The Cincinnati Reds made two roster moves in the last couple of days, non-tendering Gabby Guerrero (but re-signed him to a minor league deal) and designating Tony Renda for assignment, leaving their 40-man roster at 38 players. Those two moves very likely set them up to make a pick in this weeks Rule 5 Draft. The Reds have the 2nd overall pick in the draft if they choose to use it, though the price will be steeper this year than in the past. Prices have risen to $100,000 to make a selection now compared to $50,000 in the past.
The team could go in many directions with that pick as they could use help just about everywhere on their roster. Of course, in a season that they don’t truly plan on contending, they could take an “upside” pick who they hide on the roster throughout the year with the idea that in the long run the player can help the organization even if it’s not in 2017.
Minor League baseball owners have formed a political action committee (PAC). Why would they do that? Well, so they can petition Congress to keep from paying Minor League baseball players minimum wage. On it’s own, that’s a mind numbing thing to type. But what makes it even worse is that these owners of these teams literally don’t pay the players – the Major League Baseball teams do. I’ve written about this many times before, but it’s worth linking to this article that I wrote nearly three years ago about the pay in minor league baseball. That, of course, also ignores things like the fact that Major League Baseball has $150M in penalty money that they paid, essentially to themselves, as fines for going over bonus pool allotments in international signings that there is no protocol for on how to use it. Major League Baseball could fund a several hundred dollar raise for every minor leaguer that’s never reached free agency or that’s not on the 40-man roster for the next 20+ years (and that is if they weren’t collecting interest at all on the money – which they would be doing, of course).
Speaking of international bonuses and signings – in the new collective bargaining agreement, everything has changed when it comes to how teams will now go about spending. If you want a much more detailed look at the new system, you can read my full piece here. Under the old system, each team had a set amount, ranging from about $1.5M to nearly $6M they were “allowed” to spend before facing penalties that could result in limiting future spending or monetary penalties. All of that is out of the window, though restrictions of signings from past periods will carry forward into the new system (which includes the Reds for the next two years).
The new system will give each team between $4.75M and $5.75M and you can’t go over. Like in the past, you are able to trade for more cap money to spend, but only up to 75% of your initial limit. That means that no team will be able spend any more than $10.07M in a given year moving forward. There have been several players that have signed for more than that in the last few years. The Reds spent more than that in the most recent signing period that netted them two Cuban players (SS Alfredo Rodriguez and RHP Vladimir Gutierrez) as well as a handful of other, younger players from Latin American countries.