2011 Contract Issues: Cincinnati Reds

The Reds face a slew of contractual options after the season:

  • Aaron Harang has a $12.75MM club option with a $2MM buyout.  The option price increases by $250K if Harang reaches 210 innings.  Plus, both the option price and buyout increase if he's traded.  If Harang stays with the Reds through the season, they'll decline.
  • Bronson Arroyo has an $11MM club option with a $2MM buyout.  The option can increase to $13MM based on innings pitched.  I envision the Reds declining this as well, giving them flexibility to sign a veteran replacement.
  • Shortstop Orlando Cabrera has a $4MM mutual option, with a buyout that can be worth either $0.5MM or $1MM.  It'll probably be the latter, assuming the player exercises and the club declines.
  • Catcher Ramon Hernandez has a $3.25MM option that vests with 120 games.  Assuming Ryan Hanigan stays healthy, this won't vest.
  • Outfielder Jonny Gomes has a $1.75MM club option with a buyout ranging from $50K to $200K based on plate appearances.

The Reds have three other free agents in Arthur Rhodes, Mike Lincoln, and Miguel Cairo.  The trio earns $5MM this year.  All told the Reds will clear just under $30MM if all of these players are allowed to leave, accounting for buyouts.

The Reds have $4.76MM in increases to players under contract, most of it going to Brandon Phillips.  They'll also owe first-time arbitration raises to Joey Votto, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Micah Owings, and Bill BrayJared Burton and Laynce Nix will be in the second-time class.  It'll cost over $10MM extra to retain the key players, with Votto getting the biggest bump.

Holding payroll steady and allowing all free agents to leave, the Reds should have over $10MM to work with.  They'll have a lot of holes to fill.  If the Reds are out of the race in a few months, saving $5-10MM in salary dumps would go a long way for 2011.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.

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