Originally Posted by M2
That's what they did with Jimmy Haynes.
Oregon, real simple here, $8.75M, can that buy you a pretty damn good starter or not?
It may not be exactly $8.75M. The Reds actually will have $13.1M coming off the books prior to next season. Haynes, Wilson and Lidle as you've stated. Additionally, Castro, Jones, Larkin, Mathews, Valentin, van Poppel, vander Wal and White salaries will come off the book.
However, these guys are all on the 25 man roster, so they have to be replaced at least at minimum level (11 players at 300K per or 3.3M total). That leaves 9.8M left. Casey and Graves will receive contractual raises that total together at 1.25M. Now there's 8.55M left. Finally, LaRue, Jimenez, Riedling, Dunn and Kearns are each arbitration eligible and will get decent raises. A conservative figure might be 3.5M total. Which leaves around 5M left, which is looking like it might be Wilson FA territory.
My assumption is that the salary budget remains constant. In order for the Reds to make some decent FA signings, I think the Reds must trade Graves, but will have to pay some of his salary, it's better to pay 2M to save 4M then to pay nothing and save nothing. Also, the Reds IMO will have to decline arbitration to LaRue and Riedling. They are both passing the point where their benefit to the team is outweighed by the cost to retain them. If the Reds FO don't do these two things or if they do not increase payroll, then 2005 already is starting look like it will be like 2004.