The Reds are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:
Eligible For Free Agency (2)
- Scott Rolen – Rolen, now on the disabled list with a strained shoulder, could be replaced by Todd Frazier in 2012. Frazier is 11 years younger than Rolen and considerably more affordable.
- Miguel Cairo - Cairo, 38, contributed at three positions and posted a .742 OPS in 102 games last year. He's off to a slow start in 2012, and will probably be looking at a minor league deal next offseason.
Contract Options (2)
- Ryan Madson: $11MM mutual option with a $2.5MM buyout. As MLBTR's Dan Mennella recently explained, it's safe to expect the Reds to decline their side of this option. It'd be a lot of money for a player recovering from Tommy John surgery on a team with alternatives in the bullpen.
- Ryan Ludwick: $5MM mutual option with a $500K buyout. Ludwick hasn't done much at the plate this year; it's hard to imagine the Reds exercising their side of the option.
Arbitration Eligible (10)
- First time: Mat Latos, Drew Stubbs, Mike Leake, Chris Heisey, Logan Ondrusek, Alfredo Simon
- Second time: Homer Bailey, Wilson Valdez, Paul Janish
- Third time: Bill Bray
First-time eligible players Latos, Stubbs and Leake have their shortcomings, but they've got bulk performance on their side, and could each earn $2.5-4MM in 2013. Bailey will earn a raise from $2.43MM his second time through the arbitration process, giving the Reds at least four reasonably expensive players. Non-tender candidates such as Valdez will emerge, lessening the team's obligations.
2013 Payroll Obligation
The Reds have steadily raised payroll from $73MM to $87MM in recent seasons. They have $74MM in pre-existing commitments for 2013 plus a large arbitration class, so it seems likely next year's payroll will rise as well.