Last night the Cincinnati Reds made a whole bunch of moves. They traded Kyle Farmer to the Minnesota Twins, acquiring right-handed pitcher Casey Legumina in return. Less than two hours later they traded Dauri Moreta to the Pittsburgh Pirates for infielder Kevin Newman. Earlier in the evening the team non-tendered both Allan Cerda and Daniel Duarte. The night wasn’t over before Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the Reds had re-signed both of them to minor league deals.
Daniel Duarte was a bit of a surprising addition to the 40-man roster a year ago. He had thrown just 23.2 innings during the 2021 season and never threw more than 12.1 at any of the four levels he pitched at – though he did miss time while playing for Mexico in the Olympics. Overall he posted a 4.56 ERA with 12 walks and 32 strikeouts in the minors. But it seems that it was a good call given that he went into spring training and earned a spot on the big league roster out of Goodyear. It was not a season that went well, though. After just three big league appearances for Duarte he would wind up on the injured list and wouldn’t return to the mound until September. After a rehab stint in Triple-A the Reds optioned him to Louisville late in the month and he didn’t return to the big leagues.
An injury plagued season wound up costing Duarte his 40-man spot. That’s never a fun situation. But he’ll be returning to the Reds next year and with how the current bullpen looks there should be plenty of opportunity to get back on the roster if he can perform.
Allan Cerda’s non-tender was a bit of a surprise. He’s just 22-years-old and had never been called up to the big leagues and had two option years remaining. Cerda does some things very well, but he’s also a guy who struggled to make contact and hit for any sort of average in the minor leagues in 20222. He hit just .208 between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga this past season. He also struck out 168 times in 124 games. His strikeout rate did come down in Double-A, but he still struck out 30% of the time he stepped to the plate with the Lookouts.
But for all of the struggles with regards to hitting for average and making contact, he was a 22-year-old center fielder with good range, a big time arm, and a guy who hit 24 home runs while posting a .360 on-base percentage thanks to 84 walks (and 13 hit-by-pitches, which for him seems to be sort of a repeatable skillset as he’s been hit by 51 pitches in four seasons).
You could understand the move more if the team needed the roster spot right now, but they don’t (unless there’s a deal or two on the verge of being announced that would require two 40-man roster spots). Still, Cerda is coming back on a minor league deal for 2023. He’ll get at least another season to try and improve at the plate and depending on how that goes he could work his way back onto the roster.