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 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.

Player Salary
Alex Wood $9,650,000.00
Tanner Roark $8,820,457.00
Matt Kemp $7,500,000 ($7m paid by Dodgers)
Yasiel Puig $6,570,968.00
Scooter Gennett $6,569,206.00
David Hernandez $2,500,000.00
Jose Iglesias $2,500,000.00
Zach Duke $2,000,000.00
Total $38,610,631.00

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.

Non-Tender Candidate Salary
Kevin Gausman $9,350,000.00
Jose Peraza $2,775,000.00
Anthony DeSclafani $2,125,000.00
Derek Dietrich $2,000,000.00
Wandy Peralta $550,000.00
Scott Schebler $625,000.00
Total $17,425,000.00

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.

22 Responses

  1. SFRedsFan

    Love the thinking in this post. Not trying to poke holes, but a sincere question: would we not need to factor in the likely increases in arbitration salary? Lorenzen and Casali might be the only two. Just curious.
    Also, don’t Gray, Suarez, Tucker, and Hughes’ salaries jump a combined $7M or so?

  2. Jon

    I would love to see the Reds aim big and try to land Rendon for 2B, if they fail at getting Gregorious and/or Grandal. Yes, he’ll be expensive, demand a 6+ year contract, and cost a draft pick. However, the Reds have the money to spend, are in win-now mode, and certainly need another impact (5+ WAR) bat in the lineup.

  3. Ghettotrout1

    The only ones that would really even be worth fooling with are Didi, Grandal, Casstellanos and maybe Puig. The rest of those guys on that list aren’t worth even fooling with. I would rather them just blow up the farm and get younger guys with more years of control and then try to just blow their loot on relievers.

  4. Big Ed

    They will keep Desclafani, because (barring injury or collapse) some team would give something for him.

    And they will give Gausman some chances before the season is finished, to evaluate him. $10 million for a reliably good Gausman is not a bad idea. A big “if’” obviously.

  5. SultanofSwaff

    The free agent class isn’t very appealing, but there could be a fair number of rebuilding teams who are simply looking to shed salary. The more salary the Reds take on in a deal like that, the less they’ll have to surrender in prospect capital.

  6. SultanofSwaff

    Anyone else see the quote from Dick Williams about the Galvis acquisition where he discussed the juggling act with playing time and mentioned Iglesias, Galvis, and Peraza but didn’t mention JVM? Troubling to say the least!

    • Don

      I would read that as the FO wants they to share time at SS and give JVM the 2B until he takes it full time or looses it due to bad performance.
      I do not think Bell is in that mindset which is the concern.

      Both Winker and JVM are not in lineup tonight vs Wacha, Ervin and Galvis are in lineup.

  7. Chris

    What a terrible list of FA. Let’s just sign Garrit Cole and run him out there with Castillo, Gray, Bauer, and Disco. Add a reliever or two and move Mahle to the pen. Just run the same offense out there and hope you get improvement from Senzel, JVMR, Aquino, Winker, and Ervin.

    Anyways I like that idea better than giving $80MM to Nick Castellanos…

  8. Jefferson Green

    If given the right opportunities, I am thinking that the Reds will increase payroll in 2020. There are quite a few reasons to do so if the team can be better – better enough to realistically be in the playoff hunt with the additions. If so, the amount to acquire another bat or two and better bull pen help rises, perhaps by as much as $20 million.
    I also will be surprised if the Reds don’t make offers to a player or two in advance of having to tender players. Given last off season and how few replacement level players got decent offers, some of these guys may want some security for the next year – or two if the Reds offered a second year to sweeten the deal. As an example, the likelihood of Dietrich being worth $5+ million on the open market is low, so he could choose to take another year with the Reds for a couple million less. Remember, he and Iglesias could not even get a major league deal last winter and are signed for $2.5 million. On the pitching side, Roarke was traded to the Reds for a rather low value relief prospect simply because he was not worth $10 million to the Nationals, and he was coming off a significantly better year (and previous two years) than Gausman.

  9. Northern Ky reds

    Disco should not be on that list. They won’t DFA him.

  10. Chris

    Fair thee well Jared Hughes. On his way to Philly. Romano sent to Louisville.

  11. RP Proctor

    This is fantastic. Let’s use these 2 months to audition and season for next year.

  12. TR

    After the season he’s had, Jose Iglesias will be signed by another team and Galvis will be at shortstop backed up by Peraza. If the Reds can upgrade at catching and centerfield, Senzel and JVM will share duties at second base. And some of that money should be used to build a solid bullpen since Manager Bell has a quick hook after seeing opposition hitters twice around.

    • Northern Ky Reds

      No way they let Jose go. He’s the real deal.

    • Chris Holbert

      What does Senzel and JVm sharing 2B prove? They need to be playing everyday at CF and 2B…

  13. Don

    good article.
    I could see only DISCO getting a qualifying offer and Gausman an Arbitration offer (depends on next 6 weeks). Let other walk.
    2020 salaries
    Committed = 57.6 mil
    Barnhart – 3.9
    Joey – 25
    Suarez – 9.5
    Gray – 10.2
    R Iglesias – 9

    Team Options
    Galvis (1M release or team option for 5.5)
    Hughes – 3

    Team Control (Most under 1M) – Probably ~$13 total
    Ervin (no Minor options)
    Sims (no Minor options)
    Romano (no Minor options)

    Peraza – ARB1 – Please NON TENDER.
    Dietrich – ARB4 – No Tender
    Bauer – ARB4 – Guess 20
    Gausman – ARB4 – Guess 11
    Lorenzen – ARB3 – Guess 4
    Stephenson – ARB1 – Guess 1 – (no Minor options)

    Free Agents
    Jose Iglesias – Estimate is $8 Mil a year to sign
    Alex Wood – Estimate is $20 Mil a year to sign

    Deferred – Griffey and Arroyo – $5 Mil

    Committed + Team Control = 70 ( 5 + 12 players)
    Assume Keep Galvis = 5.5 ( 1 player)
    Arbitration = 36 ( 4 player)

    So that is 116.5 for 24 players and 4 roster spots left (rosters 26 in 2020)

    I remember they started 2019 with ~ $135 in salary so unless there is a significant uptick in spending there is about $20 mil for last 4 players.

    That could probably get them Wood or one of the position people are mentioning and then need to find 3 more veterans on minor league contract

    That is unless they DFA Romano, Sims, Stephenson, Ervin and see if anyone else picks them up to open up more roster spots.

    Budget gets eaten up quickly.

    • Jefferson Green

      I assume you mean Wood gets a QO (Disco will be in arb) for about 19 million. I do not think they will pay Iglesisas 8 million when a similar Galvis is 5.5; and they do not need both. They will probably increase payroll for the right opportunities – how much is anyone’s guess, but there is almost certainly at least some room there.

    • Chris Holbert

      Why would they want Gausman for that much money?

  14. Chris

    Josh Kuhnel: 11th rd pick out of UT Arlington, where he was a mediocre SP for two college seasons. Reliever all the way in the Reds system. Broke out last year in Daytona with 17 saves and a 3.04 ERA in 53.1 innings of relief. He’s averaged 8.2 K/9 against a 1.8 BB/9 as a professional – so that’s pretty good.

    24 years old. Great big kid with a great big fastball and apparently some kind of slide piece as well.

    If he’s worse than Sal Ramano, I’ll shave my beard.

  15. Linkster

    All the players on this list will and should go. We need two top notch relieve pitchers, not old recycled veterans. You will need to make a trade ( hopefully the last for awhile) for a catcher that can hit. Wilson Ramos of the Mets or JT Realmuto of the Phils would provide solid defense and a good bat. Both, are free agents after next year. After that, the Reds are either 2020 contenders or a sell-off mid-year to replenish the farm.

  16. Chris Holbert

    DD has not been good since him April/May HR tear, there are probably cheaper options

  17. Aaron B.

    Well the thing about Dietrich is his OBP has been solid, due to the HBPs. And really he has the potential to get hot and carry the club for a short stretch. I think it is worth a flyer on him and at worst you send him to AAA until he heats up and you need a bat. I think they should shop Peraza around and if there are no takers let him go, Galvis looks to be a far more polished hitter and probably a better defender as well.
    Not sure on Disco, but the HR ball haunts him, he should probably be shopped around as well but he does provide depth and you could do worse.