The 2023 season feels like it ended just yesterday. It was actually a little over a week ago and the divisional round of the playoffs are still taking place. But the Cincinnati Reds aren’t playing and the club has some decisions to make soon on player options, but they’ll also need to start figuring out how much money they have budgeted for the 2024 season.
No one, as of right now, is owed more money than league minimum for the Cincinnati Reds in 2024 except for Hunter Greene. The club will have to likely pay buyouts on option years for Curt Casali and Joey Votto. One thing that will change the math is when the Reds tender contracts to players who will be arbitration eligible.
Cincinnati has 10 players who are arbitration eligible, which we discussed last week. Some of the players are easy choices to be tendered contracts for 2024, but some of them are tougher decisions. And now MLB Trade Rumors has released their arbitration projections – which, while not exact, tend to be pretty close in most cases – it shines a little more light onto things.
Here is what they project each of the 10 players would receive in the arbitration process for the 2024 season:
|Player||Arb Year||Projected $|
None of the ten players for the Reds are projected to get paid a large amount, with Jonathan India being the largest salary from the group at $3,700,000. That’s a large raise given that he made the league minimum last year – it’s about five times what he made in 2023 – but it’s still a drop in the bucket.
As noted above, Hunter Greene is the only player that is currently under contract for 2024 who makes more than the league minimum. If we add in his salary, along with all of those arbitration projections, and then fill out the rest of the roster with players making the league minimum, that would put the Reds payroll at just over $35,000,000. That number doesn’t include the buyouts expected for Joey Votto or Curt Casali, nor the money owed to Mike Moustakas – all of which is just over $12,000,000.
Given that the club “did way better than we thought we were going to do” in terms of bringing money in during the 2023 season according to Senior VP of Business Operations Karen Forgus told the Cincinnati Business Courier, the Reds should have a whole lot of money to spend to improve the team for 2024.
Further, Forgus said that “every dollar we make is invested back in the organization, with almost all of it going to baseball operations. All that additional money coming in makes everything bigger and you can do bigger things on the field and in player development. That’s always the priority.”
We’ll see how that goes – but the current payroll is nearly as bare minimum as it can get. And the club is publicly saying that not only did they make more money than they expected in 2023, but that it should allow them to do “bigger things on the field”.