Reds surprisingly waive former top prospect despite Noelvi Marte's suspension

This was a bit of a surprise.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero (2) reacts
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero (2) reacts / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Fair or not, shortstop Jose Barrero will go down as one of the biggest busts in the history of the Cincinnati Reds organization. The Reds announced on Saturday that Barrero had been claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers, effectively ending his time with the organization.

Barrero's time in Cincinnati is now over, though most fans assumed that was the case even before spring training began. Barrero had received multiple opportunities to prove himself at the major league level, and never ever materialized.

The timing is somewhat suspect, however, as the Reds top prospect Noelvi Marte just received an 80-game suspension for PED use. Most casual observers would have assumed that Barrero could have been a candidate to fill the vacancy left by Marte on the Reds Opening Day roster.

Reds surprisingly waive Jose Barrero despite Noelvi Marte's suspension

With Barrero no longer on the roster, it would appear as though the fight for the final spot on the Reds Opening Day roster will come down to non-roster invitees Josh Harrison and Tony Kemp. Both players signed minor league contracts with the Reds earlier this season and are able to play multiple positions.

Marte's suspension sent shockwaves through the Reds clubhouse and fanbase on Friday afternoon. With Marte now out until the middle of summer, both Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Jeimer Candelario are expected to see more time at third base.

Barrero was never able to find his footing in the major leagues. He was prematurely called up in 2020, slugged his way through the minor leagues in 2021, battled injuries in 2022, and couldn't hang on to his starting job in 2023.

The Rangers have Corey Seager at shortstop and several young bats in the outfield, so it's rather surprising to hear that the reigning World Series champions picked up Barrero. However, Seager has been battling injuries this spring and Ezequiel Duran is Texas' top backup for the All-Star infielder. Barrero is out of options, so he'll need to break camp with the Rangers or else be subject to waivers once again.

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