5 former Reds' fan favorites still without a job heading toward Spring Training

Cincinnati Reds fans will never forget these familiar faces.

Miami Marlins pitcher Johnny Cueto
Miami Marlins pitcher Johnny Cueto / Jasen Vinlove/Miami Marlins/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds are all but done making major moves in free agency. President of baseball operations Nick Krall has done a nice job of adding several players from outside the organization in an effort to bolster the team's chances of competing in 2024.

But there are still several players looking for work this offseason. Shohei Ohtani's free agency excursion slowed the market early on, and it appears that a few of Scott Boras' clients have added to the slow market of late.

As such, several former Reds players are among the group still seeking to find a new team ahead of spring training. A few of those players had great relationships with the Cincinnati fanbase while playing for the Reds. Which five former Reds' fan favorites are still without a job?

1. Adam Duvall

Adam Duvall is a player that endeared himself to the Reds fanbase during his brief tenure in Cincinnati. Duvall played college ball just down the road at the University of Louisville, and his massive home runs were an awe-inspiring sight while the outfielder was a member of the Reds from 2015-2018.

Duvall is currently still on the free agent market. The 35-year-old has been a favorite among that group of Reds fans still hoping to see Cincinnati grab a right-handed hitting outfielder to complete their offseason shopping list.

Duvall has seen the free agent process play out a few times over the past couple of years. After being non-tendered by the Atlanta Braves in 2020, Duvall signed a free agent contract to play for the Miami Marlins in 2021. Duvall was traded back to Atlanta later that year and helped lead the Braves to a World Championship.

Duvall hit free agency again after the 2022 season and signed with Boston Red Sox last winter. After posting an OPS of .834 in Boston last season, it's a bit surprising that the slugger is still without a team heading into spring training. That's likely to change very soon.

2. Joey Votto

Joey Votto is another former Reds player who's still in search of a new team. This is Votto's first time being a part of free agency, as the former MVP's entire career had been spend with the organization that drafted him all the way back in 2002.

Votto's $20 million club-option was not picked up this offseason. The Reds chose instead to pay Votto's $7 million buyout and allow him to enter the free agent market. The 40-year-old has reportedly drawn interest from at least four different teams, but has yet to sign a new deal.

Votto was a fixture in Cincinnati for nearly two decades and is universally beloved by the overwhelming majority of the Reds fanbase. During his tenure, Votto went to six All-Star Games, was the NL MVP in 2010, and won a Gold Glove.

Some fans still hold out hope that Votto and Reds will come to some kind of team-friendly agreement that will allow the future Hall of Famer to receive a proper send off. That seems unlikely, however, as the Reds have a crowded infield as it is.

The best that Reds fans can hope for is that Votto joins a team that makes a visit to Great American Ball Park at some point next season. That said, it's unlikely that the Cincinnati faithful want to see Votto wearing a Chicago Cubs jersey in 2024 just to watch the former first baseman make multiple trips to GABP. Joining the San Diego Padres would be just fine, though.

3. Michael Lorenzen

How can you not love Michael Lorenzen? The former Reds pitcher, who was also a part-time outfielder and part-time pinch runner, was a fan favorite during his time in Cincinnati. Lorenzen, who was initially brought along as a starter, eventually found his way into the Reds' bullpen as a high-leverage reliever.

And while Lorenzen's time in the bullpen was successful, his most memorable moment came after the passing of his father in August of 2016. In his first game back from the bereavement list, Lorenzen sent one over the right field wall for the first home run of his career.

An emotional Lorenzen rounded the bases and pointed heavenward after touching home plate. Lorenzen was congratulated and embraced by his teammates in the dugout and emerged for a curtain call in front of the fans at Great American Ball Park.

Lorenzen left the Reds organization after the 2021 season and attempted to turn himself into a starting pitcher once again. He did so after signing a free agent deal with his hometown Los Angeles Angels.

Lorenzen agreed to a one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers prior to last season and was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline. In his second game with his new team, Lorenzen pitched a no-hitter. It's a bit befuddling that the right-hander still hasn't signed this winter, but Mikey Biceps will eventually find a new home ahead the 2024 season.

4. Johnny Cueto

The Cincinnati Reds were linked to Johnny Cueto prior to the start of the 2023 season. After a successful season on the South Side of Chicago, Cueto was thought to be a potential mentor to the trio of Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, and Nick Lodolo ahead of last season. The Reds, however, decided to go with Luke Weaver to fill that role instead.

Cueto signed with the Miami Marlins in 2023. After a terrific run with the Chicago White the year prior, the Marlins were hopeful that the right-hander would be a solid middle-of-the-rotation option. However, Cueto didn't produce at the same level he did in 2022, and may find it difficult to secure a major-league deal this offseason.

Cueto was the ace of the Cincinnati rotation from 2011-2015. During that span, Cueto went to the All-Star Game and was a Top 5 vote-getter for the NL Cy Young Award. Cueto finished second behind Clayton Kershaw in 2014.

The Reds decided, however, to part ways with the Cueto at the trade deadline the following year. The Kansas City Royals were in need of a frontline starter, and the Reds were in the midst of a roster rebuild. The two teams made the trade, and Cueto helped lead KC to the 2015 World Series Championship.

Unfortunately, the Reds return featured three left-handed prospects who produced very little during their tenure in Cincinnati. But Cueto is remembered fondly by the Reds fanbase. The hope is that one of Cincinnati's young pitchers can turn into the type of player Cueto was during his prime. Though unlikely to make it to Cooperstown, it's quite likely that Cueto will earn a spot in the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

5. Aroldis Chapman

There might not have been a flashier player in recent memory than Aroldis Chapman. The left-hander took the league by storm when he arrived in 2010. No one had ever seen the type of heat Chapman was able to generate. The southpaw routinely hit 100-plus mph with his fastball and was also able to rely on his devastating slider.

Chapman was one of the best relievers in Major League Baseball during his time with the Reds. From 2010-2015, Chapman went to four All-Star Games, finished among the Top 10 for the NL Cy Young Award one year, and struck out nearly 550 batters over 319 innings of work.

Off the field issues saw the Reds trade Chapman following the 2015 season. The flamethrower wound up with the New York Yankees in 2016, and was later trade to the Chicago Cubs. Chapman found his way back the Bronx the following year and spent six seasons with the Yankees.

Last year, Chapman signed a free agent deal with the Kansas City Royals, but was traded midseason to the Texas Rangers. Though he endured some missteps during the Rangers' postseason run, Chapman was part of a World Series Championship team for the second time in his career.

After signing Brent Suter last week, the Cincinnati Reds no longer have the need for a left-handed reliever at the back of the bullpen. But it's a good bet that Chapman will find a new team before spring training begins.