Reds’ low-cost offseason signing might be the bullpen steal of 2024 after Opening Day showing

Brent Suter pitched quite well in front of the hometown fans.

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Brent Suter (31)
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Brent Suter (31) / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Reds took care of business on Opening Day against the Washington Nationals. The Reds used a power-surge between the second and third innings to take a commanding 7-0 lead into the seventh inning.

That was all the Redlegs needed with Frankie Montas on the mound. The Reds Opening Day starter went six scoreless innings, recorded four punch outs, and kept the Nats' batters off balance all day. The Reds won by a final of 8-2.

And while Montas and Nick Martini stole the show, a great deal of credit should go to Brent Suter as well. The Reds reliever, who was pitching in front of his hometown fans, went two scoreless innings to close the game and racked up four strikeouts along the way. If Suter continues this type of dominance, the Reds may well have stolen one of the best relievers available this past winter.

Reds’ low-cost offseason signing might be the bullpen steal of 2024 after Opening Day showing

Earlier this year, Suter signed a one-year contract with his hometown Reds. Suter will earn $2.5 million in 2024. With bonuses, incentives, and a 2025 team-option, the opportunity exists for Suter to earn up to $6.2 million.

Are you kidding? This is highway robbery. Suter is making less this season than Kirby Yates ($4.5 million), Will Smith ($5 million), and Andrew Chafin ($4.75 million).

No, Suter doesn't hit 95-plus on the radar gun. In fact, he'd be lucky to hit 91 mph. But the lefty works quickly, has a deceptive delivery, and keeps the opposing batters guessing. Suter had a 3.38 ERA and 3.44 FIP while pitching in Colorado last season. That's a pitcher's nightmare, and yet. Suter was still quite effective.

According to Baseball Savant, Suter does a great job of inducing weak contact. The southpaw was in the 97th percentile or higher in barrel rate, hard hit percentage, and average exit velocity. The Harvard graduate may get hit, but he doesn't get hit hard.

Look for Reds manager David Bell to lean on Suter early and often in 2024. The Reds bullpen is much improved with the additions of Emilio Pagán, Justin Wilson, and Nick Martinez, but Cincinnati got an absolute steal bringing Suter back home to the Queen City.

More Reds News from Blog Red Machine