Reds latest roster move provides placeholder until Noelvi Marte returns

Don't get too comfortable.

Cincinnati Reds infielder Noelvi Marte
Cincinnati Reds infielder Noelvi Marte / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds made a rather small transaction on Sunday afternoon, but it likely speaks volumes about the team's future plans once Noelvi Marte returns from his 80-game suspension.

Before Sunday's series finale against the Boston Red Sox, the Reds selected the contract of Livan Soto from the Louisville Bats and designated catcher Austin Wynns for assignment. The veteran backstop had been promoted late last week while Tyler Stephenson was day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

Soto has played well at Triple-A since being claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles earlier this season, but the infielder will be little more than a placeholder until Marte returns from his PED suspension.

Reds latest roster move provides placeholder until Noelvi Marte returns

In 44 games this season, Soto is hitting .301/.393/.374 with 10 extra-base hits, including one home run. Soto has done more than enough to warrant a call-up to the big leagues this season, but his time on the Reds active roster may be short-lived.

Provided none of Cincinnati's games are postponed this week, Marte could be back as soon as the team's upcoming series on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals. Marte is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville and is hitting just .156 through his first 10 games in the minor leagues.

Some Reds fans have pointed to Marte's poor showing with the Bats as a reason to keep him in the minors. However, Marte proved more than capable during a late-season call-up to the big leagues in 2023, and the 22-year-old offers a considerable upgrade defensively over Jeimer Candelario at third base.

If Soto shines during the week, there is a chance that Cincinnati could decide to option either the struggling Will Benson or Nick Martini back to Triple-A. But it seems rather academic that this is likely to be a short-term stint for the 24-year-old infielder. No matter what, the Reds will also have to subtract someone from the 40-man roster in order to reinstate Marte.

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