From January 2nd:

The Reds used some creative financing to sign free agents Ryan Ludwick and Jack Hannahan. Ludwick’s deal is worth $15 million over two years. Hannahan’s is worth $4 million over two years.

But much of the money is back-loaded in both cases.

Ludwick got a $2 million signing bonus and will make $1 million this season. His salary for 2014 is $7.5 million. But he has an mutual option for 2015 at $9 million. The buyout is for $4.5 million, all of which is deferred without interest.

Hannahan will make $1 million this year and $1 million in 2014. There’s a club option for $4 million in 2015 with with $2 million buyout.

Also says that Arroyo has $15M coming (backloaded) through 2021, with no interest.

I guess Arroyo coming off the books next year (other than the backloaded money) is why they felt they could pay Ludwick $7.5M next year? I sure hope he’s worth $7.5M next year, but I have my doubts.

And from January 3rd:

The club hasn’t had any talks with the agents for Homer Bailey and Mat Latos since touching base at the Winter Meetings. Jocketty said the club would like to sign both long-term. A small-market club almost has to do that — given the price of pitching. Anibal Sanchez went 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA last year and got a five-year, $80 million contract from Detroit.

‘It’s been crazy,” Jocketty said. “You want to reach a deal that’s fair to the player and club. It won’t be easy.”

Both Bailey and Latos are arbitration-eligible. The sides exchange salary numbers on Jan. 18. Not much usually happens before then.

It’ll be interesting to see if anything happens on this front. I really hope it does, but am doubtful. But who thought Jocketty would pull the Votto and Phillips rabbits out of his hat? Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see the arbitration numbers that come from Bailey and Latos.

–The Reds have not heard which players will play in the World Baseball Classic. Joey Votto said he will play for Canada — if he feels 100 percent. Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips will likely be asked to play for the U.S. team, and Johnny Cueto will likely be asked to play for the Dominican team.

The instrument to measure the level of my hate of the WBC has yet to be invented….

It won’t bother me as much if the position players play in this thing, but I REALLY hate the idea of Cueto wasting innings in this worthless endeavor.