Daniel Duarte will not be returning to the Cincinnati Reds in 2024. After designating the right-hander for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster for newly-signed reliever Brent Suter, the Reds have agreed to trade Duarte to the Texas Rangers in exchange for cash considerations.
Duarte was a valued member of the Reds bullpen last season. After being DFA'd the previous winter, Duarte was given an invite to spring training last year and eventually worked his way onto the roster.
Duarte was 3-0 with a 3.69 ERA and 23 strikeouts. The 27-year-old made 31 appearances out of the Reds bullpen in 2023 and has minor-league options remaining. Duarte would have provided nice depth at Triple-A, but instead will join the Rangers' relief corps.
Reds trade Daniel Duarte after making room for Brent Suter on the roster
This is an instance where the Reds front office banking on the replacement being better than what they currently had available. And quite frankly, it's not a bad move in that sense. Adding Suter to a bullpen that was in need of another high-leverage lefty in exchange for middle-of-the-road reliever should certainly be seen as a win.
It will, however, shift the focus internally to the trio of Lyon Richardson, Carson Spiers, and Casey Legumina. Those three will likely be looked upon to fill the role that Duarte occupied last season - a versatile reliever with minor-league options who can be used an injury-replacement at the big league level.
Though spring training has yet to begin, it's easy to see how Reds' bullpen is shpaing up for the 2024 season. Alexis Diaz, Lucas Sims, Fernando Cruz, and Sam Moll will likely occupy the backend, while Suter, Ian Gibaut, Emilio Pagán, and Buck Farmer will be called upon as well.
Cincinnati can also turn to the aforementioned trio of Richardson, Spiers, and Legumina in a pinch, as well as Tejay Antone, Alex Young, and perhaps even Nick Martinez. There are likely to be a handful of non-roster invitees who'll make a play to be part of the Reds 2024 Opening Day roster as well. This isn't a big loss for the Reds, but it does sting a little.