Last night the Cincinnati Reds made it official with Shogo Akiyama, signing the Japanese outfielder to a 3-year deal worth $21M. That money, however, wasn’t an even split across the board for each year.
The Reds have stated more than once this offseason that they planned to have a record high payroll for 2020. The previous record high was roughly $131M. This offseason has seen Cincinnati make some moves, signing Akiyama, infielder Mike Moustakas, and starting pitcher Wade Miley to multi-year deals.
Below are the guaranteed contracts for 2020, as well as projected arbitration numbers for those eligible via MLB Trade Rumors.
While there is probably some wiggle room involved in both directions on those arbitration numbers, let’s work with those as a guide right now. We can round that number up to $125M just for easier math to work with. If you are really, really bad at counting and math, $125M is less than $131M. That means that the Reds budget still has some room if we are going to be working with the premise that they are going to have an all-time high payroll in 2020.
Just how much payroll is left is up in the air. While they’ve said “all-time high”, they haven’t stated just what they are shooting for. If that number is $140M, that would still leave them about $15M to add. Obviously there would be more if the team wanted to up things from that number. But either way, it seems like there’s still a good amount of money remaining in the budget for the Reds to go out and continuing their attempt at improving the roster.
There’s a lot of ways that Cincinnati can still add players. They’ve been rumored to be in the market for Francisco Lindor, who conveniently is estimated to be making $16.8M next season and fits in perfectly with pushing the payroll to $140M….. but they’ve also been linked as talking to outfielder Marcell Ozuna recently – even after coming to an agreement with Shogo Akiyama. The team could also look at the reliever market and see if anything makes sense there – both via free agency and trade.
Obviously things change long term with the money. Some guys are going to get raises from what they get today. Free agency is going to hit (Bauer, DeSclafani, and Galvis are all free agents after 2020), and you never know how trades could play out. But with what we do know, there should still be plenty of money for the Reds to spend – both short term and long term – if they choose to.