I outlined this in another thread and asked several questions that went unanswered, so perhaps it needs a fresh look and a compelling title.
By my calculations, the 2008 Reds will be assembled almost exactly like the 2007 Reds if we pick up Dunn's option. And for that, I only think it's reasonable to expect similar results.
I come up with $43.1 million in guaranteed contracts for 2008, accounting for 11 roster spots. If we pick up Dunn and Valentin's options, that's another $14.3.
That's $57.4 for 13 spots. Plus whatever Phillips will get in arbitration. And Cantu and Belisle are arb eligible too, but I could guess pretty low for them I think.
Even if we assign league min to the other 9 spots, that's another $3.51, bringing us to a grand total OVER $60 million before arbitration cases. Could Phillips get $3-4 mill? First year arbitration, I don't know. Can someone make an educated guess here?
Picking up Dunn's option could bring the payroll up to $63-64 million. This year's payroll was just under $70.
Suddenly, we don't have much to get that 4th starter and overhaul the bullpen. Could we expect a bump in payroll? Yea, maybe. But to what? $75?
I have long said on here that, while I'm not a Dunn-hater, I do advocate his trade for the payroll flexibility.
I think we could find a journeyman starter/innings eater for a decent price. But the bullpen help I think begins and ends with a closer. A real, legit, costly closer. Puts Weathers in the 8th. Slots the younger guys in less pressure/more specialized roles where they're set up to succeed.
Yes. Dunn produces. He's a good ball player. We take a step back without him. But I argue that we need his salary to address bigger concerns. We'll score less, but give up less runs in the bullpen.
Which I think equates to more wins.