The crew over at MLB Trade Rumors just released their arbitration projections for the 2023 season. There are 11 players currently on the Cincinnati Reds roster who are arbitration eligible next season. There is no guarantee that every one of those 11 players will make it to the arbitration process – I would expect to see some of the players non-tendered (and we began covering some of those options on Monday) or even designated for assignment in the next two months. Below are the projected salaries if the Reds were to tender a contract to all 11 players:

Player Projected Salary
Kyle Farmer $5,900,000
Luis Cessa $2,600,000
Nick Senzel $2,200,000
Aristides Aquino $1,600,000
Buck Farmer $1,400,000
Lucas Sims $1,300,000
Jeff Hoffman $1,200,000
Justin Dunn $1,100,000
Derek Law $900,000
Aramis Garcia $800,000
Tejay Antone $800,000

Cincinnati currently only has two players under contract that aren’t pre-arbitration or arbitration eligible: Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas. They are set to make $25,000,000 and $18,000,000.

What does this all mean for the 2023 Cincinnati Reds payroll? We don’t know for sure because we can’t say for certain which of the above players will actually still be around to get to arbitration, but let’s just say that an incredibly unlikely scenario plays out and they keep every single one of the arbitration eligible players listed above – the payroll would be $72,160,000 if they signed no one else.

Now, we know it’s not likely to work out that way. When the the winter meetings begin in early December the Reds will probably have a committed payroll for 2023 under $70,000,000.

What we don’t know is what the payroll set by ownership for the 2023 season will actually be. In 2022 it was roughly $115,000,000. As we wrote last week, it doesn’t sound like the team is looking toward spending money on proven, quality talent on the free agent market and is more likely looking to do what they’ve almost always done – sign players that they hope perform rather than guys that should be expected to perform because the latter group costs real money and the former group generally doesn’t. But even so, there should be plenty of money to spend upgrading the roster even if payroll takes a pretty big cut from where it was this past season.

182 Responses

  1. Redsvol

    I would be very surprised if we go over 80$ million payroll this year – which means 1 to 2 minor signings and probably a dfa or trade of Kyle farmer since he isn’t a 6$million player.

    2023 is all about the young guys.

    • Stock

      Kyle Farmer isn’t the best player in the league but he is without a doubt a $6 player. The Reds guaranteed Tommy Pham $9 million after coming off a year in which he had a WAR of 1.1. Kyle Farmer had a war of 1.4 last year. If he were a FA someone would offer him $10 million in guarantees (at least).

      • LDS

        Too many WAR calculations. ESPN’s version was lower. Regardless, $6M for aging playing, with limited range and defense, who if on the team, likely starts every day. And if he doesn’t, the team is paying $6M for a platoon/utility player. Can’t see that happening. Though he is a Bell favorite. That might carry some weight in the front office.

      • RedBB

        Disagree….1.0bWAR is not worth $6Million especially for the Reds who aren’t playing to win in 2023. I would rather Non-tender him and save that money for 2024

      • Melvin

        He may be worth $6M but I doubt the Reds will pay it. I think they will probably get by with a bare bones payroll as much as possible in 2023. However if David Bell gets his way I’m sure Farmer will be on the team next year and playing virtually EVERY DAY…..batting 3rd.

      • 2020ball

        Who on the team next year should be batting third? Its a bad team, so I have no idea why you’d think thats poor managing. He had Fraley there the most by the end of the year.

      • Melvin

        @2020ball, At the end of the year Farmer should have been hitting 3rd. Who else was there? Always with Farmer it’s not a knock on him but just a testament on how terrible this team is. I will say when David Bell sticks someone batting 3rd it seems he STICKS there (Pham). I, like others, believe Bell loves Farmer and will probably play him over others who should be developing. In that sense it may be better for him not to be on the team next year. I do believe one of the “non cheap” teams will pay him what he’s worth whether it be $6M or whatever. Relatively speaking it’s really not that much money. It just is to cheapo owners like Big Bob & Son.

      • 2020ball

        I guess thats just my point, who on this team is the better choice? If its development you seek, then why rush a guy from AAA when he can develop there?

        Regardless, I’m expecting Votto has that spot most of the year, if anyone. Fraley showed a lot this year as well, there’s no reason Bell wouldn’t reward that spot to him either. Pham, despite his deficiencies, was still one of the better performing members of the team at the time.

        I generally just want to see the top 5 hitters in the top 5 spots so they get more ABs, preference goes to a higher OBP in the top 3. Other than that I think way too much is made of who hits where in the order.

      • Melvin

        I’m all for the top hitters getting the top spots. It’s just baseball “common sense” school.

    • Votto4life

      The Reds will save $13.5 million by not bringing back Donovan Solano and Mike Minor. I HOPE that is what Nick Krall meant when he said the payroll will be lower next year. Otherwise, I am not sure where the addition savings come from..I suppose Kyle Farmer? I am not sure.

      The Reds have a roster of guys earning league minimum or close to league minimum. The exception of course are the two big contracts, but I don’t see the Reds getting out of those without giving up some key prospects.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        The Reds don’t owe Solano or Minor money beyond Minors buyout. So not bringing them back doesn’t save them any money.

      • Votto4life

        Frankie, they were both on the 2022 payroll. They won’t be in the 2023 payroll. So yes, in fact, it will save the Reds money in 2023, because they will have a smaller payroll.

      • Doug Gray

        I don’t think that’s how it works. You can’t save what was not being spent. Saving money would be if somehow the Reds were able to trade Moustakas and get someone to pay him.

      • Bill

        They will save on Minor by not exercising the option, but I think his point was they are coming off the payroll so replacing them with cheaper players will reduce payroll compared to 2022.

        This is one of those arguments where someone agrees with your theory but just wants to win an internet argument so they overly focus on the semantics

      • Votto4life

        Doug, I respect your baseball knowledge but supporting that argument is just plain silly. Of course it saves the team money.

        If I rented a condo to $2,000 a month and when the lease expires, I move into a different condo, that cost me $1500 a month, I have saved $500 a month.

        The reason people are so anxious for Moustakas and Votto’s contracts to come off the books is because it will save the Reds $40 million (or whatever the true figure is) that they can use on free agents or pocket the money, or whatever they decide to do with it. (I suspect it will be a combination, but mostly the latter.)

        In the end though it’s money the Reds have saved. Not familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s view on a penny saved?

        As Bill points out, it’s a dumb argument over semantics.

    • Votto4life

      According to the Cincinnati Enquirer the Reds current payroll sits at $75,000,000. Given arbitration, you would expect that to go up to at least $80,000,000. There are not a lot of places left to cut unless they dump Farmer or send a prospect or two to some team willing to take on Moose’s contract. Nick Krall previously said the team would not package prospects with bad contracts. But everything is subject to change I suppose

    • Votto4life

      According to the Cincinnati Enquirer the Reds current payroll sits at $75,000,000. Given arbitration, you would expect that to go up to at least $80,000,000. There are not a lot of places left to cut, unless they dump Farmer or send a prospect or two to some team willing to take on Moose’s contract. Nick Krall previously said the team would not package prospects with bad contracts. But everything is subject to change I suppose.

  2. Bill

    I have a feeling it will be a few Pham/Drury type signings with the hope they can flip them at the deadline. The decision on guys like Farmer, Senzel, and Aquino should give us a good idea of the direction they are going.

    What I hope for, but don’t expect, is DFA Moose and an unexpected free agent signing to set the stage for 2024


    the 2 released players on that list are Aquino and Garcia, everyone else will get tendered

    • Jim Walker

      The Reds aren’t going to go to $5.9m on Farmer. They may try to sign him for somewhere between his 2022 salary of $3.155m and the $5.9m. However late in the season, they were clearly auditioning Matt Reynolds to assume Farmer’s role. Reynolds is the same age as Farmer and still pre-arbitration which means he will cost less than 15% of the $5.9m projected for Farmer.

      Reds will think long and hard about paying Senzel $2.2m when his career OPS+ is 73 and Spencer Steer put up an OPS+ of 72 in his 2022 audition against Senzel’s 2022 OPS+ of 63. What Senzel does have going for him is that he can be a swing man between all the OF spots and 3B and 2B on the infield (and could probably pick up 1B quickly).

      • BK

        Unless there’s something specific in their physicals that we don’t know about, both Antone and Sims will receive MLB contracts. Their combined projection is equal to 3 players on MLB minimum salaries. They are proven, talented pitchers and a bargain even coming off injuries.

      • BK

        Sorry above comment was meant as a reply below …

        I expect the Reds to keep Kyle Farmer although I believe this projection is high. The Reds could have traded him this summer. They like his leadership and versatility. He’ll be on the team.

        Senzel is a little harder to predict, but I expect them to keep him, too. All of his options are available, so he can go to AAA if necessary to work on his hitting. I’m not sure his upside is what it was previously, but teams value the kind of defensive versatility he’s capable of bringing, and $2.2M is still a very cheap MLB contract. Moreover, the Reds can cut their budget and keep players like Farmer, Senzel, Antone, and Sims. I expect all will be back.

      • 2020ball

        If they have a spot then I see no reason to complain about them keeping Farmer. If my decision were down to either him or Senzel, I might actually choose Senzel and non-tender him, but I dont expect theyll find anyone at that price on the FA market thats that much better than Kyle will be. I’m fine with him on the team next season, 6MM isnt that big of savings for a team whose payroll next season is already paid for by TV contracts.

  4. SultanofSwaff

    Keep all pitchers, release the position players on that list.

    • Jim Walker

      Sims and Antone are both a hard sell for me. The Reds are not in a situation to pay 29 year old guys who whose injury histories make them essentially lottery tickets.

      Sims pitched 57.2 innings in 2017 and hasn’t made it to 50 again at MLB including 2021 when he topped out at 47.0 IP despite starting 13 games. And aside from availability issues, his work has been longer on flashes of potential than results.

      Antone has done great work but in short stints due to his health issues and now faces the long odds of a comeback from his 2nd TJS.

      Non-tender these guys and try to bring them into camp on minor league deals.

      • BK

        Unless there’s something specific in their physicals that we don’t know about, both Antone and Sims will receive MLB contracts. Their combined projection is equal to 3 players on MLB minimum salaries. They are proven, talented pitchers and a bargain even coming off injuries.

      • Stock

        Actually Sims pitched 173 innings in 2017, 117 in 2018, 122 innings in 2019, 25.2 innings in 2020 (projected out to 69 innings over 162 games) and 51.2 innings in 2021.

        The first year he missed substantial time was 2021 or 2022 depending upon your definition of substantial. He missed about 6 weeks in 2021 and most of this season.

        I would absolutely tender Sims.

        If you don’t pay Antone $800,000 to fill a roster spot then you pay someone else $780,000 or so to fill the slot. There is little financial risk in signing Antone. Don’t risk letting him hit the market because he will demand $5 million in FA.

      • Jim Walker

        @stock I was talking MLB innings. 57.2 innings back in 2017, mostly as a starter was his MLB high; and that was as a starter. His highest Reds MLB total is 47.0 in 2021.

        And the two years Sims has missed time are major time are consecutive years following the pandemic.

      • Stock

        I understood your point Jim but you state in your post Sims has availability issues. Pitching in the minors is not an availability concern. He could have been in the majors had the team wanted. He was available.

        Sims never had an injury to limit his availability until 2021.

    • Optimist

      That was my first reaction, but they’ll tender Garcia at that price. Contra Jim, they’ll tender Sims and Antone since they’re inexpensive as well.

      As for Aquino, I wonder if they offer less and see if the Arb works in their favor.

      Non-tender Senzel and Farmer, or trade them.

      Cessa is the only pitcher healthy and certain for the 26-man roster. As cheap as they can be, most of this list is filling the Bats roster and planning for injuries, so the cost and effort of NRI’s and related replacements isn’t noticeably different or better.

      • Jim Walker

        Optimist>>But what better things can $3m buy them versus a couple of lottery tickets so Bell can wax about injuries later in the season?

        If the salary budget comes in at $100m (and that is probably high), the $3m is 3% of the salary budget. The % escalates to 6% of the remaining amount of a 100m budget after the sunken costs of Votto and Moose (including option buyouts) is deducted.

      • Optimist

        Jim – for 3m who will replace Sims and Antone? If either returns to form, it’s a bargain. If both do, it’s a steal. If neither do, that’s what the remainder of the list is for.

        The Reds have shown that their replacement is Strickland, or Hembree, or Doolittle, or . . .

        No thanks.

    • MBS

      @Sultan lol, that sound right for the entire Reds team, not just this list. I do agree, with the exception of Sims, I’m not brining him back either.

      • Jim Walker

        MBS> I agree the s800K on Antone is a better bet than the money on Sims. But they need to get them into camp on minor league deals and only escalate their salaries after they have proven they can pitch.

      • Reaganspad

        TJ over Sims. I agree. But at that cost, I think I go for a little continuity and bring both back. We have definitely had worse than Sims. And I am really pulling for TJ.
        But heck, what am I saying: it is not my money so I bring back Aquino also. I am so fearful that the light goes on with him in a Cardinal uniform of something dreadful like that

  5. Jim Walker

    I don’t know if it was design or happenstance but per MLB Trade Rumors, Aquino made arbitration by just 3 days.

    I was leaning toward him being a non-tender either way; but, it struck me as strange that the Reds could have waited 4 more days before recalling him in May this year and kept him out of arbitration eligibility.

    • LDS

      On this list Aquino is a better bargain at 1.6 then Farmer at 5.9 or Senzel at 2.2. At least, he’d be a decent late inning defensive replacement. And he’s likely to miss fewer games due to injury, avoiding hopefully another year of the Reds’ dumpster diving all season. Farmer’s defense has become shaky at best. Senzel can’t stay healthy. And I’m still curious whether the Reds hire a hitting coach that can actually turn some of these guys around. Regardless, at this point, 90 losses seem certain and probably more. But, at least, Bell is back. Best manager in Cincinnati history – if only he had a roster.

      • BK

        AA derives most of his defensive value from his arm. Despite his speed, his range factors are league average. Opposing teams will adjust to his arm. His bat was 37 percent below average in 2022 and has been well below average for all but one month across 4 seasons. Time to move on.

      • LDS

        All true @BK. But if the Reds dump everyone on the roster that is below average, they’ll have a lot of holes to fill. My point is simply that as bad has he was, excepting a couple of decent streaks, he’s a better bargain than Farmer or Senzel. DFA/Non-tender all of these guys and I won’t lose sleep over it. And throw in guys like Fraley, whose defensive numbers aren’t great and who is strictly a platoon player. We’ll see what the off season brings.

      • Jimbo44CN

        @bk, where do you get the stats that say his range is average? I am sure it’s out there with all the other goofy stats, but his range looked pretty good to me. He got to many balls that Casteallanos and many others would have never gotten to. He may very well be DFAd or whatever, but as I have said before, be careful what you wish for. I don’t see any of the three Fs being any better.

      • BK

        @Jimbo, there’s a fielding section on baseball reference (easily accessible through Also, Castellanos is below average as a RF, so yes Aquino is a defensive improvement.

        @ LDS, so why are you okay with Aquino’s 3 year track record of below average to well below average hitting on an inflated arbitration contract, but you want the Reds to cut the above average hitting Fraley on an MLB minimum contract?

      • Melvin

        Aquino does catch balls that most can’t simply because of his height and arm length. If you want to say the rest of the league will adjust to his arm then all that means to me is that he’s saving runs simply because they won’t try for the extra base. Aquino frustrates me too but I often feel like he needs to be defended. He’s not as bad as many make him out to be in my view. His biggest asset is his defense and if he somehow would play enough games he would bring home a gold glove. He didn’t play enough in 2022 to qualify.

      • BK

        @Melvin, defensive metrics for Aquino have been middle-of-the-road for Aquino until this year. What changed? Teams unsuccessfully challenged his arm … multiple times. So, you’re correct–if teams don’t run on him, then he’s saving runs, and the defensive metrics don’t capture that aspect of his value.

        That said, his hitting is poor, and he’s a corner outfielder. If he were a catcher, perhaps you would live with his hitting. But he plays a position where a good baseball team needs a productive bat and where “plus defense” has less comparative value.

        If he could maintain an OPS+ in the 90th percentile, a good team might tender him a contract and go to arbitration because, with his arm, he’s a plus defender in RF. He simply doesn’t hit well enough to warrant a 26-man roster spot. With 762 PAs across four seasons, we have ample data to tell us he’s unlikely to improve enough to warrant additional opportunities.

      • LDS

        @BK, if AA were younger, it would be a no-brainer. I’d like to see if a new hitting coach can clean up the mess that Ward & Zinter created, e.g., Senzel. As for Fraley, he hits RH’ers. That’s about it.

      • BK

        Aquino has played 12 seasons professionally. He’s played in winter leagues multiple times. There are multiple additional coaches at every spring training. It’s far-fetched to blame his inability to hit at the MLB level on his last two hitting coaches.

      • LDS

        @BK, though he hit decently in AAA. And Senzel was pretty outspoken about them messing him up. 2019 I think it was.

      • 2020ball

        If you think a new hitting coach is that much better than Zinter et al. I have a bridge to sell you. At 29, AA probably is what he is. On a team with a payroll significantly below what they could spend, I’m not sure how a 2MM player being a better value than a 6MM even matters, and I’d highly disagree he even is a better value than Farmer anyway. One of them’s been a winning player and has some trade value, the other is an older lottery ticket. If any of Senzel, Farmer, or AA is on the team next season, however, you’ll hear no complaints from me.

      • BK

        @LDS, that’s quite ironic, as 2019 was Senzel’s best year as a hitter (perhaps the coaches were right). This August, Jim Day reported that he was working with the Red’s hitting coaches to get more hard contact. Prior to his latest injury, his hard-hit rates improved.

  6. AMDG

    Farmer reminds me a bit of Lenny Harris.

    A guy in his 30’s who only produces 80 to 90 OPS+ with the bat, and is versatile, though unspectacular, on the field.

    For a contender, he’s a nice bench piece who can also start and slot in the lower part of the lineup. But that’s not really a profile I see the rebuilding Reds needing.

    With $40M already sunk in Moose & Votto, another $6M for Farmer is probably a bit of a reach.

    • Oldtimer

      I think Harris had two tours of duty with Reds. Not 100% sure.

    • 2020ball

      Even with that 40MM already “sunk”, the payroll is very small compared to other seasons. They have the 6MM, I really dont see it as much of a reach at all. Not sure who you think they might find in FA thats better anyway.

    • MK

      Just don’t get the attacks on Farmer’s defense. He is in top 6 of NL shortstops defensively. Does he make the spectacular Sportscenter plays, no. Does he make all the plays that should be made yes, All.

      Right now offensively Barrero is on the same offensive path as AA with out the power. He makes the spectacular defensive plays but not always the routine.

      I would have to imagine someone would pay $9 million for Moose as a bench piece. Trade him eat half the contract and replace him with minimum wage Encarnacion-Strand or Santana.

      Whether he rebounds or not this discussion shows just how Votto’s contract is an albatross around the neck of the organization.

      • 2020ball

        How is the best player a franchise has seen in a long time, in the last year of his contract, on a TERRIBLE team, with a projected payroll well below what they’ve spent in the past, an albatross??

      • Hanawi

        Farmer’s range is terrible. He’s nowhere close to a top 6 shortstop. Votto was worth every penny. If he’s an albatross then the owner cannot compete in the baseball marketplace.

      • Greenfield Red

        Agree MK on the albatross thing.

  7. Votto4life

    Kyle Farmer would seem too expensive (for the Reds) for a 32 year old utility infielder. If he is retained, it will be for other reasons besides baseball.

    I would keep Senzel around for another season. If he doesn’t show improvement I would trade or release him.

    I love TJ and hope the Reds keep him around, although I recognize the risks. Keeping Cessa is a no brainer. I would be OK if they cut bait with Lucas Sims.

    Next season is going to be just horrific. Probably, the worse in team history. I think the Reds may lose 105+ games. Keeping or cutting the guys on this list, is not going to change it.

  8. Chris Holbert

    As someone, like the rest of you, enjoying the speculation and offering opinions, IMO, let those injury riddled pitchers go be injured somewhere else. Or is it DJ and his throw as hard as you can as long as you can philosophy causing the multitude of pitcher injuries? AA has had his two months of glory. He has passed all the way through waivers once, what makes anyone think he will be jumped on by other MLB teams? Senzel agree or not, will get a long leash as no team likes to admit a top 2 draft pick is a bust. He did not forget how to hit, they will probably tender him, and give him one last dance. As long as DB has veterans, he will play them. Krall has to say we are going young unless they are guaranteed, and let those guys go be average or below someplace else.

  9. Jim Walker

    Krall says younger/ cheaper and it seems most folks are lined up at the bar to guzzle. I frame 4 options that would take the team in the younger and cheaper directions and it seems about as many folks aren’t wanting to cut ties just yet. 😉

    • Votto4life

      Not bringing back Solano and Minor gets them both younger and cheaper. Cutting ties with Kyle Farmer would do the same.

      • Votto4life

        Cutting ties with Minor, Solano and Farmer would save the Reds $20,000,000. Not sure how much cheaper they can afford to go and field a team.

      • Doc

        Didn’t Guardians make the playoffs with something like a $69MM payroll?

      • LDS

        The Guardians’ organization and management is so much better than the Reds that it’s embarrassing. Francona vs. Bell? Seriously, is that even a question?

      • 2020ball

        No its not. Do you see any Franconas available though?

  10. DataDumpster

    If the FO purely evaluates how many guys on this list can realistically be expected to improve next year over their career averages and bring positive WAR to the team, the number to bring back has an EV of about 1.4.
    If a team like the Reds needs to fill out their AAA team as well and plan for the back and forth action that seems the preferred means of “development” and keeping all the guys happy, the number would be as many as possible subject to Rule 5 considerations.
    An opinion on Kyle Farmer is tough since there are too many factors to consider and the salary seems a little rich. So, I’ll stop there as most everyone else on the list likely won’t matter much unless TBD new coaches are given some autonomy from David Bell.
    I still like the gamble of keeping Senzel as a trade chip with one of the prospects if that makes any sense.

  11. Sandman

    I’ve seen some of us Reds fans actually hoping or believing that the Castellini’s are going to go out and spend money this off-season to bring in big name or even moderately named free agents to contend next season.

    Anybody who thinks that is seriously deluded and needs a reality check…..BIG TIME!

    • Sandman

      I’ve seen some of us Reds fans actually hoping or believing that the Castellini’s are going to go out and spend money this off-season to bring in big name or even moderately named free agents to contend next season.

      Anybody who thinks that is seriously deluded and needs a reality check…..BIG TIME!

      • MBS

        It’s really an interesting thing how 2 people can see the same events and come to wildly different conclusions. We both think we pragmatist based on the evidence we’ve seen, but we’re both guessing towards our bias. We don’t have enough facts to know.

        I’ll continue to be an optimist, and enjoy myself, and if you want to be a pessimist, hopefully it brings you pleasure.

      • MBS

        “We both think we pragmatist based on the evidence we’ve seen“

        We both think we pragmatist basing our opinion on the evidence we’ve seen

    • Jimbo44CN

      True, so true. The only thing they might do(and I’m hoping) is sell the team.

      • TR

        If that happens, my 2023 Red’s season will be a success no matter what else happens.

      • Sandman

        To MBS: There’s optimism and then there’s reality.

  12. Sandman

    Those Reds fans that I previously mentioned in my last comment probably believe that way bcuz they feel that, after his crappy comment on Reds opening day, that Phil (and by extension, his father) SHOULD spend bcuz they OWE them/us fans but, that’s just not gonna happen.

    • Votto4life

      I have serious doubts the Reds are ever going to spend again under this ownership. I think that is certainly true for multi-year contracts.

      My hope is it intentional and the plan is to sell the team soon.

  13. jessecuster44

    Dunn Sims and Antone are the only ones who should get tendered. The Nick Senzel experiment should end.

    • 2020ball

      What experiment are you starting instead? I have no problem with him as a bench piece.

  14. Michael B. Green

    The players negotiated a deal with the owners. Farmer’s arbitration expectation is based on similar players and similar figures. In short, Farmer is worth that amount and the Reds should pay it, unless they are truly tanking games. Farmer will buy time until Marte is ready to take over 3B or India moves back over there. I’m wondering if India is better served in LF though. I think cutting Farmer loose sends the completely wrong message to players. If you work hard, persevere and then enjoy moderate success, we’ll get rid of you. Shades of the NFL right there.

  15. Daytonnati

    From The Athletic, today:

    Atlanta can’t keep getting away with this

    Atlanta signed rookie pitcher Spencer Strider to a six-year, $75 million deal Monday, adding another rising star to their ledger of affordable contracts. What Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos has done with a young roster is beautifully simple: Forgo the arbitration system and pay the young star a decent salary, which would be below his market value but still more than he would make traditionally with most other clubs. The deal can be worth $92 million over seven years if all options are exercised.


    • Still a Red

      Mmmm….probably didn’t have a great agent. Reds did that with Suarez, but I don’t think a super agent would allow a future star to commit to a 9 year contract at a relatively low salary if after 6 he could cash out much bigger.

  16. J

    I don’t pay much attention to the money stuff, so I don’t claim to understand all the rules, but I’m perplexed by the fact that AA is projected to be at $1.6 million when it’s not even remotely clear that he’s a legit major league player. If I’m the Reds, I’m not sure I’m even willing to pay him the major league minimum. And that’s if I’m the REDS — not a team that actually has a bunch of proven outfielders on the roster. I just don’t understand how this process is benefiting AA if nobody is actually going to want to pay him the amount he’s “supposed” to be making.

    • Optimist

      See a few comments above – 1- he’s already been passed up by other clubs twice – so why not do that again and resign him as a NRI-MiLB contract?

      2 – offer him something below the arb suggested figure, and either DFA if he doesn’t accept, or go to Arb and see if they agree he’s worth the Reds offer, the risk being the Arb goes with the higher figure.

      In either case, the savings involved are not in the millions – so the question is basically does he have any value to the Reds, or anyone else? Surely someone will take him as a NRI/MiLB filler, if not somewhat nearer the Arb figure.

      • J

        You really are an optimist if you can imagine someone paying close to $1.6 million for a guy who doesn’t seem to be a major league player.

        In any event, I’m not trying to figure out what the Reds might/should do. I’m trying to figure out how the arbitration number can be $1.6 million for a guy who might not even be in the majors next year. Presumably this system is supposed to be helping the players, but I don’t think it’s doing him any favors unless I’m missing something.

      • Optimist

        Sure I can imagine someone paying him “close” to 1.6. The Braves and White Sox paid Billy H. 1 and 1.2 at the same ages as AA will be.

        Wouldn’t surprise me if LA and NY offer that. Still, agree with your general points, but recall the arb can choose the teams lower figure.

      • J

        Probably not worth arguing, but I’ll just point out that Billy Hamilton was an elite outfielder AND an elite base stealer/runner, which can be a valuable asset. He had four major league seasons with 50+ steals. By the time the White Sox signed him, he’d spent the better part of 8 seasons in the majors. AA has played in a grand total of 244 major league games. That’s the equivalent of two years (with a lot of games off). So, the fact that someone was willing to pay Hamilton $1.2 million with his resume doesn’t seem nearly as weird to me as someone being willing to pay AA anything close to $1.6 million based on one great month in 2019.

        For the record: I wouldn’t mind seeing him remain in the Reds organization under the right circumstances. I just can’t fathom how the arbitration process can be set up so that someone is projected to be a $1.6 million player when nobody is really sure they’re even a major leaguer. It just seems like a very weird formula because it’s virtually guaranteeing the player won’t be able to benefit from arbitration.

  17. old-school

    BET MGM opening a sports book where the machine room was. Entrance only via outside the park per MLb rules. I expect Indy handicapping on the concourse with his picks of the day for a small fee. Unfortunately, take the over with Mahle at GABP wont be an option anymore.

    • LDS

      I wonder how much money Bob will make from this. And Rose is banned for life for betting? No one ever said MLB was logical or consistent.

      • Bill

        I am a supporter of Rose being in the Hall of Fame, but betting by fans is completely different than players. However if Rose doesn’t become a spokesman for this betting I will really be disappointed, because it would be hilarious

      • LDS

        It’s more money in Castellini’s pocket that likely won’t be reinvested in the team. Just another way to get fans in the door without producing a winner. And yes, I agree Rose should be in the HOF. There are plenty of scoundrels, lowlifes, drunks, etc. there already. What’s one more? And did Rose ever bet on the Reds to LOSE? That he bet on the Reds, he’s admitted. But did he bet to lose? Not really his nature but gamblers aren’t rational. Nonetheless, I have more respect for what he achieved on the field than I do the PED/juicers like McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds (and all the rest).

      • Doug Gray

        Pete Rose shouldn’t be allowed to buy a ticket to get into the HOF.

      • Harry Stoner

        What makes you think Rose didn’t juice?

        Certainly added considerable bulk later in his career.

        My suspicion has always been that he juiced, particularly in his years with the Phillies.

        Of course, if he did, we know he’s the type of person to be honest about it.

      • 2020ball

        Rose had multiple chances to do/say what he needed to be reinstated and he chose to do none of that. And the “he never bet on his team to lose” idea is tired IMO, you dont think even if thats true he didnt alter who he used, from say the bullpen, based on whether he bet on the game or not? Why he’s suddenly innocent because he broke the rules the right way or whatever the argument is I’ll never understand.

    • Old-school

      Sorry @ Doug. Nothing like a RLN thread always going down the Pete Rose should be in the HOF or David Bell should be fired rabbit hole. I just thought its interesting the Reds have a sports book. On site. That will absolutely bring people to the game who come early for that or stay late or just simply have somewhere to go when the bullpen implodes in the 6th inning. Smart move.

      • Jim Walker

        If the entry has to be from outside the park, I wonder if the no check out/ in rules will be modified to let folks back into the stadium. Maybe they will sell cheap bunrer general admission passes that people can use to get through the gates then display their original ticket access their seats?

        One time at old Griffith Stadium in DC, my cousin was “asked to leave the stadium for crawling under a scaffold frame bleacher area to retrieve a ball in batting practice. He told my dad and I to go to our ticketed seats and he would catch up with us later. Sure enough he did courtesy of a 50 cent or dollar (it was 1960) bleacher general admission then flashing his original ticket stub to navigate to the seats 😉

    • Melvin

      It just seems to me that since gambling in baseball is as dangerous as it is with SEVERE penalties for doing so that MLB would not allow it to be promoted more or less but instead try to keep it as far away from players/managers as possible. Putting/allowing it right underneath their noses so they will have to think about it is hypocritical in my view. It’s getting worse all the time.

  18. Brad

    The Reds have already written off next year per Krull’s comments. I am fine with them not spending a dime on free agents and clearing as much money off the payroll as possible. That way they can go after the magical 102 losses. That was the only thing that got me excited about the Reds this year, so lets try again in 2023. GO REDS……

    • Votto4life

      Brad you will likely get you wish. The team will be weaker next year without Castillo, Mahle, Drury, Solano. All guys who positively contributed to the team in 2022. As has been mentioned, the Reds will also be playing a balanced schedule in 2023, which will make winning more difficult. I suspect the 2023 team will lose 105+ games.

      I look for the Reds to hit rock bottom next year. Hopefully, though the Castellinis will announce they are selling the team sometime in 2023-24.

  19. Optimist

    Anyone else read Tom Ricketts letter to Cubs fans? Anyone expecting anything similar from Reds ownership?

    • 2020ball

      The FO should learn from last season and just keep their fat caviar holes tightly sealed.

  20. kyblu50

    How About Getting J.D. Martinez and Brandon Drury As Platoon Hitters For Next Year Wouldn’t Cost That Much and Drury Is From Cinn. Both HR Hitters With An Nice Batting Average

  21. Tim

    What’s the possibility of trading Moose and eating 2/3 or 3/4 of his contract? That’s still a lot of money to put towards some younger guys.

    • Doug Gray

      The same as me landing a date with Anna Kendrick tonight.

  22. Doc

    Former Red reliever Jackson Stephens sharp in two scoreless innings in NLDS game 1.

    • DataDumpster

      Don’t remember him as the Reds didn’t grant him much of a chance. In other developments, Nick lead the Phillies to an upset of the Braves and Suarez jut hit an impressive dinger in a potential big Seattle upset. Both those guys started slow in the transition year but are finishing strongly. Caleb Cotham (remember the Red’s Director of Pitching?) getting kudos for the Phillies pen this year.

      • Harry Stoner

        Didn’t Cotham arrive courstesy the Chapman unload?

      • DataDumpster

        I believe so. He got injured pretty quickly and faded like the rest of them. I do remember Rookie Davis was part of that group only because of his name but none of those guys had any impact to my recollection. Brings back some bad memories of that dump, doesn’t it? However, Cotham has really has carved out a fine career for himself and Chapman is still hanging on…somewhere, right?

      • Bill

        I don’t what Chapman is doing, but showing up to practice is not on that list

  23. Boomer

    Paging Mark Cuban! By the way can we have a minimum salary, I would suggest perhaps 120 million dollar floor. Maybe Bob can just put bobbleheads out on the field What a mess?

  24. Old-school

    Reds payroll sits at about $75 million. they will add a back of the rotation starter in FA for under $5 mil and maybe a cheap bullpen armand maybe a OF to compete for a roster spot. But, they dont need to cut payroll to get to budget anymore at $75 million so I see Farmer and Moose and Votto as the vets in ST. Krall has indicated the infield defense was unacceptable as was the baserunning as was the offense and no one is promised anything. I could see Barrero in AAA playing everyday and farmer starting the year at SS with some combination of Steer and India at 2b/3b. Nightengale article today indicated uncertain if Votto will be ready by OD so Moose could very well be the Reds First baseman on OD.

    I suspect the Reds will cut a deal ahead of time with Farmer as he wont get $6 mil on the open market and the Reds want him back. maybe they compromise at $4.5 mil on a 1 year deal.

    • DataDumpster

      The key phrase being “Krall has indicated the infield defense was unacceptable as was the baserunning as was the offense and no one is promised anything.”
      Except for some home run heroics in 2021, the team has not excelled in any of these areas during David Bell’s tenure. So, unless we think that the 3rd time will be the charm for a new hitting coach and all the other woes were the fault of Delino Deshields, don’t expect much improvement. If the real problem is that our players and development process is just so subpar, the stage is set for a major fire next off season. This may be necessary and perhaps welcomed if one thinks of the possible alternatives…

  25. Doc

    No one from the Astros World Series winners should be allowed in the HOF, nor should they even still be in MLB. Just ask the 1919 White Sox. Overt cheating, treated two different ways. Pete Rose may be the equivalent of pond scum as a person in the eyes of many, but he didn’t cheat at baseball that anyone has alleged or proved to my knowledge.

    • Votto4life

      The Black Sox took money to throw the 1919 World Series. It is hardly the same as stealing signs.

      Pete Rose broke the cardinal rule of baseball by betting on games he managed. He should never be allowed back in the game and definitely not honored by being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    • Harry Stoner

      Comparing the 2019 Asterisks and Rose is a non starter.

      Both should be banned from MLB and kept out of the HOF.

      Just because Rose is banned and Altuve, Bregman, Springer et al aren’t doesn’t change a thing.

      Rose still deserves to be banned.

  26. Redsvol

    For those of us that want the Reds to bring back Farmer at his arbitration $ or close to it, ask yourself what the Oakland A’s, Tampa rays or Cleveland would do.

    The answer is they wouldn’t pay going rates ( I.e. our wonderful arbitration system) for an shine, below average hitting and fielding middle infielder. They would either work out a much more favorable deal or trade him for some low level Propect to a contender who thinks $6M is chump change.

    Matt Reynolds’s can provide 90% of the production at a fraction of cost and has some veteran intangibles.

  27. Redsvol

    For those of us that want the Reds to bring back Farmer at his arbitration $ or close to it, ask yourself what the Oakland A’s, Tampa rays or Cleveland would do.

    The answer is they wouldn’t pay going rates ( I.e. our wonderful arbitration system) for an aging , below average hitting and fielding middle infielder. They would either work out a much more favorable deal or trade him for some low level Propect to a contender who thinks $6M is chump change.

    Matt Reynolds’s can provide 90% of the production at a fraction of cost and has some veteran intangibles.

    • Harry Stoner

      All the rational arguments against signing Farmer make sense.

      The irrationality is why I think he’ll be resigned.

      Given the dismantling of the 2021 / 22 teams, my guess is Krall will make a big PR deal of signing Farmer, provide some cover for no FA signings and make a show of providing some ‘continuity’ and ‘leadership’.

      Which is not to say that he won’t provide some of that.

      Or that he’ll likely be in the way by 2024, certainly by 2025.

      It’s kind of depressing that so much debate is surrounding a journeyman player at best. But one who led the team in HRs and rbis (so long, Drury!)

    • Votto4life


      Good points, but it’s really not about what Oakland, Cleveland or Tampa would do, it’s about what the Reds will do and the Reds tend to make bad decisions when it comes to roster management. The Reds should not be paying $6 million dollars for an aging, utility infielder who longer has a position. Which is why I think they will.

      • Chris Holbert

        100% agree. It is sort of oxymoronic to say younger/cheaper, and the infield defense must improve and then sign a 32 YO average infielder/below average SS, for $6 mil

  28. William

    The Reds just need to focus on rebuilding. I do not think they need to bring in any free agents in 2023. Save the money. They will not compete in 2023. If you want to see a team win, follow the AAA team in 2023. Give the prospects quality playing time. I would quit watching the Reds if I did not think they could win a World Series in 2026 or 2027. That said, I think they will sign some free agents in 2023. Do not expect them to spend that much. I will expect more spending in 2024 and 2025.

    • CI3J

      If they sign any FAs, I’d like to see them spend most of the available money on a relatively young (under 30), good player who can stay in Cincinnati for 4 or 5 years and actually help in 2024 and beyond.

      The list of players like that is short, but two names come to mind: Joey Gallo and Andrew Benintendi. If the Reds’ payroll is going to be about 100m and they currently have about 75 million committed, that means the Reds could offer either of those players a 5 year, 75m contract and still have about 10m to shore up the bullpen and bench. Signing either of those players would also fill an area of need in the outfield and give the Reds one less hole to fill going into 2024.

  29. CI3J

    Kyle Farmer NO
    Luis Cessa YES
    Nick Senzel MAYBE
    Aristides Aquino MAYBE
    Buck Farmer NO
    Lucas Sims YES
    Jeff Hoffman YES
    Justin Dunn YES
    Derek Law NO
    Aramis Garcia NO
    Tejay Antone YES

    • Votto4life

      I would let Sims walk, but other than that, I really like your list.

    • Optimist

      They’ll keep Buck and Law, they’re barely at league minimum and who would replace them (think Hembree/Strickland/Doolittle and so on). Probably Garcia as well, for the same reasons. Not enough savings, and they don’t want to spend to replace them. They need to spend, what little they intend, on OFer’s and SPs.

  30. Votto4life

    Many here was so eager for a rebuild and urged the team to “play the youngsters” but now they want the Reds to hang on to Kyle Farmer??

    Kyle Farmer is an aging, utility infielder who even if he had a career year in 2023, wouldn’t prevent the Reds from losing 100 games.

    Kyle Farmer is not a good fit for a team, like the Reds, who are re-building.

    Kyle Farmer might be able to contribute to a more established team, but it is very unlikely any team would offer him $10,000,000 a year. If Kyle Farmer really could make that kind of dough, the Reds should not stand in his way.

    • 2020ball

      Who is Farmer even blocking? Those that say they want the younger guys to play never say who that actually is. The idea that getting rid of the older guys on a team whose problem is not having *enough* productive players makes no sense to me, esp when that guy has been productive. Often what I read on here is “get rid of this bum” without any suggestion on who is taking their ABs or innings.

      I personally dont care if they non-tender him, but keeping him is no problem for me rather than just force a AAA player to the majors. Depth is important if you wanna win, and he’s depth plus a fringy starter at multiple positions. If you buy into clubhouse credentials for a younger team, he has those too. Possible he has some minor trade value during the year as well.

      • Votto4life

        Kyle Farmer is blocking someone who is earning league minimum.

        The Reds are going to lose 100+ games in 2023. There is no need to pay Kyle Farmer $6 million. Farmer won’t be on the next winning Reds team and they can finish last without him next season.

    • BK

      The Reds should keep Farmer and trade him at the deadline when the prospects ‘should’ be ready for his playing time.

  31. Michael B. Green

    CIN team pitching led the NL in HR allowed, BB allowed and HBP allowed. That should never ever happen again – even for one month. The entire pitching personnel should commit here and now to never repeat that gain. Yes, 1/2 the games are at Great American Smallpark but BB and HBP too? The philosophy needs to change. Spincinnati was a disaster that spelled doom as soon as they enforced Spider-Tack (sp) rules. The pitching staff need to revisit how to attach hitters and it does not mean walking and hitting them followed by dingers.

    Ashcraft and Cessa were in the top 30 in the NL in GB% and Lodolo was just outside that group. Hunter Greene was dead last and he needs to add a 2-seamer to his repertoire.

    Quite a few RP’s are at the bottom in GB% and that means the philosophy is to pitch up and try to get K’s. While that worked for Diaz – ONLY – I would argue that adding two seamers and working in the lower part of the zone will make for better results. Many of these same guys were among the league leaders in BB’s too.

    Time for a different philosophy. Think Crash Davis has a perfect quote regarding strike outs and ground balls.

  32. Tom Mitsoff

    Quick question: For those who are in favor of non-tendering the majority of the players listed, who do you see the Reds adding to their 40-man roster to replace them?

    Most of the top prospects don’t yet have three years in the minors. That’s the point when they need to be added to the 40-man roster or risk being lost in the Rule 5 draft.

    Therefore, adding any of those players to the roster is starting the roster clock on them sooner than needed. Plus, most of those players have not yet reached Louisville, meaning they don’t have that important Class AAA experience.

    Count me as NOT among the people who believe that 2023 MUST be young players only at the big league level. I firmly believe you sign several veteran players at around Farmer’s salary level to give Reds fans SOMETHING to watch in 2023. Doing so will not block prospects. If someone hits lights-out at Louisville, bring them up. I’d rather do that than see them struggle at the big league level. Success at Louisville will build their confidence.

    • Doug Gray

      That’s one of the things that I’ve run into when brainstorming the decisions in the “non-tenders” articles. Obviously there will be a whole lot of them, but not everyone who would probably be non-tendered on another team will have it happen in Cincinnati simply because the players just aren’t there.

      The catchers for example – are they really going to non-tender every single catcher on the 40-man not named Tyler Stephenson? I don’t know. They should, but I don’t know if it’s the smartest idea, either. You might want to keep one of them around, even if they all have no reason other than “owns a catchers mitt” as a reason to actually keep them around.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Interesting dilemma. It’s a bad position-player roster with nobody ready to take their place. Signing veterans from other teams to modest, one- or two-year deals would make lots of sense, but we just don’t know if that will even be considered.

      • CI3J

        Doug, I think the Reds have plenty of options at backup catcher if they lose both Garcia and Robinson. Kolozsvary, Papierski, and Romine all put up similarly terrible stats like Garcia and Robinson did, and the Reds have catching prospects Logan Tanner and Matheu Nelson still in the pipeline.

        There’s really no need to keep Robinson and/or Garcia. I’d say as of right now, Kolozsvary should be the backup with Romine as the 3rd catcher if needed.

      • Doug Gray

        I mean, sure, they’ve got a bunch of really bad hitting guys to choose from. In an ideal situation not a single one of them would be on the 40-man roster. They all scream “we’ve had injuries to our other 4 catchers”.

        Right now I’m counting on Nelson or Tanner as much as I’m counting on Kolozsvary or Romine.

        This team should go out and spend a few million bucks on an actual big league catcher to back up Stephenson.

    • MadMike

      Coukd pull a trick from Jim Bowden in DC when they first moved from Montteal: have open tryouts in spring training. Low amount of success but it filled the roster with cheap and hungry players, while knowing the team had no shot. It gave the broadcast team no end of human interest stories to fill the air and i think the Nats got a few depth players as keepers out of it.

    • Optimist

      Tom – you’ve mentioned the important “AAA experience” several times, and I recall others noting that most top prospects are left in AA for a longer time. I agree they all need MiLB experience thru most, if not all, of 2023. I thought there was an article in RLN about this (difference in levels and player assignment considerations) some time ago. If not, just what does AAA offer that AA doesn’t, and how long is it needed? Does it differ for hitters than for pitchers, or position by position?

      It may be a long winter, so this may be a topic to keep us going for a while.


      • Tom Mitsoff

        I’m on the old-timer side of the fan scale, so keep that perspective in mind. When I was a young Reds fan, having a player perform well at Class AAA Indianapolis (at the time) was considered a prerequisite to making the bigs. I can’t remember even any of the Big Red Machine players who skipped Class AAA.

        It seems to me that if you want to prepare players to compete in the bigs, you want them to be successful against competition at the highest level possible below the big leagues. If I was in Krall’s position, I’d make it clear — through words or actions — that you don’t make the bigs until you show me you can compete at a high level against Class AAA competition. Barrero would never have come up from Louisville when he’s hitting around the Mendoza line.

        I’m aware that some of the players who ended up on the big-league roster at the end of this past season were there because there just weren’t any other alternatives. Some of that is due to bad injury luck and some is due to bad planning.

        I’d want to establish a culture where players know they have to prove themselves at Class AAA before they get the call to the bigs. (As mentioned above, the beyond-belief injury rate doomed that strategy if it was even being considered this year.)

      • Optimist

        I suspect I’m right there with you on the old-timer scale – I didn’t see any games in person, but followed the local press in Billings from about 100 miles away when Gary Redus had the greatest year in MiLB history. To precisely date my Reds fandom, Sammy Ellis and Deron Johnson had big years when I first spent a year tuning in to Waite Hoyt’s call.

        That said, I think the current approach is having the top prospects/high draft picks/biggest signing bonuses face each other in AA for a lengthy time, and then just 2-3 months in AAA. AAA is where teams keep pitching depth, MLB experienced end-of-career backups, and related “AAAA” talents for the final 2-3 years of their careers.

        I think this change came in the last few decades, since I recall the same approach you mention in the 60’s and 70’s.

        With the contraction of MiLB I wonder if we’ll ever see the career minor leaguer types again. I expect the fluke exceptions may be Fernando Cruz types returning from Ind. ball, or borderline MLB returnees from a year or two in Asia. Everyone’s favorite Corky Miller had parts of 13 seasons in AAA – doubt that will happen again.

      • Doug Gray

        For position guys I think the big difference between AA and AAA comes down to this: You’ll see less pure “stuff” in AAA over the course of the year, but you’ll see far more guys who know how to use the stuff they’ve got and how to throw offspeed stuff where they want. That is going to matter a lot more for some hitters than others.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Thanks, Doug. That perspective is appreciated. To me, it seems like each organization should strive to have the equivalent of a minor-league all-star team at Class AAA. If so, you’d have a player who has shown he can compete ready to be recalled and fill it at any position on the big-league team where there is a need. But we all know Louisville has been a win-loss wasteland for years.

        I guess the reason for many teams not having well-stocked AAA teams is that there just aren’t enough proven players available to fill the rosters of both 30 major league teams and 30 Class AAA teams.

      • Jim Walker

        Two thoughts relating to the Reds coming to me from Doug’s comment…..

        “You’ll see less pure “stuff” in AAA over the course of the year, but you’ll see far more guys who know how to use the stuff they’ve got and how to throw offspeed stuff where they want.”

        >>Seems to me that many of the Reds younger relievers on the shuttle between AAA and MLB do NOT know how to use their stuff and are NOT capable of locating their offspeed pitches. Where are the Reds org and pitchers going awry?

        >>The comment also frames another of the paradoxes of Aristides Aquino. Since 2019, he has absolutely devasted AAA pitching every time he has been optioned or assigned to AAA or as an MLB player on rehab. Yet his struggles to hit breaking pitching at MLB never abate. Again if so many other teams have pitching staffs that can locate breaking and offspeed stuff on a dime to bedevil this punisher of AAA pitching, why not the Reds???

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Good questions, Jim. I believe that Derek Johnson is a top-tier pitching coach, and he is I believe the pitching coordinator for the entire organization. I often default to the position that many of these guys are not good enough to pitch in the bigs. You have to have a great combination of stuff and control to make a career as a big-league pitcher. I was quite intrigued by Buck Farmer’s metamorphosis into a very dependable setup man this season — something his previous record indicated was unlikely. I’m guessing something clicked for Farmer in working with Johnson, and I’m very curious to see if the 2023 version of Farmer is the 2022 version or the previous “meh” version of his career.

      • Jim Walker

        @Tom>> The other side of the Aquino paradox is the guy himself. I believe his run with the Reds is justifiably done. However I would not bet the 1st $$ from my pocket that he doesn’t emerge and become at least the “next” Adam Duvall elsewhere.

        Kudos for AA for his efforts to learn English but as a guy who was once on the cusp of fluency in Spanish and let it slip away unattained, I can attest there is a world of difference between speaking a second language effectively and spontaneously thinking with it.

        It could be what Aquino needs now is less technical hitting instruction and instead, someone who thinks in Spanish to work along with him in a depressurized environment to consistently apply what has worked for him when he has been on one of his good runs at AAA and MLB

      • Optimist

        Good points here. Another I’d throw in about Louisville specifically is that there may be a LOT of winning, or losing, culture involved here. Sure, everyone has had less talent to work with as expansion spread, but with MiLB contraction that should be ending.

        Finally, 2 interesting points I just noticed in end of season summaries – 1, Cleveland had 3 of its 4 MiLB affiliates advance to playoffs and I believe one of them won a league championship. 2, the Cardinals have not finished in “last place” (changed with expansion/divisions etc.) since 1918, which was Branch Rickey arrived and reformed MiLB for them.

        Everyone knows about Cardinal “culture”, but it seems Cleveland is mastering that as well.

  33. MBS

    2023 40 Man Roster

    26 Man total 120.6M


    1 ANTONE (PEN) .8M
    3 CESSA (STARTER) 2.6M
    4 CRUZ (PEN) .72M
    5 DIAZ (PEN) .72M
    6 DUARTE (AAA) –
    7 DUNN (STARTER) 1.1M
    8 FARMER (PEN) 1.4M
    10 GUTIERREZ (AAA) –
    11 LAW (PEN) .72M
    12 LIVLEY (AAA) –
    13 LODOLO (STARTER) .72M
    14 MORETA (AAA) –
    15 OVERTON (AAA) –
    16 SANMARTIN (PEN) .72M
    17 SANTILLAN (PEN) .72M
    18 JANSEN (PEN) ADDED 15M (1Y*15M)


    21 STEPHENSON (C) .72M
    22 BARNHARDT (C) ADDED 5M (2Y*5M)
    23 FREE (AAA) ADDED –


    24 BARRERO (SS) .72M
    25 LOPEZ (U) .72M
    26 STEER (2B) .72M
    27 VOTTO (DH) 25M
    28 BELL (1B) 16M (3Y*16M)
    29 DRURY (3B) 6M (3Y*6M)
    32 MARTE (AA) ADDED –


    34 FRALEY (4TH) .72M
    35 FRIEDL (5TH) .72M
    36 INDIA (RF) .72M
    37 SIANI (CF) .72M
    38 BENINTENDI (LF) 18M (4Y*18M)


    I may have underestimated a bit to stay in my 120M goal. With the lack of money committed in 24 or beyond, some of the FA contracts could be backloaded a bit to get the signings done. Flip side is the Reds do nothing, and we watch a 60 win team.

    • 2020ball

      Nice job, I might like to see them sign more pitching than you have here, especially a starter. Some of the offensive players would take bigger contracts too than I think we’d prefer since 2025 etc. is more the goal with the farm and perhaps that would inhibit the ability to sign extensions with the core but fun read nonetheless.

      • VegasRed

        Somewhat amusing that our board mates are adopting the cheapness of the owners in how they view ball players. Most of this string discussing Kyle farmer at 6 million.

        I would ask who the hades cares but apparently a lot of you do judging by the comments.

        I just can’t get myself to care about what these guys make next year or don’t. I would like the team to win but like most of you I don’t see that happening.

        Someone has to play and pitch but other than hoping the young talent develops, I really don’t ( can’t make myself ) care who they are.

      • TR

        Opinions are interesting, certainly in the offseason. But, what will be will be.

      • MBS

        I’d like more pitching to, but I was trying to stay within a 120M budget, and the offensive side is in far worse shape. I did add a closer, which would help solidify the pen, which is where so many games were lost. Plus by 24 I think we’ll have a full rotation, and this 23 squad would be pretty fun to watch while we wait for more prospect to join.

  34. Rednat

    I don’t know, I think Kyle Farmer at 6mil is a steal. he was your most productive offensive player in 2022 and barring major bounce back years from India, Stephenson, or Votto he would probably be your best offensive player in 2023. he is versatile, durable, good leadership, good relationship with Bell and Joey and most importantly a fan favorite. Does ownership really want to upset the reds faithful anymore at this point over 6 million dollars?

    we really are not in rebuild mode yet. still in “tear down” mode at least for next year. Farmer really wouldn’t be blocking anyone next year playing ss or 3b. I mean, I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t think Steer or Barrero are the answer to our wildest dreams. we are going to lose 100 games next year no matter what but it is more demoralizing as a fan to watch Barrero hit .160 and k 250 times than watch Farmer give you decent numbers and competitive at bats.

    Jim Walker suggested they will utilize Matt Reynolds next year a replacement for Farmer as the team utility veteran guy. Geez, is ownership THAT DESPERATE to save a buck?
    I just think reds ownership has to be somewhat careful here. they can rebuild but be entertaining as well. I hope they get an outfielder or 2 over the off seasonas well. I wouldn’t mind seeing Duvall or Naquin back. again, Sianni, Fairchild, Friedl ain’t exactly Davis, O’NEIL AND Hatcher ok. so nobody would be “blocked”.

    I sense the reds fanbase transitioning from disappointment after 2013 to apathy in the late 2010’s to now disgust after 2022. So i think ownership will have to spend at least some money this winter on some free agents

    • Joe Henry

      I just don’t see any quality FA wanting to play for a team that is staring at another 100 loss season. Sounds easy to say let’s sign this guy or some other guy, but there are 2 parts to that equation. Those guys need to be excited about playing for the Reds. Not happening for the foreseeable future.

  35. CI3J

    I and others have mentioned it, but I really think the Reds need to go all-in on signing Benintendi, especially if they only have about 75m committed to current players. They could easily give him a competitive offer, and he’s young enough that it makes sense to give him multiple years, like in the 4 to 5 year range. He’s a lefthanded hitter and plays the outfield, two areas the Reds are sorely lacking, and he’s young enough that he could be a contributing member of The Next Great Reds Team in 2024 or 2025.

    The Reds have a lot of young talent on the cusp of the big league club. Among them are:

    Steer (I know he’s already played at the MLB level, but he needs a longer look)
    Barrero (needs one last shot)

    Those are 8 guys to go with the already established India and Stephenson. Add Benintendi to the list, and the Reds suddenly have some room for error when some of those guys inevitably don’t work out. Since the first 4 are all SS, it’s very likely that at least one of them is going to have to change their position, probably to CF and/or 3B. Personally, I’d like to see Marte at SS, EDLC in CF, and McClain at 3B, if all 3 pan out.

    Imagine a 2024 opening day lineup of:

    SS Marte
    LF Benintendi
    C Stephenson
    1B Encarnacion-Strand
    3B McClain
    2B India
    RF TBD (may need another FA here signed with the Votto/Moose money)
    DH TBD (another FA here with the Votto/Moose money)

    and still have Steer, Barrero, and Arroyo in the wings

    and a rotation of


    With Diaz as closer and a mix of current and FA to make up the bullpen

    It’s exciting to think about, and it really could be a new era of Reds competitive baseball. All moves now should be made with a focus on 2024 and beyond, and signing Benintendi is exactly the kind of move they should make.

    We’ll see if it happens. 2023 is still probably not going to be a winning season, but it could be one of the most important ones in recent Reds’ history. One thing I’d definitely do is let Farmer go and give all his ABs to Steer. Let’s see what the kid can do.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I originally thought Benintendi would be an option, but then I checked his player profile page. He had 3.2 WAR this year, and is only 28 years old. He appears likely to receive at least one more multi-year, high-dollar contract, which pretty much eliminates this Reds team as we know it from consideration.

      • Jim Walker

        He is also a LH hitter and the Reds already Fraley for that 😉

        Find a cheaper RH hitter with severe handedness splits to match/ offset Fraley’s in a platoon situation. The Winker/ Ervin situation in 2019 was outstanding. Try to match that.

        In the meantime go with Fairchild as RH hitting everyday OF guy unless/ until he crashes or something clearly better falls into their laps. Fairchild’s sample size is still small (~100 PAs) but with the Reds he was >100 OPS+ from both sides of the plate.

        BTW, Benintendi’s, OPS+ for 2022 was virtually the same as Fraley’s and Fairchild’s.

      • Old-school

        Benintendi will get 4-5 years at 20 mil AAV. Hes a good avg/On base guy and a gold glover with speed. But it ain’t happening. Fraley is a good hitter against righties and thats valuable when righties are 75-80% of pitchers. Fraley isnt a great defender but hes far better than Winker and serviceable if his OPS is over .800.

        Fraley was also the positional centerpiece in Suarez/Winker/Williamson/Conner Phillips blockbuster. Practically speaking, regardless of views on Fraley( and I like him) he’s going to play for the Reds regularly because Krall and his staff identified him as a hitter they liked. He’s going to be a core part of the Reds outfield.

      • BK

        I disagree … the Reds will only have two significant contracts on the books in 2023 and likely zero in 2024. Moreover, Benintendi is going to get a nice contract, but it won’t exceed $20M/year as he doesn’t have the consistent track record to warrant that kind of contract. Fading somewhat over the last two months of this season won’t help either. In sum, they can absolutely afford Benintendi. My question is, does Benintendi fit for the Reds long-term?

        The Red’s current roster and top prospects are most right-handed–ELDC, a switch hitter, is the lone exception. From a handedness perspective, Benintendi fits.

        Benintendi is among the best in LF, but the Reds have Fraley (2nd best hitter on the current roster, but a platoon hitter), whose best position is LF. So, one of the two likely moves to RF where Benintendi hasn’t logged a single MLB inning, and defensive metrics show Fraley is best in LF.

        I’m not against signing Benintendi, but I’m not sure he’s a great fit for the current and projected roster.

      • Optimist

        Benintendi would be a huge upgrade for the Reds, and this is his chance for the big multi-year contract. That contract, though, may top out about 15m AAV, or 75-80m total. I wonder if the Reds would go to a higher AAV for 3 years – say, 60m? Or a Castellanos type deal with fewer years locked in and mutual incentive opt outs for later years?

        Fraley cannot be a “core” player for the Reds, and if so, look for 90-95 losses. He’s a fine piece, but only fills a valuable role, not a crucial position on a team struggling to .500. Also, he was the throw in player in the trade – each pitcher coming back was much more important to the Reds.

        The Reds could do it, and he’s likely the best player in the budget category of FAs they would seriously consider.

        Still, doubtful.

    • Joe Henry

      Once again, you’re assuming Benintendi would want to come to Cincinnati. Why would he? If he was plugged into the #3 or 4 slot in the lineup, how many good pitches will he see if he is surrounded by .250 hitters? It would be an awful career move for him.

      • Melvin

        Playing HR derby in GABP would help. Wasn’t he injured last year or am I mistaken?

      • CI3J

        Well, you may not give much weight to it, but there is the personal connection: Benintendi is from Cincinnati, and he grew up as a Reds fan. Maybe he misses the Skyline chili and Gliers goetta.

        You have to wonder if Krall can sell him on 2024 being the beginning of a new competitive window. It wouldn’t be a hard sell. Besides, if the Reds can give him a competitive contract, say, 5 years, $80 million, wouldn’t he want to come just for the money?

        Point is: The Reds have the money to get him, if they want him. Being a local lad and a fan growing up, you’d have to think that would give the Reds a slight edge that no other team could match. And, if Benintendi has been paying attention and knows about all the young talent on the cusp, he might see a chance to be part of a pretty fun Reds team in the near future.

      • Bill

        I have no idea if Benintendi would want to come here, but if they can get him I like the idea. As mentioned he is from Cincinnati and I really wanted them to draft him in whatever year that was. If it becomes a bidding war and it requires an extremely long contract the Reds should avoid it. The other thing to keep in mind is he boke the hammate which typically takes a while to fully recover from. That may lessen the interest if he isn’t going to be at full strength for the beginning of the season, but the Reds don’t need to worry about 2023.

  36. DataDumpster

    “Tale of Two Teams”
    MLB Team A has a 23 year old pitcher and two 21 year old starters in their lineup. None of them played more than a few games at AAA and got most of their seasoning in High-A. Two of these players have already signed long term contracts. Their manager spent over 30 years as a skipper at all levels of his team’s organization before becoming an unqualified success at the MLB level.

    MLB Team B has a large number of players at the 27-29 age range who have several years experience in the minors and MLB. The decisions to keep them or cut bait is difficult because none of them are actually improving and there is a need to protect younger prospects from the Rule 5 draft before the cupboard runs dry. Their manager was not successful in minor league managing and left the Reds organization to pad out his resume in short term assignments until it was time for him to return as the top skipper. None of the players filling out the MLB team over the last 4 years have signed long term contracts. Their manager is well liked by the players but hardly has any other notable accomplishments.
    How can Team B thrive within a reasonable time frame in its present form?

    • Harry Stoner

      Charles Dickens could right a 2000 page opus on the subject and not likely come up with a good answer.

      The French overthrew their monarchy (ownership) and chaos reigned for decades…then the monarchy returned.

      Louis XVI was replaced by King Phillipe (Phil) who was heard to say: Ou vas-tu aller?

      • Old-school

        You’ve set RLN history. Pretty sure opus has never been used, unless Richard fitch used it somewhere.Strong work.

      • Votto4life

        When Dick Williams resigned, I was thinking
        “après moi le déluge”

    • DataDumpster

      Excellent observations. At least one person can made some sense out of (and add to) my rather oblique analogy. Just trying to bring a little levity to the situation.

  37. Old-school

    Lots of interviews and Reds news last weekend from Krall and beat reporters and reading the tea leaves it sounds like there will be some aging vets around in spring training. ( moose, votto,Farmer.) who wont be around in October 2023. If the budget is 80 mil and Reds arent trying to compete, but trying to develop a young roster of players who finish their development in 2023/24, who cares if Farmer gets 4.5 mil or 6 mil. His job would be to provide leadership and infield depth and right handed hitting until the young guns are ready. Reds didnt trade Solano at the deadline for that same role. ITs not like having Farmer means the Reds cant get that good free agent lefty out of the bullpen that solidifies things on a NL central winning team. Farmer could also be traded at the deadline once it looks like a few young infielders have developed.

    Im with Tom on AAA being a proving ground. I cant see a scenario where Barrero should start the season with the big club. He needs a good spring training and a good April and may in AAA and if hes raking, bring him up and its his job. I dont have a problem with Farmer coming back as the SS until Barrero beats him out or EDLC is ready but it appears that Krall is not going to rush EDLC in 2023.

    India gave a strong interview where he didnt make excuses but that he didnt have the year he wanted and injuries contributed some and trying to do to much seeing Winker, Suarez, and his buddy castellanos gone was deflating(paraphrasing). I think he comes back in year 3 strong and committed to being a good player, including defensively. Steer is the other guy I would give 3b too if he shows strong in ST. Senzel can be a flexibility piece in CF/OF as depth but I would move him back to the infield as depth too. It’s clear he is filler in CF until Siani is ready or one of the prospects changes positions. He did hit the ball harder in the last 2 months of the year and could still resurrect his career as a 2b/3b/CF/LF super utility player. The ball was dead this year except for Aaron judge so there might be some bounce back next year.( cant get worse with .243 league wide batting average, lowest since 1968)

    • DataDumpster

      I couldn’t predict the Farmer situation but with your comments and further thought, the obvious appeared. Why does 1 or 1.5 million make a difference? They need Farmer period. With India out of position at 2B, Senzel nearly sure to get another chance in the infield, Barrero and Steer likely not ready for at least the first half, Moose still getting some opportunity to prove he still may be worth 10% of his contract, and Reynolds/Lopez et al. poor alternatives, where else are you going to go?

  38. Old-school

    Watching iglesias pitch in adrenaline situation is sickening .
    Reds gave him away

    castellini ownership group decision making in. 2020/21 is worst time in reds history. They literally quit.

    • Jim Walker

      Yes on 2021 quitting. But It is that $18m they turned around and dumped into Minor and Pham for 2022 after saving ~$27m on Barnhart, Miley, and Gray that really set my blood to boiling.

      That money could have paid for Winker and Suarez. It also would have bought a reliever and innings eater starter. Even then there still would have been enough left over to cover what they saved on Castillo and Mahle by trading them at the deadline versus holding them into the off-season if the team had been competitive for a playoff spot.

      So, it was worse than just quitting. It was wasting money to set themselves up to be sure and fail so they justify dumping Castillo and Mahle at the deadline.

      • Jim Walker

        “That money” above refers to the entire $27m saved by moving Barnhart, Miley and Gray. Sorry I was so spun up I did not make that clear.

      • CI3J

        These moves also drove me bonkers.

        Like if you want to cut costs, fine, cut costs. But when you get rid of fairly productive players only to turn around and give their money to worse players, it was just infuriating.

      • Jim Walker

        @CI3J>> On top of the money, they also burned a year of service time on Greene and tentatively on Lodolo, pending the official day count, when there were legitimate baseball issues/ reasons to start them at AAA and move them up sometime between Memorial Day to just after the All Star break, pending their progress in AAA.

        Even if the Reds “plan” works, just as it is coming to fruition, we are probably going to hear that at least one of the two, Greene or Lodolo, need to be traded because they cannot afford the arbitration driven salaries for both.

  39. Votto4life

    I received an e mail from the Reds asking if I would like to volunteer for Redsfest. Some nerve.

    • Jim Walker

      Maybe you should take the step forward. You might be able to pick up some juicy snippets or get a sniff of the undercurrent of how the rank and file employees feel about things 😉

    • Redgoggles

      Same. Maybe they’ll sign FA with the volunteer labor savings, lol. I told them I had other places to go.

      I am curious if Phil makes a showing. I’d go if they opened up a Q&A with him to the public as that could be entertaining.

      • Jim Walker

        My first thought was whether they were looking to replace all the paid gig workers with volunteers 😉