Originally Posted by buckeyenut
Why is it so for folks (on this board and more importantly, in the front office) to understand the concept of sunk costs? It does not cost us 3.5M to keep Stanton over Bray. We are on the hook for that 3.5M regardless. All it costs us is the difference between Bray's major league deal and his minor league deal, 300K or so.
I think everybody gets that. The cost is really relinquishing the opportunity to move some of that contract off the books as opposed to just eating it. If Stanton could be moved while paying a portion of his salary, then the cost of disposing of him drops from $3.5 Million to something less which would mean that it isn't really a "sunk cost." I believe that is the decision that the front office is looking at. "Sunk costs" is an overly simplistic view of the situation with player contracts, though I suspect that in Stanton's case, no one wants him unless they can unload an even more expensive guy that they want rid of in exchange and it will probably come to the "sunk costs" decision. I'm just not sure the Reds are willing to concede that yet. Since Stanton is a breathing lefty, they may still find a taker.
Hal McCoy's article suggests that a Stanton for Wes Helms deal may be a valid option. Helm's makes $2.15 Million in 2008 and has a $750K buyout a the end. The Total cost for Helms would be $2.9 Million. Problem is, I'm not sure that there is room for Helms on the roster. The bench spots currently are Hopper, Freel, Hatte, Castro and Bako. I'm guessing if the Reds could free a spot with a Freel deal, it may lead to a couple other moves like that one.
MiLB.com has an article with the Dusty quote like this
"We have to make some decisions on some things in a lot of areas," Baker said. "It's not my money, but you hope that's not a determining factor. But it's part of baseball any time or any business. A team wants to stay on budget. I hate to take it down to the wire like this. It's unfair to the players and their families. But this is the situation we're in because of competition or because certain guys haven't really stepped it up ahead of the other guy."
That almost sounds like he is rooting for a couple of the NRI to make it an easy decision to be kept over some guys with contracts (Stanton, Castro, maybe Freel). Another thought is that Hairston or Cabrera is being considered over Hopper (.238/.267/.262 in spring) and the team is reluctant to sign them to a deal which would probably be in the $800K to $1 Million range.
I agree with Princeton that it sounds like this team is up against its budget ceiling and it is desperately trying to move a contract or two to create some room for a deal at the deadline. The reason that there are so many guys in camp this late is that they are being kept around to backfill for any player that is moved. It probably means that a deal will simply be to unload a guy for a minor leaguer and there is little hope for a boost to the bullpen out of it.