We now have reports of the Reds final tender decisions plus new signings for IF Mike Moustakas and OF Travis Jankowski. That means we can derive another baseline roster using players currently under team control. From estimates of their salaries, we can figure out a rough approximation of how much they have left to spend on new players. Let’s start by breaking down the players based on their contract tier:
Players Under Contract
These eight players have guaranteed contracts for 2020:
- Joey Votto – $25 million
- Mike Moustakas – $16 million
- Sonny Gray – $10.2 million
- Eugenio Suarez – $9.5 million
- Raisel Iglesias – $9 million
- Freddy Galvis – $5.5 million
- Tucker Barnhart – $3.9 million
- Travis Jankowski – $1.1 million
This category adds up to $80.2 million.
Update: Moustakas has a backloaded contract. He’ll earn $12 million in 2020. That means this category adds up to $76.2 million.
Players Headed to Arbitration
These five players qualify for arbitration, with projected salary:
- Trevor Bauer – $18 million
- Anthony DeSclafani – $4.5 million
- Michael Lorenzen – $3.5 million
- Curt Casali – $1.2 million
- Matt Bowman – $900,000
This category adds up to $28.1 million.
These players have no salary rights and will play for at or near league minimum:
- Nick Senzel
- Jesse Winker
- Aristides Aquino
- Luis Castillo
- Tyler Mahle
- Amir Garrett
- Robert Stephenson
- Phil Ervin
- Josh VanMeter
- Alex Blandino
- Cody Reed
- Lucas Sims
- Jose De Leon
That’s 13 players for roughly $7.4 million (league minimum salary is $563,000).
Baseline Roster By Position
- C – Barnhart, Casali
- IF – Votto, Moustakas, Galvis, Suarez
- OF – Winker, Senzel, Aquino
- Bench – Ervin, Jankowski, VanMeter, Blandino
- SP – Castillo, Gray, Bauer, DeSclafani, Mahle
- RP – Iglesias, Lorenzen, Garrett, Stephenson, Bowman, Reed, Sims, De Leon
For this baseline roster of 26 players, 13 pitchers and 13 position players, total payroll would be $115.7 million.
Update: With Moustakas making $12 million in 2020, the number is $111.7 million.
The Reds have made a few important payroll decisions already. They non-tendered Kevin Gausman and Jose Peraza who were projected to earn roughly $14 million between them. They picked up Freddy Galvis’ option and reportedly signed Mike Moustakas for a combined $21.5 million. (Update: $17.5 million)
To figure out how much the Reds have left to spend, we need an estimate for their payroll budget. Only the front office knows the number or range that ownership has given them. The Reds 2019 Opening Day payroll was approximately $127 million. That represented a $25 million increase over 2018 payroll and a $37 million increase over 2016.
Dick Williams has indicated the increase will continue. If the payroll budget is between $135-140 million (and I think this is conservative) that means the Reds still have $20-$25 million left to spend to upgrade.
Update: The Reds still have $24-29 million to spend.
Looking at that baseline roster, where would you spend the extra money?