Originally Posted by mth123
I think extending them is going to be difficult. After the 2014 Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez and James Shields are all due to be free agents. Those guys will probably sign deals that will reset the market for everybody. Add the TV money that is going through the roof and I sure wouldn't jump the gun and sign early if I was a pitcher due for free agency around or soon after that time. I could see Clayton, Justin and Felix each in excess of $25 Million per year for at least 5 years. Shields may be around $20 Million for 3 or 4 years. I'd guess that would put Bailey and other mid-rotation guys in the $12 to $15 Million range for a multi year deal with Latos and Cueto in the $17 to $20 Million per year range. If those guys stay healthy and progress a little bit, they could go even higher IMO.
Yeah, you are definitely right.
I think the hope would be with a guy like Latos who still has so many years until he hits FA. He might be willing to give the Reds a slight discount on a year or two of his post arbitration years in exchange for the security of a long term deal. Arm injuries are so common for pitchers that locking in a guaranteed 60 or 70 million for 5 years (3 of which are his arb years) may be worth giving up the potential to make a little more in those last two years. He would still get a shot at a monster deal as a FA in his prime even after the 5 years. For him, he guarantees he never has to worry about money for the rest of his life. For the Reds, they get some cost certainty during the arb years and in exchange for taking the risk with all the guarantees money get to pay a bit below market.
I think the Reds may be able to afford to spend 30 million or so a year on their top two starters combined. Maybe even a little more. But there is very little chance they are going to be able to devote 60 or 70 million to the starting rotation. There absolutely must be some cheap cost controlled young starters in the rotation at all times.