2013 Reds / Reds - General

Contract status and payroll for 2013

Something constructive to take your mind off the NLCS and the Baker extension: The 2013 contract status for the players on the 2012 Reds major league roster and the initial payroll situation.

2013 CONTRACT STATUS

Signed – team control, agreed salary amount (2012 > 2013)

  • Joey Votto ($9.5 m > $17 m)
  • Brandon Phillips ($12 m > $10 m)
  • Jay Bruce ($5 m > $7.5 m)
  • Johnny Cueto ($5.4 m > $7.4 m)
  • Aroldis Chapman ($2 m > $2 m)
  • Bronson Arroyo ($12 m > $11.5 m)
  • Sean Marshall ($3.1 > $4.5 m)
  • Ryan Hanigan ($1.2 m > $2 m)
  • Jose Arredondo ($800,000  > $1.2 m)
  • Nick Massett ($2.4 m > $3.1 m)

Options – varying control, agreed salary amount

  • Ryan Madson ($11 m club option, $2.5 m buy out)
  • Ryan Ludwick ($5 m mutual option, $500,000 buyout)

Entering third arbitration season – team control, negotiated salary amount

  • Bill Bray ($1.42 m in ’12)

Entering second arbitration season – team control, negotiated salary amount

  • Homer Bailey ($2.4 m in ’12)
  • Wilson Valdez ($930,000 in ’12)

Entering first arbitration season – team control, negotiated salary amount

  • Mat Latos
  • Drew Stubbs
  • Mike Leake
  • Chris Heisey
  • Alfredo Simon
  • Xavier Paul

Pre-arbitration – team control, league minimum salary

  • Logan Ondrusek
  • Todd Frazier
  • Sam LeCure
  • Zack Cozart
  • Devin Mesoraco
  • JJ Hoover

Free agents – player control

  • Scott Rolen ($6.5 m in ’12)
  • Miguel Cairo ($1 m in ’12)
  • [UPDATE] Jonathan Broxton ($4 m in ’12)

(If you need a refresher on the arbitration system, here’s the primer from last season. Quick version: Once a player is called up to the major leagues, the club enjoys six years of “team control” over that player. For three seasons, the players work for league minimum salary – roughly $500,000 – as established by the collective bargaining agreement. After that, the player is entitled to three years of arbitration. A few players, called Super Twos, qualify for two years of minimum and four years of arbitration. At the end of six seasons, the player is eligible for free agency. Teams may decline to “tender” arbitration offers to a player, in which case the player becomes a free agent.)

SUMMARY

The payroll for the 10 players under contract plus the Madson buy-out adds up to $68.7 million. Those eleven players were paid $59.4 million in 2012. Five of the pre-arbitration players are easy decisions (all but Ondrusek) and that adds another $2.5 million to the payroll. If the Reds choose, Tony Cingrani and Didi Gregorius (each league minimum) could replace Bill Bray and Wilson Valdez, adding another $1 million total to payroll.

Homer should make $4-5 million in arbitration. Simon and Heisey should be cheap arbitration signees, both less than $1 million, say $2 million for the two. Put Mike Leake around $2 million and Drew Stubbs at $2.2 million. Mat Latos will earn around $4 million in his first arbitration season.  These numbers are estimates based on comparables from 2012 arbitration awards.

If you add all that up, the Reds would owe about $83.5 million in salary. They would still have four needs:

  1. Replace or resign Ludwick in LF
  2. Sign a fifth OF (and/or a starting CF to replace Stubbs)
  3. Sign a back-up infielder who could play 1B and/or 3B
  4. Sign a closer to enable Aroldis Chapman’s move to the starting rotation

From of the LF/CF mix, the Reds have to find a lead-off hitter with a good OBP. They may choose to sign a second experienced LHP for the bullpen instead of Cingrani or Bray.

What will the payroll budget be this year for the Reds? That’s the $64 $70 $80 $90 $100 million question, isn’t it?

The Reds payroll was around $81 million last year, depending on how you calculate it. My opinion was – and still is – that the Votto and Phillips contracts signaled the intention of ownership to move toward a $100 million payroll. The question is whether that jump will take place quickly or over 4-5 seasons.

Absent a major salary-dumping trade or restructuring, which I don’t foresee, the Reds payroll could easily reach the mid-$90 millions in 2013 – and may even approach $100 million – which would represent a generous one-year jump.

79 thoughts on “Contract status and payroll for 2013

  1. Personally, I think Gregorious may be packaged this winter. If he was an offensive upgrade over Cozart then maybe he’d be untouchable. Based on minor league numbers, Gregorious is a downgrade.

    Ugh, could your image the highlights Gregious and Phillips would make together. But the Reds have called Cozart the SS of the future. Cozart isn’t flashy, but he’s solid. And he plays Dusty-ball (defense, speed, low OBP). If only he played CF, he’d bat leadoff.

  2. @TC: Gregorius is 22 and Cozart will be 28 his next birthday. Gregorius is already superior defensively and shows flashes that he could surpass Cozart offensively (except for power perhaps).

    Cozart is the shortstop for now but the future should belong to Gregorius, be that in one or two years.

    Whether by the Reds choice or because the Pads held out for Grandal, the Reds let a better player go when they traded Grandal and retained Mesoraco. That trade was big enough and important enough that they had to do what they had to do to make it if that is what it came to. However this year there doesn’t look to be a deal they absolutely need to make, so hopefully they won’t make the same type of decision with Cozart and Gregorius.

    • @TC: Gregorius is 22 and Cozart will be 28 his next birthday. Gregorius is already superior defensively and shows flashes that he could surpass Cozart offensively (except for power perhaps).

      Cozart is the shortstop for now but the future should belong to Gregorius, be that in one or two years.

      Whether by the Reds choice or because the Pads held out for Grandal, the Reds let a better player go when they traded Grandal andretained Mesoraco. That trade was big enough and important enough that they had to do what they had to do to make it if that is what it came to. However this year there doesn’t look to be a deal they absolutely need to make, so hopefully they won’t make the same type of decision with Cozart and Gregorius.

      Sorry but I keep Cozart and move Didi for other needs..

    • Gregorius is already superior defensively and shows flashes that he could surpass Cozart offensively (except for power perhaps).

      I like Gregorious better myself. It’s just that the Reds have called Cozart the SS of the future. Gregorious has slightly better range which is what you are probably referring to when you say he’s better defensively. Gregorious is more prone to flubs. Not disagreeing, but I’m not sure what flashes you mean.

  3. I can see the Reds moving Cozart to 3B sometime in the future and having Gregorius manning SS. Then having Frazier in LF. I can also envision the Reds moving Brandon Phillips to 3B midway thru his new contract. But could the Reds offense survive with Stubbs, Cozart and Gregorius in the batting order??

    • I can see the Reds moving Cozart to 3B sometime in the future and having Gregorius manning SS. Then having Frazier in LF.I can also envision the Reds moving Brandon Phillips to 3B midway thru his new contract.But could the Reds offense survive with Stubbs, Cozart and Gregorius in the batting order??

      Cozart will never hit well enough to play 3B.

      • Cozart will never hit well enough to play 3B.

        Never say never. I believe Cozart will hit better and good enough to play 3B. But, then the Reds would need to get a stud LF.

        • Never say never.I believe Cozart will hit better and good enough to play 3B. But, then the Reds would need to get a stud LF.

          His minor league ops was 753 and the most HRs he hit was 17. This year he hit 15 and it was 687. He’s already 26, what would lead you to believe that? What would you consider acceptable for 3B?

  4. Ludwick is old and has a history of some pretty ordinary years. I’d take a long look at whatever else is available before I committed. I wouldn’t offer more than 2 years, because I doubt any other team will really bid too heavily, and he will turn 37 years old in July of the third year. If A-Rod can’t hit at age 37, why would we think Ryan Ludwick could?

    I don’t have him as anything other than overage defensively, and outfielders can age poorly defensively. And he made some god-awful baserunning mistakes this year.

    This is where a GM earns his keep–by not overpaying the Ryan Ludwicks of the world. For one year, I’d rather have Lance Berkman in left.

  5. I say move Cozart to center and discard Stubbs. There’s nothing wrong with Cozart’s SS defense, but Gregorius projects better defensively over the long run. Hamilton arrives in 2014 as a CF, perhaps, but by then Cozart can move to left or third.

    I believe Cozart will improve his OBP with age (and he’s going to need to), but he already has as much power as Stubbs. He would be likely be a defensive downgrade, but there isn’t any reason he couldn’t be a very good defensive centerfielder.

    In other words, I’d rather have Cozart and Gregorius playing every day than Cozart and Stubbs.

  6. @Bill Lack:
    I think the more ML experience he gets, he’ll become a better hitter. I also think he has the frame to bulk up another 15-20 pounds for 3B. You have to admit, that would make a heck of an defensive infield with Votto, Phillips, Gregorius and Cozart. But offense is the problem and this wouldn’t help the offense much if Cozart and Gregorius don’t hit well. That’s why I say if this were to happen, then the Reds must get a stud LF. And you are still left with the question of who is going to leadoff. And then that might make a move in CF necessary.

  7. I was wrong about Dusty’s 2 year deal. I thought just one. But here’s what I see happening. With 9 new arb cases, payroll may become an issue again. It kept them from signing a front line LF’er last year. Fortunately Ludwick worked out.

    -Ludwick and Reds will sign that one year $5M extension. no additional years so Frazier can play LF in 2014.
    -Bray, Broxton, Rolen, Harris, Valdez, Cairo, Madson gone.
    -Mez needs at least another year of AAA, so sign Navarro.
    -Chapman stays the closer
    -Hoover becomes #1 set up unless Masset completely recovers.
    -Billy Hamilton moves to CF at AAA (something I lobbied all year for). Starts 2014.
    Stubbs most likely stays as bridge to Billy. But should be gone.
    -Didi goes to IL for 3B. possibly Frazier’s back up 2013. starts in 2014.
    -Cingrani/Corsino are emergency back ups for 2013. Eventually they replace Leake and Arroyo. Hoover could become an emergency SP out of the BP if needed.
    -Henry and others who are blocked are trade bait.
    -Draft SP, SP, SP and maybe 3B. Everywhere else is set.

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