2013 Reds

Reds avoid arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo

The Reds avoided arbitration with new CF (?) Shin-Soo Choo today. It’s a one-year contract worth $7.375 million. That’s basically the midpoint between the numbers submitted by each side (as Mark Sheldon noted, Choo filed for $8 million, and the club countered at $6.75 million).

Frankly, that seems like a very reasonable salary figure, given the contributions we can expect from Choo this season.

The Reds still have two players who have filed for arbitration, but haven’t come to terms: Homer Bailey and Mat Latos. I’m very interested to see what happens in each of those cases.

36 thoughts on “Reds avoid arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo

  1. Also the Indians gave the Reds about $3m to cover part of Shin-Shoo Choo’s salary.

    Walt Jocketty could have waited until this week and signed Michael Bourn for a 4 year, $48m deal, with the additional expense of giving up a first round draft pick. That way the Reds could have a leadoff hitter with an OBP about 40 points lower than Choo’s. Raise your hand if you’d prefer Bourn at $12m/year over one year of Choo at ~$7.4m! We can’t even raise hands here, how appropriate.

    Maybe Bourn’s acquisition made Drew Stubbs available – maybe Stubbs can be reacquired in a trade to make all the Reds fans angry!

    • Also the Indians gave the Reds about $3m to cover part of Shin-Shoo Choo’s salary.

      Walt Jocketty could have waited until this week and signed Michael Bourn for a 4 year, $48m deal, with the additional expense of giving up a first round draft pick.That way the Reds could have a leadoff hitter with an OBP about 40 points lower than Choo’s.Raise your hand if you’d prefer Bourn at $12m/year over one year of Choo at ~$7.4m!We can’t even raise hands here, how appropriate.

      It’s comparing apples and oranges, to compare a 4 year, 12M contract, to a 1 year, 7.4M. In the Reds’ case, it’s a no brainer because next year they will have, in all likelihood, a starting CF who makes 500K—Billy Hamilton. Maybe it won’t happen, but the Reds are very likely planning as if it is.

      For another team, Bourn at 4 years, 12M/year might be much better than Choo at 7.4M for 1 year.

  2. With this signing having on the books, I think bets are off as to whether Choo is one and done as a Red.

    WJ had a record in that other riverside of acquiring guys on the short back end of contracts and finding ways to keep them. It will be interesting to see what unfolds here.

  3. @OhioJim:

    That should have been:
    WJ had a record in that other riverside city of acquiring guys on the short back end of contracts and finding ways to keep them. It will be interesting to see what unfolds here.

  4. @OhioJim: I think you can be pretty sure that Choo is still one and done as a Red. Not only are they optimistic about Billy Hamilton but salaries for guys like Bailey and Latos are going to keep rising. Jocketty knows the Reds won’t be able to afford Choo after 2013.

    Most of the money saved by cutting Arroyo and Choo’s contracts next winter will be offset by salary increases to current players. Jocketty and Castellini can’t keep increasing spending forever.

    • @redsfanman:

      .

      Most of the money saved by cutting Arroyo and Choo’s contracts next winter will be offset by salary increases to current players.Jocketty and Castellini can’t keep increasing spending forever.

      You’re right, very soon, the Reds are going to have to make some decisions to let some guys walk..which will tick some fans off to the nth degree, but if they can continue to develop talent from the inside, hopefully they’ll have cheaper replacements in place.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I mean the Reds’ payroll isn’t going to keep jumping $10m, $15m+ per year. Player salaries for guys like Bailey and Latos are going to keep going up. One mediocre season and fans will stop buying tickets again. In a few years they’ll renegotiate the TV contract but the Reds won’t earn nearly as much as some other teams.

        I agree with Bill Lack:

        @redsfanman:
        You’re right, very soon, the Reds are going to have to make some decisions to let some guys walk..which will tick some fans off to the nth degree, but if they can continue to develop talent from the inside, hopefully they’ll have cheaper replacements in place.

        …rather than people who expect them to just keep adding big contracts every year because that’s the way they hope things go. Teams often have the foresight to predict big payroll increases and spend accordingly, but frequently they come to regret it, like the 2012 Marlins. In a few years I think the Reds will have to trade away key guys like Cueto to meet the payroll, we just have to hope that they can be replaced internally.

    • Jocketty and Castellini can’t keep increasing spending forever.

      Actually they can and they are. Don’t look now, but the Reds are on their way to a 2013 payroll over $100 million. Lots of new revenue flooding into baseball in the next five years. The smart teams see that coming and will take advantage of it. The Reds are off to a pretty good start in that regard, but have even more room to be aggressive.

    • @OhioJim: I think you can be pretty sure that Choo is still one and done as a Red.Not only are they optimistic about Billy Hamilton but salaries for guys like Bailey and Latos are going to keep rising.Jocketty knows the Reds won’t be able to afford Choo after 2013…..

      It is a one year “bridge” after this year until the end end of Ludwick’s contract. Regardless of what happens with Hamilton, the Reds won’t be swimming in MLB talented OF at that point. If, and it is a big if, Choo who signed for $7.3M this year could be had on a 3 or 4 year deal that averaged in the $12M range it would be money Well spent.

  5. @Steve Mancuso:

    How aggressive do you think the Reds front office will be over the next 3-5 years?? How much room do you think they add to the budget??
    The fans need to step up this year and break the 3,000,000 attendance mark.

  6. @WVRedlegs: Attendance is actually a pretty small piece of it, although it certainly contributes. Broadcast revenues, both local and national, are due to grow enormously. For example, MLB’s national broadcast contracts were renewed for 2014 and each club will benefit $25 million/year from that. Add in revenue sharing, playoff appearances, a new local broadcast contract and MLB’s online revenues and the future for all teams is bright.

    Bottom line: I wouldn’t be surprised if the Reds had a $160 million payroll or more by 2017.

    Clubs that have the foresight to recognize these changes are on the way and spend – today – accordingly, will have an advantage. Backloading contracts, as the Reds have done is one way to implement that strategy. The Reds front office – particularly the money side – seems pretty clued in and committed to producing a winner. Early indicators are positive.

    • The Reds front office – particularly the money side – seems pretty clued in and committed to producing a winner. Early indicators are positive.

      You are so right. Reading John Fay’s article it seems the front office has a plan and is sticking to it. That is good news. If they would only elaborate just what “The Plan” is to us fans. lol.
      My attendance comment about 3,000,000 is a bit unrealistic. The Reds would have to average 37,000 fans a game. That is hard to do in a stadium that seats only 41,000-42,000 or so.
      So lets shoot for 2.75 million fans in 2013. I will do my part as I will bring 4 people to about 10 games this year.
      I know last fall there was some talk about some RN fans gathering at a couple of games for 2013. The RN guys maybe should pick 2-3 Friday or Saturday games, then pick out a section to buy tickets in, maybe out in the Moon Deck, and we all can WOOOOp it up out in the bleachers. Friday games and the friday night fireworks might be the best choice.
      I think it would be nice to meet a bunch of you guys in person.

  7. @Steve Mancuso: Here’s the math on attendance gains. Forbes Magazine’s most recent estimate of fan spending per game at GABP (not sure if this includes the new parking structure) is $54. That means for every 100,000 increase in attendance, overall revenues would rise by more than $5 million. Attendance grew by 133,000 in 2012.

    3 million probably isn’t realistic. Even in the Big Red Machine era the Reds only drew 2.5-2.6 million in the regular season. But if attendance could get back to 2.6 million, that’s an additional $15 million/year, approximately.

    Milwaukee is probably the most optimistic example for the Reds. They grew attendance to over 3 million with a combination of a new stadium and the success of their team. It’s not a fair comparison though, really. At least not unless the Reds plan to put a dome over GABP.

  8. Are we talking about the Cincinnati Reds or the 2012 Marlins, who were going to use new sources of revenue to buy success long term?

  9. @redsfanman: I don’t understand what it means to say that the Reds can’t keep spending money forever.

    Do you mean they can’t keep increasing the payroll by 30% each year, or do you mean that eventually the payroll will stop growing altogether. I would agree with the first one (I don’t think their payroll will be 220M in 2017), but not at all with the second one (I think Mancuso may well be right that they hit about 170M by then).

  10. Good article at si.com about how winning percentage changes dramatically after a team sends it’s 39th batter through the plate (the 5th time up for the 3 hole). It’s written from a perspective of bullpen management that I hope Dusty reads, but it also makes me more excited that Choo and BP will allow the Reds lineup to turnover more frequently too.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130211/baseball-magic-number-rick-peterson/?sct=hp_wr_a3&eref=sihp

    • Good article at si.com about how winning percentage changes dramatically after a team sends it’s 39th batter through the plate (the 5th time up for the 3 hole). It’s written from a perspective of bullpen management that I hope Dusty reads, but it also makes me more excited that Choo and BP will allow the Reds lineup to turnover more frequently too.

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130211/baseball-magic-number-rick-peterson/?sct=hp_wr_a3&eref=sihp

      Interesting article, but I fear it is specious reasoning. I believe the Rick Peterson arrived at the right conclusion but with the wrong analysis.

      The number 39 itself is likely just circumstantial The most important thing(and what I hope Dusty would somehow pick up :lol:) is “proactive bullpen use should be encouraged, not only to squelch rallies but also to prevent unnecessary lineup turnover.”

  11. Not exactly Reds-related here, but relevant to the Choo discussion. Now that the Indians seemingly have a superior CF in Bourn over Stubbs, where does our long lost Drew end up this season? I don’t really think he’s worth putting out there everyday unless they get to take advantage of his defense in center. Mayyybe they could move him to a corner, but I don’t think his offense is good enough to keep him there. Have to imagine Brantley and Swisher end up flanking Bourn for their 2013 outfield. I suppose the DH rule grants them a little extra flexibility with their lineup, but unless there’s a big injury I can’t imagine that Cleveland still has Stubbs on Opening Day.

    • Not exactly Reds-related here, but relevant to the Choo discussion. Now that the Indians seemingly have a superior CF in Bourn over Stubbs, where does our long lost Drew end up this season? I don’t really think he’s worth putting out there everyday unless they get to take advantage of his defense in center. Mayyybe they could move him to a corner, but I don’t think his offense is good enough to keep him there. Have to imagine Brantley and Swisher end up flanking Bourn for their 2013 outfield. I suppose the DH rule grants them a little extra flexibility with their lineup, but unless there’s a big injury I can’t imagine that Cleveland still has Stubbs on Opening Day.

      Who is the Indians’ DH? Moving Swisher or Reynolds to DH (and the other to 1b) seems reasonable. Stubbs would make an unusual choice in a corner but I doubt he’ll be benched.

      @WVRedlegs: I’d go to a Reds game with Redleg Nation people on a Friday or Saturday. As long as we can agree not to start punching each other.

  12. @CP: I would also clue in Dusty on the fact it remains advantageous to shy away from extending the opponent’s lineup with intentional walks and shortening one’s own with sacrifice bunts. Mind the bunts! Mind the bunts! But don’t worry, they’ll be working on fundamentals like never before this spring.

  13. @WVRedlegs: We had an outing a few years back. It was a great time. It was odd, actually, meeting some of the guys here. Most of the editors were there. Chris Wilson is a hoot! Bill is exactly what I expected, which was nice. Chad’s taller than I expected. Other Redlegnation regulars were BJ Rubble, HoosierDad, and Jason Hickey.

    • @TC:

      @WVRedlegs: We had an outing a few years back.It was a great time.It was odd, actually, meeting some of the guys here.Most of the editors were there.Chris Wilson is a hoot!Bill is exactly what I expected, which was nice.Chad’s taller than I expected.Other Redlegnation regulars were BJ Rubble, HoosierDad, and Jason Hickey.

      Nice? Me? First time I’ve ever heard that…

  14. @TC: Schedule something this year! Maybe some of us will get along better in person than online. Maybe I can make a more favorable impression in person.

  15. Maybe it’s too early, but what are likely scenarios if it is deemed Choo cannot play CF every day? I did a quick sketch to see what it might look like if we allowed more than 1 player to play CF this year – let me know your thoughts…

    Bruce: 110 gms in RF, 40 gms in CF
    Choo: 52 gms in RF, 50 gms in CF, 50 gms in LF
    Ludwick: 90 gms in LF, 20 gms as DH
    Heisey: 22 gms in LF, 30 gms in CF
    Hamilton: 42 gms in CF

    Is this a legitimate possibility?

  16. @redsfanman: You’re on it: According to Paul Hoynes, this is the plan for Cleveland as of now: Bourn, a two-time Gold Glove winner, will play center field and hit leadoff. Michael Brantley, the Indians center fielder last year, will play left. Drew Stubbs, Cincinnati’s center fielder last year, will play right field.

    Nick Swisher, who signed a four-year $56 million deal in December, will move from right field to first base. Mark Reynolds, who signed a one-year $6 million deal in November, will move from first base to DH.

    Now, the Tribe may never have a ball hit the grass between CF and RF, which is worth a lot… but Drew Stubbs as a corner outfielder? Well, that’s out of the box, I’ll give ‘em that.

  17. @tberger87: Mix and match doesn’t seem unreasonable… but Hamilton getting in there is pretty unlikely. At best, he’ll get some Sept. call up starts. But, who knows. The Reds might clinch the division in August and have time to play around :)

  18. @Matt WI: I admit, I read that somewhere yesterday, right after they announced Bourn’s signing, I didn’t come up with the DH option myself. Stubbs isn’t a typical RF but I really wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Bourn was traded away to a contender in the next year or two, hence the back-laden contract. The Indians didn’t have to give up a first round draft pick to sign Bourn but they can probably get a top prospect in return. I don’t think the Indians seriously believe Bourn is helping them to make a playoff run.

    @tberger87: I think Choo will be stuck in CF whether he likes it or not – the line for ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ play CF is extremely vague (at least as long as he doesn’t have any sort of leg injury). I think Choo will get handed the job or they’ll turn to Bruce, but they’ll make a final decision before opening day. After that I expect one (and only one) of those two guys to play regular season games in CF.

    I said all along that the new CF also needs to be able to play LF. As you said Ludwick is likely to DH, when possible, or be removed in favor of a defensive replacement in CF.

    I really doubt we’ll see Chris Heisey in LF much. I think he’ll play CF almost every time he’s in a game, with the CF shifting to a corner.

    If Ludwick fails (gets hurt, doesn’t hit, whatever) I wouldn’t be surprised to see Todd Frazier start some games in LF with Jack Hannahan playing 3b. Super Todd might be the starting 3b but it’s not the only role he could fill.

  19. @redsfanman: OK, you agree with Bill Lack. But I really think you are mistaken. You are saying, if I understand it correctly, that in the year 2023 the Reds payroll will be below 200M?

    I believe the payroll has to go up by 10M per year. The Reds payroll was 45M in 2002 and 59M in 2003, note, so it’s about 10% per year…

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate:

      @redsfanman: OK, you agree with Bill Lack. But I really think you are mistaken. You are saying, if I understand it correctly, that in the year 2023 the Reds payroll will be below 200M? I believe the payroll has to go up by 10M per year. The Reds payroll was 45M in 2002 and 59M in 2003, note, so it’s about 10% per year…

      I agree with your basic premise that the Reds payroll will go up each year, whatever the number. It’s the nature of the business. The only way it will go down is if there is a wholesale turnover of the team, ala the Florida Marlins Part Trois.

      Don’t agree with your math, but it’s a small point. An increase from 45M to 59M is a 31% increase, not 10%.

      Most importantly, as Reds fans we have to be encouraged that the present management of the team is doing a very good job of setting this team up for long term success.

  20. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Before 2023 I expect the Reds to have a disappointing season when fairweather fans stop buying tickets, at which point they’ll have to move big contracts that they can’t afford. As optimistic as I am about the Reds I don’t think they’ve achieved any sort of first place every single year dynasty yet.

  21. @redsfanman: Luckily, one only has to go back to – last year – to disprove your argument. The Reds had a very disappointing season in 2011, yet attendance grew substantially in both 2011 and 2012. Plus, annual variation in attendance has a small effect on overall team revenues.

    • From Mark Sheldon:

      Choo declined Korea’s invitation to play in the World Baseball Classic, in which he participated in 2009. There are simply too many changes happening in his baseball life to get distracted.

      “The Korean team is really upset,” Choo said. “If I wasn’t traded, maybe it would have been a different story. I have a different position and new teammates. I want to spend more time with my teammates. A lot of people say ‘you’re already playing in the Major Leagues, don’t worry about it.’ I know since playing in the Minor Leagues how important it is to be on a team with your teammates. The communication is very, very important for me. I think it’s more important than baseball. It was a tough decision to make to not play for the Korean team. But this is my new team.

      I had heard glowing reports regarding Choo’s clubhouse presence, but this seals the deal for me. I don’t know if WJ has any desire to extend Choo, but this is a ballplayer that would fit very nicely into the Reds’ clubhouse for the next few years as one of the cornerstones of the team.

      • @Shchi Cossack:

        From Mark Sheldon:I had heard glowing reports regarding Choo’s clubhouse presence, but this seals the deal for me. I don’t know if WJ has any desire to extend Choo, but this is a ballplayer that would fit very nicely into the Reds’ clubhouse for the next few years as one of the cornerstones of the team.

        Good point. Yet another example of Choo’s admirable character, he is a worthy addition to the team in so many ways.

        When MISTER Mancuso starting campaigning here for the acquisition of Choo, I dismissed it as fantasy. It took far less talent (thought the Reds would have to part with some pitching) to land Choo than I thought.

        I’ll join you in fantasizing of a 2015 OF of Choo in LF, Hamilton in CF, and Bruce in RF. That would be a fun lineup card to fill out. Yeah, it might be a fantasy, but Steve M. etal dared to dream …

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