Originally Posted by lollipopcurve
I don't for a second believe that management made promises to Larkin that they turned around and broke. Say they said, "We'll be competitive." How does Larkin read that? "We'll spend $80 million and get at least 1 top FA pitcher?" If that's how he reads it, he's pretty out of touch with the reality of how the Reds have always operated. Fact is, you have no idea what Larkin was told.
Man, I wish there were good databases back to 1995. Though, lacking them, there's nothing to stop you from reinventing history I suppose.
And if the Reds said, "We'll be competitive," then I think Larkin could reasonably expect the team not to slash payroll and go through a rebuilding process. He especially could expect this if the team asked him to take less money so that it had the cash to assemble more talent around him so that it could keep a championship competitor on the field, which surely it did.
BTW, the Reds had one of the highest payrolls in baseball in the early and mid 90s. It would be out of touch with reality to insist the Reds have always operated like a pauper franchise in regards to major league payroll when during the Marge regime it spent top dollar to assemble a major league club. She short-shrift other areas to do it, but a healthy payroll (and winning baseball) had been a consistent feature of Cincinnati Reds baseball for Larkin's who career until he signed that deal after 1995.