If the Reds are really slashing payroll this winter, $3MM on Ramon Hernandez seems an unnecessary luxury. Talking to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, Reds GM Walt Jocketty explained that his team isn't necessarily slashing payroll:
"All of that stuff was speculation by a number of different writers. They see that our attendance is down and so that must mean our payroll will go down. We were grouped in with clubs that are reducing payroll but we're not in that position and hopefully won't be."
Still, even maintaining a $73MM payroll won't be easy. Counting Hernandez, the Reds already appear to be past $75MM in commitments. The true test will be if Bronson Arroyo or Aaron Harang is dealt – will the players coming back be helpful or will it mostly be salary relief?