, .919 OPS). He was promoted in August and…. Started only 12 games. He only had 2 back-to-back starts until October, when he started the final 3 games.

        Why was Barrero treated differently?

      • greenmtred

        Maybe because MLB teams don’t evaluate players by only watching their in-game at-bats?

  33. Frankie Tomatoes

    I have not read a good reason for this move yet. The move happening when it did makes little sense. Best of luck to Jose.

  34. Mauired

    Well I’m not too lazy to counter that strange thought that all Cubans are busts with a list

    Randy Arozarena
    Yordan Alvarez
    Jorge Soler
    Aroldis Chapman
    Adolis Garcia
    Jose Abreu
    Yandy Diaz
    Luis Robert
    Lourdes Gurriel
    Raisel Isglesias

    Just to name a few. Some Reds fans might haveof even heard of a guy named Tony Perez

    There’s busts from all countries but I think the success to failure rate from Cuba is no different than any other place. That comment was about as worthless as the other guy saying he was released because he had attitude problems.

    • Optimist

      Umm – don’t think he said “all Cubans are busts”.

      • Brian Rutherford

        That’s definitely not what I said, not even close.

        Ah well. I’ve been told by others in here to stay out of the comment section. I just thought I would give it another try.

        Ce La Vie

      • Mauired

        Well it did seem like there was a shot taken on the guy’s country on the guy’s way out of town to mention all the cuban flamouts across baseball. Sorry if I misinterpreted.

      • Optimist

        Interestingly, Mauired, you make the opposite case – the Reds found and developed 2 of the 10 on your list – a sign of excellent Caribbean scouting and talent evaluation?

      • Mauired

        Optimus. I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Someone mentioned a lot of cuban flamouts. I pointed out there are a lot of very good cuban players too. How is that the opposite case?

      • Optimist

        “But in my opinion these types of decisions are what has led to 7 winning seasons out of 24 this century and zero playoffs series wins since 1995.”

      • Mauired

        Optimus, you’re in denial if you think Reds are doing such a fantastic job in Latin America. And that 7 winning seasons out of 24 is also getting the job done. This is quite possibly the most pathetic and poorly run franchise in American sports. If postseason success is meaningful to you in any way.

  35. CI3J

    On the bright side, in the past 48 hours, two of the most controversial figures with ties to the Reds (Joey Votto and Jose Barrero) have decisively cut ties with the Reds.

    Hopefully that means there won’t be as much to argue about this season.

    • Grover

      Reds decisively cut ties with Votto.

    • TR

      I’m not really familiar with the way the talented Jose Barrero was treated by the Reds, but I am glad a resolution of the situation has been made, and hope Barrero does well with the Rangers.

  36. Ptaylor2112

    This comment section is already in mid-season form. No spring training needed here.

  37. DaveCT

    One door opens as another closes.

    We have a sleeper at AAA in Miguel Hernandez, someone who has stuck at shortstop all the way up the ladder. He’s versatile and well suited to the utility role, and much younger than the cast of veteran influencers in camp.

  38. WVRedsFan

    Strange move. Doesn’t make any sense at all. Personally I liked Barrero over Fairchild. Bigger arm, more athletic and would have been a better fit over Fairchild with the ability to play infield or outfield. Don’t think he ever really got a legit shot with the big club. Yet another mistake by the Reds IMO.

  39. Beaufort Red

    Finally today we can put the Votto and Barrero sagas to an end. We can finally put our emphasis on the guys who may actually make the team.

  40. RedsGettingBetter

    It’s likely we’ll realize what is the reason of this move in next few days…stay tune…

  41. Kevin Patrick

    Well its perfectly obvious to me that Barrero must have given Marte the PED’s. I was really rooting for Barrero this spring, but I’m not going off the deep end on this one. I’m guessing that the Reds want their 26th man to have options, have a different skill set, and give hope to the guys in camp that they should continue to compete. After all, a new spot may have opened up. They would have been pleased to keep him ala Sanmartin, but hey… if the Reds carried a guy like Mike Ford and released him early in the year ala Vosler…would that really be horrible? Its hard to imagine Barrero getting the development he needs in that role…especially if they plan on having India be the versatile guy.

  42. CFD3000

    Strange, and disappointing. Just my opinion of course but I think the Reds completely bungled Jose Barrero’s development and wasted whatever potential might have turned into on field production. Also true – he’s gone now. Wishing him well and great success in Texas.

  43. Rod Andrews

    You make chances for yourself by playing well, or at least making some type of steady improvement. Barrero did neither, but will get his shot with a new team.

    • Greenfield Red

      One thing I don’t understand about player developement, especially amongst the Latinos, is this: when there is an obvious need to improve in an area, why are these guys not attending enhanced, concentrated, customized training sessions with hitting experts, tons of film, and hands on special coaching at the team’s complex rather than running off to one of the Latin Leagues to make extra money in the Winter? JB and pitch recognitian is a perfect example.

      • Doug Gray

        This is a loaded question with a ton of possible answers that vary, but let’s start with the easiest answer: The players need the money. Especially if they’ve never been in the big leagues before. You and I probably make more money per year than guys on the 40-man roster with no big league experience did prior to the latest CBA (granted some of them did get nice signing bonuses that you and I didn’t – but some of them absolutely did not) in their first year on the 40-man. You and I also probably make more money than any minor leaguer that’s not on the 40-man roster, and probably by quite a bit. Guys in Double-A and lower make $25,000-30,000 a year, with American complex guys making $20,000 a year. That applies to guys who haven’t been minor league free agents (who can make a lot more in some cases). But those guys typically also aren’t “prospects” by that point. And that’s just money over the past two years – it was A LOT worse before then, with yearly salary ranging from $4,800-$17,5000 per year depending on the level you played at.

        Winter league salaries can be a solid paycheck. Most guys get a few thousand a month to play in the Dominican or Mexican Winter Leagues (I do not know about the other leagues – it’s harder to come by that information), but some more established guys can get $10-15,000 a month. Back in 2019, Aristides Aquino was asking for $17,000 per month to play for Licey, while they were offering him $10,000. They settled, but I can’t remember what it was for.

        Something that wasn’t there in the past, but is there now as a part of the CBA – there’s a “no contact” period with non 40-man roster players from around middle of November through the end of December where the team isn’t allowed to ask the players to do anything. While it doesn’t apply to Barrero, who was on the 40-man, mid-November through December is the strongest point of the winter leagues around the world. It’s a great place to work on your craft and in a highly competitive environment.

        But there’s also the part where – these guys entire lives don’t revolve around baseball, as much as some fans wish it were the case. They’ve got lives and families, and some parts of those families – or even all of it – is something that they don’t get to see from like February through September. They deserve to be able to go home rather than go to Arizona. There are qualified people in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. to work with guys. It’s 2024 – they can also work with the Reds coaches over video from anywhere in the world.

        In the scenario where “guys just go to the complex to work with coaches” – there’s only so many coaches, too. And generally speaking, they’ve got contracts that end after the season and the club has to go through the process of hiring/retaining. That takes time, and so your are going to have periods during the offseason where you don’t have a full coaching staff. But even if you did – it’s similar to the players situation – these guys have families that they may not see for 8 months. They deserve to have some time with those people.

  44. Greenfield Red

    Doug, I get all of that, and it makes sense. I’m thinking on a micro level. If you have 1 or 2 guys who could be stars but are being held back by not being able to throw strikes or not being able to recognize a slider that will fade out of your reach, it just seems like a perfect situation. Pay the player and the specialty coaches what they need to spend 6 weeks or even 4 in intense one on one training.

    For the last couple of years I thought something like this could save Jose Barerro’s career and turn him into the star he is just missing out on. They have more than $5 million invested in the guy. All the tools are there. He just needs to get over the hump. Pay him and 1 or 2 coaches 200k each to give up half of their Winter. Major League teams waste millions upon millions of dollars each year. It seems like a good use of resources if you have a potential 5 tool star who needs a little nudge. Barerro is the perfect example.

    • Doug Gray

      I’m not sure you’re even allowed to pay them extra in that scenario.

      And to be honest – that $5M they paid him nearly 7 years ago is pretty much nothing at all that any of us not named Jose Barrero should worry about. It’s a rounding error at this point for everyone but Barrero.

  45. DataDumpster

    Great points all around but I’m leaning to the viewpoint of @Old-school on “the die already being cast” which explains his inconsistent playing time and having to play second fiddle to guys like Neumann. He deserved a better chance than he had for sure. Good luck to him, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him develop into a decent player. Can’t believe he had no trade value.
    Now, as for the sudden nature of the move and the fact that so many teams passed on this guy with high potential makes you wonder if there is a connection to the PED scandal. Of course I would shudder to make an accusation, but this waiver move either comes with a Part B or will remain an enduring mystery. Either way, cue up that bad Doris Day song from the Hitchcock film and forgettaboutit.

    • Mauired

      Yeah it appears since Dick Williams was the GM when Barrero was signed, Barrero is just not a Krall guy and possibly led to the fact that despite being a good minor league player with a lot of potential never really got the same chance all of the Krall draft picks are getting. Two months is not a legit big league opportunity despite what some people on here frequently say.

      It’s a shame to because I believe he has at least 5 years of team control maybe more. So at least two years of minimum salary.

      Let’s say he produces around an .800 ops with 40 home runs and 40 steals (maybe more) over TWO years not per year. Plus lots of versatile defense around the dirt and grass with that rocket arm. That’s very cheap production.

      But hey probably better to have Fairchild hitting .200-.220 as your fifth outfielder or some over the hill vet like Harrison (who I wanted on the team five years ago)

  46. Jon

    What a ridiculous move. So who is the backup CF now that Senzel and Barrero are gone? As others have already mentioned, the Reds greatly mismanaged his development and never gave him a proper opportunity on the Major League roster. The most games was 40-something with under 200 ABs in a season. Meanwhile, the team stuck with guys like Minor, Weaver, and Hembree far longer than they deserved.

    …and as I’m typing this, today’s lineup is posted with Benson in CF. Wonder if he’s the new backup?

    • greenmtred

      Fairchild can play center and he’s faster than Barrero.

    • Doug Gray

      So I think Fairchild is probably the backup if Friedl needs a day off. If he gets hurt, then it’s Blake Dunn or Jacob Hurtubise from Triple-A.

  47. redfanorbust

    Wow, what thorough coverage of this transaction in here. Even some speculation of why they did what they did, but the why is the most important part. If your in the camp that Reds management is incompetent then the case is closed. For the rest of us we can speculate but we at least can agree that the Reds are in the business of competently and thoroughly trying to develop new young players who are highly ranked especially those given $5M to play for your team. There are often things that happen that are not made public or reported on. Maybe it was just as simple as the coaches and management came to the conclusion that any more chances he was given that his production might only get slightly and incrementally better over time. Perhaps there are young players in our organization who deserve a chance at that roster spot or other players who have a better chance to help the team win now.
    IF and IMO it is a big IF Barrero drastically turns things around with another team the Reds will certainly not be the only team to swing and miss on a player only to have them shine with a new team. While yes a bit of a head scratcher I for one will wait for the dust to settle to see what the final outcome of this transaction will be before making further judgement.

    • Mauired

      The jury is still out on Barrero. Nobody knows. That’s the frustrating part for many people here. Why pay the kid 5 million and develop him just to give him to another franchise (that just won the world series) instead of putting him on the MLB roster for a significant time over very mediocre talents like Galvis, Farmer, Newman, Fairchild.

      Probably just frustrations boiling over since this franchise has been run into the ground for such a long time. With rebuild after rebuild and zero playoff advancements for 28 years and counting.

  48. Harry Stoner

    Given all the speculation about this, we’ve finally arrived at the “Krall knows things!” conclusion, underscoring the belief that no MLB GM or management has ever made an error or a mistaken or rash personnel move.

    I haven’t read all the discussion but I’ll toss out the benevolent version, though I’m not really convinced of it, and am more the camp of the Reds bungling JB development and burning through his options.

    But they’ve got more shortstops than Shortstop has burgers so likely can afford to be careless or could care less.

    Perhaps letting Barrero go earlier was intended to help him land with another team with enough time to still play some in ST to see if he could stick?

    That, of course, doesn’t explain why so many teams passed on him, though his lack of options might.

    Maybe he gave Marte the PEDS, since these days coincidence = causation, right?

    It might have been that Barrero helped Toronto sign Votto and Krall was pixxed because he was holding out to resign JV on the cheap.

    Or he put a pebble in India’s shoe to reinflame his PF?

    The details of his crimes will come to light in time.

    • CI3J

      Hilarious post. Who knows what dastardly deeds that Jose Barrero got up to! Surprised he hasn’t grown a moustache so he can twirl it while laughing evilly.

      But seriously, I imagine Jose Barrero feels nothing but relief right now. He had to know the Reds were destroying what chance he had at a career and, with that, millions of dollars.

      He’s finally free, and hopefully will finally be given a fair chance.

    • greenmtred

      Details of such crimes rarely come to light. I wish Barrero well, but will suggest that, perhaps, what Krall and other MLB execs may know, is that batting coaches at MiLB and MLB levels have watched Barrero be unable to hit or lay off of sliders low and away. He’s far from the first and won’t be the last good athlete in this position. Or it just may be that people bear him grudges. I doubt that we’ll ever know.

  49. Jeremiah

    I think the Reds mismanaged Barrero a bit, but also look at his stats….186 average and .242 career obp in over 400 MLB at bats.

    Plus only 4 homeruns and not many stolen bases.

    I think it would have been great to be able to send him to Triple A to further develop but they obviously didn’t have the options.

    If you’re a legit playoff contender as the Reds believe they are you’re not going to have a career .186 hitter be your 5th outfielder or reserve infielder. I get folks don’t love Fairchild but he was decent as a 5th outfielder type of guy. I think he fit that role more than Barrero would have.

    Barrero maybe was mismanaged a bit but he also had more chances than many players…look at TJ Hopkins last year man they gave thar guy no chance and he was having a great Triple A year, and they even cut him this year. MLB is a tough business…Barrero will have more chances though he’s young, he’ll have a chance to catch on somewhere so no more excuses for him moving forward if he doesn’t become a regular MLB player.

  50. Westfester

    For context, you might want to look at how other baseball fans are responding to this news. The article on MLBTradrumors has a whopping 26 comments, almost all by Reds fans. The few Ranger fan comments are mostly MEH, we can send him to the minors right?

  51. Harry Stoner

    Watching Barerro hit in 2022 was absolutely brutal.

    His ABs were painful to endure.

    EDLC was in a similar spot for stretches last season but would occasionally break out.

    Pitchers were following a seemingly well known book on him. Barerro seemed to get behind two strikes almost immediately and then came the down and away slider.

    Same strategy used on EDLC and India and often Steer.

    But Barerro in ’21 seemed particularly burdened by it, even when everyone in the ballpark (and in Redsland) knew exactly what pitch was coming.

    Last year was bad, but nowhere near as horrific.
    Maybe he’s finally made some adjustments this Spring.

    My hunch is that pitchers are going to come right back at EDLC and India with the same strategy.

    I don’t remember India in the past being as fooled by the down and away slider as he often seemed last year.

    Hopefully it was a phase.

    Steer has shown solid plate discipline over all…though in late 2022 that same pitch was tieing him up as well.

    If the Strangers (or someone else) are going to send Barerro to MiLB he’ll have to be DFAed, correct?

    • Jim Walker

      Yeah, or sent directly to waivers which is apparently what the Reds did.