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:
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.