CINCINNATI – A pitcher who grew up in Cincinnati and has close ties there will finally pitch for his hometown team. A source told MLB.com on Thursday that the Reds and veteran left winger Brent Suter have agreed to a one-year deal worth $3 million guaranteed.
The deal, which has not been officially announced by the club, calls for Suter to be paid $2.5 million in 2024 and includes a $3.5 million club option for the 25 season with a buyout of $500,000. The excited 34-year-old confirmed he would be joining the Reds in an interview with MLB.com.
“We’re super excited, it’s just a dream come true,” said Suter. “The Reds were my favorite team in every sport, in everything, for years growing up. “It’s absolutely surreal, so cool.”
Suter is 40-22 with a 3.49 ERA in 253 career games for the Brewers (2016-22) and Rockies ('23). He attended Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati and lives in the city in the offseason.
“This is home base,” he said.
Last season for Colorado, Suter had a 3.38 ERA in 57 appearances and 69 1/3 innings.
It turned out that there was room for another free agent and that a deal had been in the works for some time.
“They were one of the first teams to reach out to us and they called us pretty consistently,” Suter said. “We kind of knew they were interested.” We didn't know how interested. They recently took some steps here and it really paid off quickly. It was super exciting. It's been a strange and slow market this year, especially for unskilled workers. There were many calls that touched base. Things have gotten really exciting here lately.”
The addition of Suter strengthens a Cincinnati bullpen that already has two lefties in Sam Moll and Alex Young.
Suter gives the Reds another type of workhorse backup player. He had 24 multi-inning appearances last season, he worked frequently in high-leverage situations and has postseason experience. Cincinnati was second in the National League in bullpen innings last season.
“That’s one of the unique things about me. “I can achieve many things,” said Suter. “I can go back to back or three days in a row if you need me.” I assume I will. I haven’t spoken to them officially about this yet.”
Suter has relationships with several members of the Reds. He and manager David Bell are both Moeller graduates. Pitching coach Derek Johnson and catcher Luke Maile both worked with Suter while with the Brewers. Suter has also spent time with backup Lucas Sims at local Miracle League community events.
Aside from playing at home, Suter was also motivated to join the Reds for another chance to win and team up with a competitor.
“It's a winning culture, amazing energy, a really strong group of young core players who are super exciting to watch and super good,” Suter said. “When we came last summer and played the Rockies against the Reds, they were in the middle of that 12-game winning streak [in June]. It was incredibly electric. You could see the city falling in love with the team. It was really cool. Being able to be a part of it is a great gift. It's a great opportunity. Me and my family are so excited.”
The Reds agree to five players to avoid arbitration
It was a busy day for the Reds' baseball department on Thursday as the club reached one-year contracts that avoided arbitration with five of its six eligible players.
Sims will make $2.850 million in 2024, catcher Tyler Stephenson will receive $2.525 million, outfielder Jake Fraley will earn $2.150 million, Young is scheduled to receive $1.16 million and reliever Tejay Antone agreed to $830,000 -dollars to earn.
Only second baseman Jonathan India failed to agree to a contract before the 1 p.m. ET deadline for arbitration-eligible players to avoid a possible hearing next month. The Reds offered $3.2 million in arbitration, while India asked for $4 million.