Reds can take advantage of Rangers roster crunch and steal back reliever

Come back home, old friend.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Daniel Duarte
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Daniel Duarte / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds may have a chance to right a wrong. While Reds fans have grown accustomed to watching president of baseball operations Nick Krall flawlessly execute trades, there are occasions when Cincinnati's top executive makes an error.

Recently, after signing Brent Suter to a free agent contract, the Reds were forced to make a corresponding move. Rather than parting company with journeyman outfielder Nick Martini or perhaps saying goodbye to longtime disappointment Jose Barrero, Cincinnati designated reliever Daniel Duarte for assignment.

The Reds eventually worked out a trade with the Texas Rangers and shipped Duarte to Arlington for cash considerations. But maybe Krall was playing chess while Rangers' GM Chris Young was playing checkers. After signing Travis Jankowski and David Robertson, Texas had to make a corresponding move of their own. Duarte was DFA'd once again.

Reds can take advantage of Rangers roster crunch and steal back reliever Daniel Duarte

If Duarte isn't traded and clears waivers, the Reds would be able to re-sign the right-hander to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. While Duarte wasn't a crucial piece of the Reds bullpen in 2023, he did go 3-0 with a 3.69 ERA in 31 appearances. He was also able to record his first career-save during an extra-innings affair with the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 13th.

While the Reds 40-man roster is full, adding Duarte on a minor-league contract would not force Cincinnati to dismiss one of the current players. Extending the 27-year-old a chance to pitch in Goodyear and earn his way onto the roster once again could be an opportunity that Duarte couldn't afford to pass up.

Cincinnati's bullpen would appear set at the moment, but unforeseen injuries are always a concern, and Duarte has minor-league options available. At worst, the Reds could send Duarte to Triple-A Louisville to begin the year and call upon him in pinch.

Duarte is no stranger to these roster crunches that usually result in his dismissal. After the 2022 season, Duarte was DFA'd by the Reds, but re-signed during the offseason. His contract was selected from Triple-A midway through last season and had been part of the Reds offseason roster until the trade with the Rangers.

Reds fans may yet see Daniel Duarte on the field in at the team's spring training complex in Goodyear next month, though he's free to sign anywhere once he clears waivers.

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