Injury updates

Alphabetical order:

Homer Bailey  Bailey left the game yesterday in the sixth inning with a sore right knee. He was diagnosed with a strained patella tendon.


The patella tendon connects the quad muscle to the knee (patella). Announcer and former-pitcher Jeff Brantley pointed out the right leg is Bailey’s “push-off leg.”

As bad as that video looks, the Reds are saying that Bailey has a slightly sprained knee. They did conduct a precautionary MRI (hooray) and predict that Bailey won’t miss a start. The timing of the All-Star break helps.

“We can put him toward the back end coming out of the All-Star Break,” said manager Byran Price. “It sounds like he should be good to go by then.”

Homer Bailey is 28 years old. He missed time in spring training with a groin injury and had a series of shoulder problems from 2010-11. He has remained healthy since, throwing 208 and 209 innings during the past two seasons.

Concern Level: Moderate. So far, so good. But I have to admit the severity of the pain that would cause Bailey to leave the game so suddenly doesn’t quite square up with the “nothing to see here” diagnosis. Plenty of danger, both medium and long-term, lurking with patella tendon injuries. Stay tuned.

Billy Hamilton  Hamilton left the game Wednesday night with a tight left hamstring and did not start on Thursday. He did pinch hit in yesterday’s loss. It wasn’t a sudden, single event that caused him to leave the game.

“It’s been bothering me for the past couple of days,” Hamilton said. “I knew something was happening. On the last at-bat, I stepped down and I felt it pull when I started running.”

Hamilton is listed as day-to-day, some reports speculate he might miss a few games. Others cite Price as indicating Hamilton will start against Pittsburgh tonight. Sounds promising that he’ll be back in time for this:

mlbf_34260861_th_43Billy Hamilton is 23 years old. He missed time earlier this year with sprained knuckles (May 1) and a jammed finger (April 5) although neither injury was serious enough for him to go on the DL.

UPDATE: Billy Hamilton is in the Reds’ lineup tonight:

1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Zack Cozart (R) SS
3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
4. Jay Bruce (L) 1B
5. Devin Mesoraco (R) C
6. Ryan Ludwick (R) LF
7. Chris Heisey (R) RF
8. Ramon Santiago (S) 2B
9. Mat Latos (R) P

Concern Level: Low. Price using Hamilton in yesterday’s game is a good indication they don’t consider this too serious. The ongoing risk is aggravating the hamstring. Bursts of speed are a fundamental part of Hamilton’s game.

Brandon Phillips  Phillips was injured diving for a ground ball in Wednesday night’s game. Yesterday, the Reds announced he had torn a ligament in his left thumb and would undergo surgery to repair it today. They estimated he would miss about six weeks.

Torn ulnar collateral ligaments in the thumb are caused by the thumb being bent back too far.


Brandon Phillips is 33 years old. He has been durable, with this being his first trip to the disabled list since breaking a finger in 2008. He has played at least 140 games every year since 2006.

Six weeks is an optimistic estimate. Washington Nationals outfielder, Bryce Harper, missed nine weeks with a similar injury earlier this year. Josh Hamilton was out from April 8 to June 2 (8 weeks) with that injury this year. Yadier Molina suffered a torn thumb ligament (while sliding feet first, of all things) on Wednesday night and the Cardinals are estimating their catcher’s return at 8-12 weeks.

Eight weeks from today is September 5.

Concern Level: High. The Reds will be without their starting 2B for two months. The team not only has to cope with the drop off in the field and the lineup, it further weakens their bench.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 84 Comments

  1. #FreeHeisey. I want more golden Sombreros.

    • Really, that’s comment #1? Heisey wasn’t even mentioned in this, only that the bench would be weakened as well.

  2. Price said yesterday that the Reds would have to look outside the organization for help. He said Lutz and Soto were not options. It sounds like he has thrown down the gauntlet at Jocketty’s feet. We will see what happens.
    I would take a flier on Soriano for left field and give Ludwick some time at first.
    I’d also make any effort to find someone to play second and third so Frazier can also split time at first.
    Prado would be a good option.

    • I think Ludwick at 1st is a god awful idea. He’s old and slow, I cant imagine how many balls would get past him. Also, he is not batting well at all. I surely hope he will be seldom seen next year in the lineup. I believe Pena suffices at 1st, keep Tucker up and have him and Mes share catching duties. I would go as far to say as have Tucker catch 2 out of every 5 games, and during those two have Mes play outfield, or 1st. Mes should play pretty much every game, no matter what position he needs to play. We can’t afford to miss out on him swinging the timber every night.

      • Mes is NOT playing OF or 1st. That has already been stated. Barnhart is not ready to play at the majors as his hitting is abysmal.

        • He hasn’t had enough at bats to judge his hitting at the majors.. And ok then, how about Mes at 3rd on off days? gotta figure out a way to have him playing in every game.

      • Ludwick is still a better hitter than Pena though. The problem with your idea is that it actually makes the lineup worse. Mesoraco in left, Pena at first and Barnhart behind the plate is not better than ludwick in left, Pena or even soto at first and Mes catching. Plus I think mesoraco would be horrible in left and would give back a lot of his offensive value. It is easier to find a decent hitting left fielder or first baseman than it is to find a catcher who can hit like mesoraco has. Leave him behind the plate and get someone to play left or first. It is a decent idea for mesoraco to learn to play first, but that would only be on days that he is not catching. Barnhart should be in aaa getting at bats.

        • I only wanted Mes playing Left/First/3rd on his off days of catching, just to keep his bat in the lineup. It would be nice to have him play just about every game..

    • I like Prado but he’s due ~$5-million for the rest of this year and due $22-million over the next two years. I don’t see the Reds giving up a prospect or two and taking on that kind of salary. I like Prado a lot and would love to see him in a Reds’ uniform. I just don’t see that big of a payroll hit on the horizon.

    • Soriano is thinking of retiring. That would lead me to believe he is done. Prado is someone I could go for at 2nd.

  3. Good post (just facts) and yes “precautionary MRI (hooray)” seems appropriate (about time). The 6 week number is, again, the REDS managing information when history tells us a different story, Oh well.
    So when does “Walt” bashing start, after the second cup of coffee? 🙂

  4. Many of the posters have interest in the “prospects” that are in the REDS system. They are just prospects.
    For a daily review of progress of all players in the Reds minors the following 2 links will allow you to see how they are producing and adapting. These charts are sortable. Please note that there are no “metrics” used, just the historical numbers like AVG, RBI, AB, etc. Fangraphs offers the newer metrics and the standard numbers.
    Interesting side note, I have not been able to find the newer “metrics” on the MLB web site. Old habits die hard. I guess Mancuso will need to contact them and set them straight. Caution, any opinions and description’s you read on the following web sites will cause undo hope because only good news is posted so stick to the numbers.
    I hope that having access to these rudimentary numbers will allow wiser analysis for us poor fans who just want to see “W’s”.



    • There are direct links to both sites you listed under the above caption “The Farm” and “Reds Affiliates”.

  5. If we could get Ben Zobrist that would be the play. I realize that it won’t be cheap. He can play anywhere including 2B and OF. Plus, he can rake. make it happen WJ.

    • I was thinking the same thing. He’d fit just about anywhere…Jed Lowrie would make sense too, ability to play 2nd/SS/1st. Both are probably out of the price range though

  6. If anyone at the game could get me one of the hamilton bobbleheads, I would gladly pay for it. I am still recovering from surgery and I am in no condition to go to the game.
    Send me an email to vandy1fan@comcast.net if you can help.


  7. Curious, Why moderation?

    • Moderation is automatic for any post that contains two or more hyperlinks. It’s a standard part of spam detection.

  8. I think we will fin dout over the next week or so exactly how much Bob and Walt are “in” for this season or given all the injuries and a new manager are going to go with “what is in house will get us by”. I think the manager as stated wants outside help and I am willing to bet the fans do also. Prospects are just that “prospects” and as we have seen with the Latos deal, there is more reward in obtaining proven ML talent over what “prospects” might be….

    • The Latos trade was different, we still had multiple years of club control over him at the time the trade was made. Even still, I’m not wild about giving up several years of club control over guys like Winker and Stephenson, years where they will be extremely cheap in comparison.

      Look at this year’s salary for these Reds:

      Frazier – 600K
      Mesoraco – 525K
      Cozart – 600K
      Hamilton – 500K

      That’s 4 of your 8 regular starters, making around 2.2 million total. A small market team like the Reds has to have guys like this on the team in order to be competitive year in and year out.

      • Reds are not a small market team..

        • Yes, they are. Cincinnati is actually the smallest city to have an MLB team. Look it up.

          Don’t be fooled by the fact that the Reds have the 11th highest payroll in the league. That is simply because Bob Castellini wants to win badly, and has been willing to open up the proverbial wallet to make that happen.

        • “small market” is a misused term, when you are spending the type of monies the Reds are they are in no way “small market”. They may be a small population area, but their revenue is not small market.

        • Exactly. The Reds are 12th in the MLB in payroll, ahead of the Cardinals. Next year when Homer and Votto’s numbers go up substantially and a few guys get big arbitration raises we’ll probably be in the top 10. When you throw around the term “small market” it has nothing to do with the size of the city or even of the larger fan area or TV viewership. It’s not even really about their revenue, technically. It’s just about how much ownership is willing to spend. Most owners aren’t going to run a money-losing operation, but the fact is the Reds spend more than most.

        • If you want to go by metro area and not city size, Cincinnati ranks 27th out of 30. Still one of the smallest markets in baseball, even if not THE smallest.

          Their revenue is still small market, the money they receive for local media broadcast rights is only a fraction of what the large market teams receive. Again, the Reds payroll is that high simply because Castellini allows it to be.

        • The Reds still turn a profit, so they have the revenue to support a near top-10 payroll. Again, I don’t care what the population of anywhere is, it’s the size of the checkbook that matters. And Bob is going to lead the ownership group for the foreseeable future so I still don’t understand why you would consider the team a small market team when they’re being run like a top 10 organization. It’s what we’ve wanted as fans for decades.

        • You are confusing the term “large market” with “wealthy owner”. Just because the Reds have an owner who is willing to overspend based on his market size, does not change the size of the market. It is what it is. That being said, I am glad to see that Castellini is willing to spend to make the Reds competitive.

          You guys seem to want to overlook the whole point of my original post. A team like the Reds who have limited local revenue streams (unlike say New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc.) cannot just let payroll keep skyrocketing just to keep every player on the team. That market limitation is why we will not be able to keep all of Latos, Cueto, and Leake in the next couple years.

          When you have players like Votto, Phillips, Bruce, and Bailey eating up huge chunks of payroll, a small-market team MUST balance them out with cheaper alternatives like Frazier and Mesoraco (and soon, Stephenson and Winker).

        • And again, Bob’s wealth is not what we’re talking about here. First of all, Bob does not own the team outright. He heads a group of owner/investors. The team is a corporation and it turns a profit. Bob is not injecting his own personal funds into the corporation to inflate its balance sheet. The difference between the Reds and, say, the Dodgers is in the size of the profit it turns. Yeah, the Dodgers have a higher payroll, but they’re also a supremely more valuable commodity as they turn a much bigger profit. So Bob is willing to let the corporation he heads turn a slightly lower profit than others of similar size. Maybe that’s quibbling over semantics, but maybe we should just appreciate that we have a responsible owner who’s also a die hard fan and wants to see the team win as much as us super fans.

          On your larger point, I agree. It’s why I’m still on the fence about the Bailey contract even though I think we got good value and why I am very much against a mega-deal for Cueto. We can’t keep paying market value for WAR, which we basically are with Votto, Bailey, and Phillips. It’s ok to do it for a few stars like that, but you can’t build a team that way even with a 12th ranked payroll.

        • I think we are arguing over semantics. How about I say the Reds are located in a small market, but do have an ownership group that is willing to spend more like a mid-market franchise?

          And I’m glad you agree with my main point, that the Reds are not the Yankees and do not have the revenue stream to support paying all the impending free agents on the club. All this was to argue against trading away our blue-chip prospects who will be the counterbalance to all those large contracts.

        • The Reds revenue stream may not be on the size of LA or chicago or NY, but overall it’s very good and Bob is not digging into his own pocket to pay the bills. The Reds will be adding to that revenue stream soon with a new and improved TV deal and the monies all the teams are getting is going up and theReds are selling more tickets. The monies are there to sign the majority of players Bob wants to keep.

      • You’re still missing the larger point, Drew. Despite the fact that the ownership group is willing to overspend their small-market counterparts, does not mean that the Reds have the same revenue streams as the larger markets. It just means the owners want to win, and are willing to spend to achieve that goal.

        For years, the Reds were a small market team, and the payroll reflected that. Now, the market is still small, but the payroll is more like that of a mid-market team. To me, that just shows how committed Castellini is to seeing the Reds win.

        As for the new TV deal, yes, that will bring in a lot more revenue. But you will be surprised to see how little that will matter when it comes to retaining these impending free agents. The Reds structured the extensions for Votto, Phillips, and Bailey with this in mind, backloading the big money into the later years, after the new TV money is on board. Even without signing any of Cueto, Latos, and Leake, the payroll in 2016 will be higher than it is now simply because of escalating salaries for the aforementioned elite players. There will not be enough “new money” to sign whomever the Reds want. They are not, and will never be, a large market franchise, no matter how badly fans might want them to be.

        • Here are some 2016 salary figures to make you want to cry:

          Votto – 20 million
          Bailey – 18 million
          Phillips – 13 million
          Bruce – 12.5 million

          I’m not even trying to say that any of these guys are overpaid or not. Bruce’s will almost certainly be a bargain, and Votto’s is very reasonable (for a healthy version anyway). But that is 63.5 million tied up in only 4 players. If either Cueto or Latos signs for something similar to Bailey’s deal, add another 16-18 million on there. What about Leake, figure about 10 million for him? Now we’re up around 90 million for just 6 players. It becomes quite clear how important young, cost-controlled players are to building a competitive team.

    • Not all prospects are equal, though. Some you really wouldn’t trade, I hope, unless you had something amounting to near certainty that the player you got would put you over the top. With the injuries, the Reds are considerably more than one player away from being post-season shoo-ins. I like this team a lot, would like to see them win the whole thing, but would also like to see them contend next year and the year after and so on….

  9. With CBSsports showing the Dayton Dragons last night vs. South Bend, it was nice to see our “younger” talent play. While Raw, there does seem to be some possibilities down there for the future.

  10. That Duda/Murphy interest seems absolutely a need at this point. If it takes Lorenzen/Jumbo plus to do it, the cost would appear worth it. We’d still have pitching depth with Stephenson, Moscot, Iglesias, Lively Travieso, etc. even if we had to include another pitching prospect to seal the deal (obviously not Stephenson or Iglesias). Contreras could come back up for Jumbo.

    Rolling out a hypothetical line up of Hamilton, Murphy, Frazier, Bruce, Mesoraco, Duda, Schu/Ludwick, and Cozart would likely be the best we’ve been offensively all year. When Votto comes back Duda slides to left and we’re even better.

    Next year we have Duda stay in LF and buy out Ludwick, it’s a sunk cost anyway, and see if we could flip the last year of Murphy for something during the offseason.

    • We don’t even know if Murphy and Duda are available. Why would the Mets trade Duda when he is young and under team control?

      • Because the REds can offer them pitching, which is something all teams need….Offer them Leake and a minor leaguer and see what happens…

        • Who pitches in Leake’s spot, especially keeping in mind that Cingrani is on the DL and Bailey just might have a question with his knee?

        • Chein Min Wang

        • Chien Ming Wang? Uh… no.

        • Shy not, he would be your number 5 starter. Whom else would you go with then?

        • That would probably be a guaranteed loss every 5th day then. He has a 3.57 ERA and 1.46 WHIP at Louisville, so he’s not exactly dominating at AAA ball. Also he’s 34 years old, so at this point in his career, he is what he is.

          I could see pitching him maybe once as a spot starter, but if he’s in the rotation every 5th day, we’re in trouble.

      • The rumor/report which I have no way of knowing if it is true, was that the Reds had scouts watching at the Mets/Braves game, presumably for Murphy/Duda. Also it was mentioned Jumbo/Lorenzen had the Mets interest. Both players were somewhat available this winter. I don’t see why they wouldn’t be now for the right price. Both could help us a lot this year (and beyond with Duda) so it would be imperative to at least look into it, no?

  11. When the WGN announcers were talking about the fact that Phillips would need surgery, one of them, maybe it was Jim “Two Silhouettes on” DeShaies, said the Reds were gonna need help and then said, “You’re on the clock, Walt Jocketty.” I confess I laughed out loud. I hope this time Walt proves me wrong and goes out and improves the club.

  12. If Walt intends to make a trade, this week should be the opportunity as I would think that all GM’s will be attendance at the All Star event. Every GM knows what the Reds are faced with so There may be a lot of “How about so and so any interest” or “fishing expedition” types of conversation. Price continues to Talk about the opportunities’ this gives the reserves to play. Moving Ludwick to platoon at first maybe the answer but if he clicks and his bat starts to find the ball, next year Walt just may keep him. I really don’t see the advantage of bringing Soto up to sit and watch while Price stays with a platoon system.
    If you have a flat tire, you use the spare until you can purchase a new tire, not a used one. Our rookie pitching prospects are gold, not to used as “garage sale” trade bait.
    IMO if Walt doesn’t do it next week , he will wait till August and still have 2 months left in the season.
    Just saying 🙂

  13. It has been reported that the Phillies are ready to “break up” the team. Would they be willing to trade Chase Utley?

    • Utley’s contract is massive and he has no real value to the team once BP is healthy. I don’t think he’s ever played OF.

  14. What’s the odds the Reds trade for a Joc Pederson/Kris Bryant type prospect who’s at AAA and is ready to come up? Someone young, cheap, and controllable with a lot of potential upside?

  15. Tangentially related to the above discussion of market size and something I’ve been meaning to look up for a while and finally did, the Reds attendance (30.4K) this year is holding pretty solid despite the bad start and lots of bad weather this year. Per game attendance is down, but by less than 1,000 per game. That might get made up this weekend. Still nowhere near what St. Louis (43.3K) draws per game.

    • I’d also be interested to see numbers on TV deals both present and projected. The Cardinals have always been one of the league’s best in attendance and it’s what kept their payroll above ours for so many years, but with the new TV money we seem to have leapfrogged them. I wonder if our TV ratings actually exceed theirs. While their viewership area is probably a bit larger, it covers a lot of empty country while ours includes a number of larger cities (Columbus, Louisville, Dayton and Lexington to a smaller degree). I could be wrong about that.

      • Also Indianapolis and much of central Indiana. I know we had FSO in Muncie, there are a lot of Reds games on here in Indy

    • The Reds do seem like a lock to hit around 2.4 million in attendance for the year.

      Last year they averaged 31,151 for the season, and we are averaging 30,373 through 45 home games this year. That puts us at 14th out of 30 MLB teams, not too bad if you ask me.

      Saw this article from about a month ago: http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2014/06/02/cincinnati-reds-attendance-is-bucking-mlbs-trend.html

    • Steve, since you go to a lot of games, I assume you live in Cincinnati. Any idea why the attendance was only 27,000+ last Sunday? I checked and that’s the first time they’ve been below 30,000 on a Sunday all year, even counting all those April games with bad weather. Seems like it would have been a good crowd: holiday weekend (drew 42K and 38K on Friday and Saturday), first-place opponent, good weather. Just remember being a little disppointed with the numbers that day.

      • I was there. It was a nice day, as I remember. Maybe it was just that people had gone on Friday and Saturday. I was surprised, too.

        • I thought about that. I figured that if any game that weekend would have been light, it would have been on the 4th (Friday) itself, what with people doing cookouts and stuff.

          Just odd.

          • Friday night doesn’t surprise me – spectacular fireworks and kids. I know two of the RN editors made a drive in for the game with their kids. I can’t remember if Saturday was a promotion or if it was just the Brewers. I didn’t go that night.

        • Actually, I was there with my daughter and one of the reasons we went was the fireworks. It’s a great place to see good fireworks on any Friday and especially on the 4th of July. We had a little cookout and picnic earlier in the afternoon.

  16. So we know how many games have sold out so far this season and what the season average is for sell outs and what the top number is? I am going tomorrow and it is looking like a sellout. I wonder where the Reds rank on “sellouts” per season overall with the other teams.

  17. I had posted this up above as a reply to another comment stream, but I want to make sure everybody who wants to trade away our prospects can see it…

    Here are some 2016 salary figures to make you want to cry:

    Votto – 20 million
    Bailey – 18 million
    Phillips – 13 million
    Bruce – 12.5 million

    I’m not even trying to say that any of these guys are overpaid or not. Bruce’s will almost certainly be a bargain, and Votto’s is very reasonable (for a healthy version anyway). But that is 63.5 million tied up in only 4 players. If either Cueto or Latos signs for something similar to Bailey’s deal, add another 16-18 million on there. What about Leake, figure about 10 million for him? Now we’re up around 90 million for just 6 players. It becomes quite clear how important young, cost-controlled players are to building a competitive team.

    • So what, again the Reds as with all MLB teams are flush with monies and there is no salary cap so the monies are there to pay other players.

      • Easy to say that when it’s not your money.

        • Look at the Reds, outside of not resigning Choo whom they had a replacment ready to go with Hamilton, when hasn’t Bob ponied up? The monies are there, it is shown that of the big three sports, MLB owners make more monies percentage wise compared to salaries of the other two sports. IF the monies were not there then ther is no way Bob pays Votto $200 million if he knew it would restrict other signings down the road. NOW is a new age of baseball and teams are flush with revenue from a number of sources and Bob has not shown he isn’t unwilling to spend, even on what many consider bad contracts.

        • Man does it ever look smart that we passed on Choo. wRC+ of 109 for the Rangers. A .369 OBP which is very good, but not compared to what they thought they were buying and he’s hitting for almost no power. He might have a bounceback season or two left in him, but that contract is going to look terrible when it’s all said and done.

      • Just how high do you think the Reds’ payroll should be? 150 million? 200 million? Maybe even up there above the Yankees and Dodgers? Since they’re so “flush with money”, as you say.

        • The payroll should be whatever Bob wants it to be. With what he paid out over the past 3-4 seasons, what leads you to believe he won’t offer respectable offers to Latos or Leake or Cueto? I believe all three won’t be signed, but not because of monies, but because of trade value. With talent in the minors it will allow Walt to use one of them as trade bait and improve other areas.

        • Didn’t we just shell out $27 million dollars on a pitcher who is a HUGE unknown and no background in either HS or college baseball? Yes he pitched for the cuban team but what do we really know about his training, and conditioning and yet we fork out $27 million. Doesn’t look like a team “concerned” with spending on players “they” value.

        • I wouldn’t be at all surprised if our payroll was $150 million in, say, 5 years. Especially if we were to win a championship in that time. But that being said, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Dodgers pushing $300 million over the next decade and the Cubs will probably join the $200 Million Club in not too long, so the tide’s lifting all boats. I think a fairer question is where do you expect us to fall relative to the rest of the league and I think right around 10th is a good guess based on Castellini’s track record so far. I don’t expect him to suddenly get bored and slash payroll.

          • I could see $150 million in three years. The luxury tax kicks in at $189 million in compensation, which is about $184 million in salaries. Any spending over that gets taxed and distributed to the teams below the luxury cap. The more consecutive years a team is over the limit, their tax rate goes higher. Yes, teams like the Yankees and Dodgers have proven they won’t treat that as an absolute barrier. But other teams do. And even the Yankees and Dodgers have limits to how much they want to donate back to the other clubs.

            The tax makes players more expensive to them. That means when calculating the value of a player – say a hitter is estimated to produce $50 million in value – most teams would be willing to pay $50 million for that player. The Yankees or Dodgers would have to pay $60 million (not exact, just demonstration).

            I wouldn’t describe the luxury tax system as a hard cap, it’s not. But it does have some teeth, even if not perfect.

            If the Reds get up to $150 million, they won’t be outspent by many teams and certainly no like they were outspent last decade, where some teams where spending four or five times what they were spending.

        • The luxury tax will almost certainly start to go up as the new TV contracts start coming in. The players’ union isn’t going to let all of those extra billions of dollars just go to the owners without getting their cut.

          • Yes, absolutely. That’s an important number to watch in the next round of negotiations. I was surprised it didn’t go up more in the most recent round. It’s like they didn’t factor in television and online revenues going up.

            The threshold level for the luxury tax was $178 million in both 2012 and 2013 (the same as it was in 2011), and raised to $189 million from 2014-2016. That’s way slower than how fast TV revenues have grown. So for once, the luxury tax is actually proving to be a meaningful drag on spending, at least through 2016.

    • Why would those slaries make anyone cry?

      • Why, as fans, do some of you obsess over the payroll? It really isn’t any of your concern. The Reds can pay whatever they want. It is their money. Have you seen their balance sheet? Do you have any idea what their revenue streams look like? What the future revenue streams look like?

        This isn’t directed at Drew.

    • That’s also the only 4 players under contract, other than arb and rookie. There is a $1m buyout on Broxton and $500k on Schumaker. Chapman and LeCure would be third year arb eligible and Ondrusek and Heisey fourth year arb guys. Both candidates to be non-tendered at that point. Frazier, Mes, and Cozart will be second year arb eligible, Hoover and possibly Cingrani will be first year eligible. The rest will be filled with guys on rookie contracts and likely one of the current pitchers on an extension.

      Let’s say Frazier, Mes, and Chapman produce at their current rates or better, what’s the ceiling for their salary? Headley made 8.5m in second yr arb, Wieters made 7.7m second yr, and Price 14m. So can we come in around 25m for the trio that year? Add in Cozart, Cingrani, and LeCure and 35m is a generous expectation for all six guys. With the 1.5m buyouts accounted for the team is right around, if not slightly under $100m. Add in Latos or Cueto and we’re right around where we are now.

      Plug in Winker, YRod, Navarro, Barnhart, SMB, Contreras, Guillon, Stephenson, Lorenzen, along with Hamilton and Diaz and you got yourself a squad once you throw in another OF (Waldrop?) and some more relief pitching (Iglesias?).

      Two years from now and operating at just slightly over where we are now, with a renegotiated tv contract on the horizon…I’d say there is little to cry about.

  18. If Lutz and Soto aren’t options now, then when will they be options? They may as well drop them off the 40-man.

    There isn’t much out there, from what I can tell. Maybe they can take a flyer on Clint Robinson, just DFA’d by the Dodgers, and hope to catch lightning in a bottle. He has a good track record at AAA.

    • Soto got an extended chance earlier in the year even when Votto was healthy and looked awful. Even with his current hot streak in AAA it sounds like Price and company know more about him than we do because you’d think he would have been called up in a heartbeat before they started moving OF’ers to the position. Lutz just isn’t performing in the minors. I don’t have high hopes for him ever being a productive major league player, really. Hopefully he surprises me.

      • Eric, I agree with you more often than not but when did Soto get an extended chance? The guy has 3 starts this year, 2 at 1B. He got 29 plate appearances and has 42 for his career. I don’t think he’s the answer and quite frankly he strikes me as a AAAA kind of player, but he hasn’t been given anything slightly resembling a chance at the job. I wouldn’t be thrilled with the idea of the Reds bringing him up and giving him 1B at least until the trading deadline but that’s because I want the Reds to make a move. I feel Soto would be a better option than than their current approach of using Bruce at 1B or moving Frazier and having Santiago play 3B however.

        • I didn’t word that well – I just mean they kept him on the roster for longer than most people thought was warranted and he was terrible every time they put a bat in his hand. Again, it’s not like no one’s paying attention to what guys are doing in Louisville. If anyone in charge thought Soto could do any better now than he did in April he’d be here by now. I’d LIKE to believe that Soto would be better than playing Bruce and Pena at 1B but the people with all the information are saying that’s probably not the case. Until I go on a scouting trip to Louisville I’ll have to take their word for it.

          • I agree that they certainly know more than me. I was talking about more of Soto having a chance. I agree the Reds front-office doesn’t want to gamble on a guy that they aren’t super high on and that’s why they haven’t really given him the job. If they weren’t in the hunt, I bet they’d be more willing to throw him out there.

      • When healthy, Lutz has actually performed well in the lower minors (overall minor league stats .274/.339/.474 – even with a couple of injury plagued seasons). He has never played above AA before this year. The Reds have also hurt his development with two ill advised “emergency” call-ups to the big club where he was seldom used for several weeks at a time. This season is his first opportunity at AAA after starting the season extremely well at AA. Again the Reds called him up to the big club immediately after promoting him to AAA and set him on the bench for 3 weeks with very limited playing time. After being sent back down to AAA, when Votto was reinstated from the DL, Lutz got off to a terrible start. He is just now, over the last two weeks starting to get back in the groove. The last thing Lutz needs now is to be called up again to sit on the bench. He needs to play at AAA. He needs more seasoning to see what he can do. He has been in the minors parts of 7 seasons now, but due to some injuries and the ill-advised call ups, he has only played in 455 games. For comparison sake, Votto spent parts of 6 seasons in the minors and played in 708 games.(And no, I’m not comparing Lutz to Votto, only the number of years and games played in the minors. There is only one Votto and please we get a healthy Votto back at some point).

      • The problem is that the reds did apparently have some faith in Soto back.in April when they put him on the opening day roster. Now that also had a lot to do with injuries but they could have given that spot to chris Nelson or Ruben gotay who both have major league experience, but they went with Soto. Now they apparently think that he can’t out hit Pena or Santiago. So what has changed? It can’t be his performance in the minors because he has hit really well in aaa this year. It seems like it must be about his performance in the majors. That kinda scares me that they would make that kind of decision on 29 at bats spread out over a month or more.

  19. Hey folks the above discussion about small vs. large markets is interesting but my thoughts tend to be about the ownership outlook. Yes the Reds are a corporation, yes the corporation makes money but my view is that the current owners are not counting on the Reds to make them money (net income). Does Bob C really need the money from the Reds to live on? The Reds ownership IMO are doing the city and surrounding area a service. The value of the Reds is the perceived value of the Reds Corporation to other investors. The money the Reds spend is based own ownerships sense of value. Even if the team breaks even it will not affect ownership life style. When you reach a certain level of income, money has a habit of piling up and needs to be put to use (spent). DOCMIKE has some very good thoughts on this (“It becomes quite clear how important young, cost-controlled players are to building a competitive team”) and to want to trade these gems away for hope and change is not smart in my book.
    Ownership looks long term when they invest.

    Forbes has this to say about the Reds.
    Cincinnati Reds are owned by Robert Castellini, who bought them in 2006 for $270 million. No mention of large or small market just the numbers.

    Current value: $600 million
    That is a 45% increase ($391 million) in just 8 years Not a bad investment considering your being paid a salary and expenses to run the team..

    Revenue (2013): $209 million

    Since Bob Castellini bought the Reds in 2006 sponsorship revenues have almost tripled to $26 million last year and ticket/concession revenues are up 72%, to $92 million.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.