The Reds’ need to slash payroll, according to a major league source, could lead them to explore trading second baseman Brandon Phillips as well as right-handers Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang.
Cincinnati’s 2009 payroll was about $71 million. General manager Walt Jocketty said during a break Tuesday at the GM Meetings that he “might” have to move some high-salaried players to meet the 2010 goal.
The source above said the Reds plan to cut back to $65-70 million, which is a challenge in part because of raises due Harang ($11 million to $12.5 million), Arroyo (from $9.5 million to $11 million) and Phillips (from $4.75 million to $5 million).
With their salaries and so-so 2009 seasons, the pitchers would be hard to trade without the Reds taking on some of their pay. So Cincinnati’s best bet could be finding a taker for Phillips, who last season hit .276 with 30 doubles, 20 homers, 98 RBI and 25 stolen bases.
The source said the Reds would prefer to keep closer Francisco Cordero, who has two years and $25 million left on his deal.
I have no problem with moving high salaries, including Brandon Phillips. But where does it make sense to trade Harang or Arroyo or even Phillips and to keep Cordero?
And this is the second place I’ve seen talk of trading Votto. The only way the Reds should consider trading him is IF (and this isn’t my thoughts or beliefs) they believe they’re going to have to deal with his mental health issues (I don’t know what else to call it) every season.
When he plays, he’s a stud and I sure would hate to see him go.
UPDATE:In addition to the blurb in the comments from Fay, this was on Foxsports.com:
The Reds are not cutting payroll, but they are looking to free up dollars and create flexibility for other moves.
Thus, everyone on their roster is available except first baseman Joey Votto, outfielder Jay Bruce and third baseman Scott Rolen, according to one source with knowledge of the club’s thinking.
The team’s highest-priced players Ã¢â‚¬â€ closer Francisco Cordero, second baseman Brandon Phillips and right-handers Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo Ã¢â‚¬â€ all are in play.