The chances of the Cincinnati Reds sneaking into the 2019 playoffs are fading fast. The expectations for 2020 remain quite high, though. Much of those expectations are built on the belief they will make even more meaningful moves this offseason than they did last offseason. They’re going to need money to do that. The good news is, there will be plenty of money for the Reds to work with.
According to Spotrac.com this is a list of the money coming off the Reds’ books. Alex Wood and Jose Iglesias are free agents while the rest were traded/released, during the year, and represent dead money.
|Matt Kemp||$7,500,000 ($7m paid by Dodgers)|
I feel like I had been saying on the Locked On Reds podcast that somewhere around $40-$50 million was coming off the books. At first glance, that seems like a bit of an over-exaggeration. However, when you look at the possible non-tender players, the total freed up enters that range.
Right now the Reds aren’t paying the entire salary of Gausman, I get that. With him going to arbitration, though, his salary will increase from the starting point of $9,350,000 and not the prorated amount the Reds are currently paying. That would leave him as the first player that should be non-tendered. In fact, it would make sense if the Reds non-tendered all of the players on the above list. Peraza stands a solid chance of being non-tendered with the addition of Freddy Galvis and emergence of Josh VanMeter. Schebler and Peralta look like locks to be non-tendered, from an outsider’s point of view.
The two we will argue about, until the non-tender deadline, will be DeSclafani and Dietrich. After the first couple months of 2019, some of you may be lighting your torches and grabbing your pitchforks at the thought of letting Double D go. He is a fun player, entertaining, and a great personality. Looking at him objectively, though, he is a bench bat who is a defensive liability. Based on his performance, he’s due a raise, which would push his cost into the Billy Hamilton-range. Does it really warrant keeping a limited player for an amount that could take away from making the team a playoff contender?
DeSclafani may make more sense to keep, as I looked at here. He also has the misfortune of being average on a team with plenty of starting pitching. Could Lucas Sims perform similarly? Could he do it for cheaper than the amount Disco will command in 2020? The answers to both questions will be the answer to whether the Reds decide to non-tender him.
With the money that comes off the books, if all those players are non-tendered, the Reds will have a smidge over $56 million to play with. Subtract roughly $20 million of that for Bauer’s arbitration and you have $36 million for a bat, or two, and some bullpen arms. That’s only if Dick Williams cannot convince Bob Castellini to put more of his money on the field, next year. Hopefully, that is something that happens, as it could make the Reds into the playoff contender we all know they can be in 2020.