The Cincinnati Reds have reportedly agreed to terms with free agent pitcher Frankie Montas. However, the Reds have yet to make the signing official. But once they do, a corresponding move must be made.
Unlike the regular season, Reds President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall can't just push a player onto the 60-day IL in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. It doesn't work that way in the offseason.
Over the last few weeks, the Reds have traded TJ Hopkins and designated Bubba Thompson for assignment in order to add Buck Farmer and Austin Wynns to the roster. So, who's next?
Which Reds player will lose his roster spot once Frankie Montas' signing is official?
The Cincinnati Reds have a decision to make, and it's not as straight forward as the last couple. Both TJ Hopkins and Bubba Thompson were barely clinging to a roster spot, but the corresponding move attached to signing Frankie Montas may sting a little bit.
You have to imagine the choice comes down to one of four players - Jose Barrero, Nick Martini, Daniel Duarte, and Casey Legumina. There's bound to be a lot of Reds fans who are ready to wave goodbye to Barrero, and that may well be what happens. However, Barrero plays a premium position and is still just 25 years old.
But if history is indicative of how Cincinnati will handle this situation, don't look for the Reds to part company with Barrero just yet. The Reds held on to former top prospects like Robert Stephenson and Nick Senzel much longer than other clubs might have. Look for them to do the same with Barrero.
That's probably bad news for Daniel Duarte. While the reliever had some admirable outings for the Cincinnati Reds in 2023, the team has already designated Duarte for assignment once during his career. Following an injury-riddled 2022 season, the Reds DFA'd Duarte and re-signed him to a minor-league deal last offseason.
Cincinnati acquired Casey Legumina last winter, and while his 5.68 ERA in 11 big games left a lot to the imagination, the right-hander owned a 3.76 FIP and 26.5-percent strikeout-rate in the minor leagues.
The Reds will have to part with someone once Frankie Montas' deal if official. Hopefully, whoever is let go can be retained on a minor-league deal.