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Thread: Fay on the Payroll

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Fay on the Payroll

    On the payroll

    The Reds don't tell you what their player payroll will be. At least, they haven't since the year they moved into Great American Ball Park. They upped it from $45 million to about $60 million that year.

    I've stopped asking. But I keep guessing. My guess is they'll be around $75 million for 2008. When you take Eric Milton's $8.5 million off the books, they would seem to have a lot of money to play with going into the free agency season. Not so.

    Consider: The club owes its 13 players under contract for next year $59.72 million – Adam Dunn ($13 million), Ken Griffey Jr. ($12.5 million), Aaron Harang ($6.75 million), Bronson Arroyo ($6.5 million), Alex Gonzalez ($4.62 million), Ryan Freel ($3 million), Mike Stanton ($3 million), David Weathers ($2.75 million), David Ross ($2.5 million), Scott Hatteberg ($1.85 million), Javier Valentin ($1.53 million) Juan Castro ($975,000) and Todd Coffey $925,000).

    Three players – Brandon Phillips, Matt Belisle and Jorge Cantu – are eligible for arbitration. They’re going to push the payroll to $65 million or more.

    The rest of the roster will be made up of guys making around the big league minimum of $380,000. But that will push the payroll to close to last year’s level of $68.9 million.

    So I wouldn't expect the Reds to be able to bid for any top-tier free agents -- unless my guess is wrong and the payroll going to be considerably more than $75 million.
    It's funny that over $10,000,000 goes to guys that the Reds are counting on very little from in 2008. Freel, Stanton, Ross, Castro, and Coffey gave the Reds next to nothing in production last season, yet heading into next year they are among the highest paid players.

    When you consider the fact Griffey makes $12.5 mil., you have to consider trading him.

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    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    This is one of those facts that clubs sweep under the rug year in and year out.

    "Oh, we're adding to the payroll next year."

    Fans get excited.

    Then the fact is discovered that their 'addition' is eaten up in arbitration and scheduled raises. Suddenly that extra 8-10 million everyone thought was coming is more like 2 and that buys you the ability to keep Scott Hatteberg.

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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    It's funny that over $10,000,000 goes to guys that the Reds are counting on very little from in 2008. Freel, Stanton, Ross, Castro, and Coffey gave the Reds next to nothing in production last season, yet heading into next year they are among the highest paid players.

    When you consider the fact Griffey makes $12.5 mil., you have to consider trading him.
    To be fair, I really think Ross' money is reasonable and Coffey's salary (for what he was when he was signed to that contract) was reasonable too. Freel might be a little overpriced, but again, his contract was signed before Hamilton or the emergence of Hopper, so I don't have a big problem with that either. However, Stanton and Castro I will not defend. And when you add up their salaries and tack those on to the speculated 6 or so million the Reds have to play with (according to Fay), now all of a sudden you can probably afford to add a decent pitcher or at least a few good bullpen arms.

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    The good news though, no Silva
    Go Gators!

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    Quote Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1 View Post
    To be fair, I really think Ross' money is reasonable and Coffey's salary (for what he was when he was signed to that contract) was reasonable too. Freel might be a little overpriced, but again, his contract was signed before Hamilton or the emergence of Hopper, so I don't have a big problem with that either. However, Stanton and Castro I will not defend. And when you add up their salaries and tack those on to the speculated 6 or so million the Reds have to play with (according to Fay), now all of a sudden you can probably afford to add a decent pitcher or at least a few good bullpen arms.
    If I remember correctly both the Freel and Coffey signings came when they both were struggling mightly. Also, Hamilton had already emerged because when Freel signed his contract he was quoting as saying he wouldn't mind going to the bench to make room for Hamilton.

    The Reds are paying $3 million for their fourth best bench player (Hatteberg, Keppinger, Hopper).

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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    If I remember correctly both the Freel and Coffey signings came when they both were struggling mightly. Also, Hamilton had already emerged because when Freel signed his contract he was quoting as saying he wouldn't mind going to the bench to make room for Hamilton.

    The Reds are paying $3 million for their fourth best bench player (Hatteberg, Keppinger, Hopper).
    You are correct, sir. Coffey got his deal on April 27th and his April ERA was 6.57 and opponents were batting .347 against him.
    Freel's extension was a couple of weeks earlier than that when he was batting a robust .262. What a disaster.

    Before we give up 30+ HR's and 100 RBI's, let's try to get rid of Stanton, Freel, Coffey, Hatteberg, and Castro--all but Hatte virtually worthless and save $9.75 million.

    Griffey produces runs. All Stanton and Coffey did was give up runs--in bunches and Castro doesn't belong on a major league club anymore. Freel gets hurt too much to pay $3 million for the 25 runs he drives in and his mistakes on the basepaths. Why don't we get rid of the dead weight before we trade a guy who makes a difference??

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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    The argument about fringe guys like Castro and Stanton is really not very compelling. Every team has a few million tied up in guys who haven't panned out. No GM makes perfect signings. If the Reds' payroll is tight it's because they can't afford to field a high caliber major league team except occasionally when things line up perfectly.

    The argument that the Reds should get rid of all the backup players to save $9.75 million is also not very compelling. First, these guys are signed so it's hard to get rid of them without cost. Also the team has to have backup players and they do cost money, unless they are all minimum salary guys and rookies, which usually results in a very bad team.

    The bottom line is that it's hard to field a good team on a below $70 million payroll. You can do it once in awhile when the stars are aligned, but overall it's very tough. So you need to allocate resources, most of which should go to pitching. And, yes, the Dunn and Griffey salaries (combined) are a luxury on a team like this. One high priced outfielder would seem to be enough.

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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The argument about fringe guys like Castro and Stanton is really not very compelling. Every team has a few million tied up in guys who haven't panned out. No GM makes perfect signings. If the Reds' payroll is tight it's because they can't afford to field a high caliber major league team except occasionally when things line up perfectly.

    The argument that the Reds should get rid of all the backup players to save $9.75 million is also not very compelling. First, these guys are signed so it's hard to get rid of them without cost. Also the team has to have backup players and they do cost money, unless they are all minimum salary guys and rookies, which usually results in a very bad team.

    The bottom line is that it's hard to field a good team on a below $70 million payroll. You can do it once in awhile when the stars are aligned, but overall it's very tough. So you need to allocate resources, most of which should go to pitching. And, yes, the Dunn and Griffey salaries (combined) are a luxury on a team like this. One high priced outfielder would seem to be enough.
    My tongue was pretty much glued to my cheek on that one, but I think you could eat all those salaries next year, never miss the players (and pay 4 AAA players the minimum to replace them) and win just as many games. Delete Griffey and Dunn from this team and your pitching had better improve by leaps and bounds to do the same thing.

    For all the good things Wayne has done (I won't list them), his multi-year signings of Stanton. Cromier, Coffey, Freel, and Castro almost negate everything he's done, IMHO.

    But, then again, everything is beautiful and we're going to win the World Series. Beleive it!

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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    My tongue was pretty much glued to my cheek on that one, but I think you could eat all those salaries next year, never miss the players (and pay 4 AAA players the minimum to replace them) and win just as many games. Delete Griffey and Dunn from this team and your pitching had better improve by leaps and bounds to do the same thing.

    For all the good things Wayne has done (I won't list them), his multi-year signings of Stanton. Cromier, Coffey, Freel, and Castro almost negate everything he's done, IMHO.

    But, then again, everything is beautiful and we're going to win the World Series. Beleive it!
    According to Fay the Reds are paying Dunn and Griffey a total of $25.5 million next year. By comparison, they are paying Harang and Arroyo a total of $13.25 million. You tell me where too much money is allocated.

    If you have a $65 million payroll and $25.5 is going to two outfielders, I think the payroll problem is clear. It's not Juan Castro's $975,000.

    And the $25.5 million is going to a position where the Reds have inexpensive, excellent replacements about ready.

    I'm sure the Reds feel their hands are tied right now but before too long the outfield will be quite a bit cheaper.

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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    According to Fay the Reds are paying Dunn and Griffey a total of $25.5 million next year. By comparison, they are paying Harang and Arroyo a total of $13.25 million. You tell me where too much money is allocated.

    If you have a $65 million payroll and $25.5 is going to two outfielders, I think the payroll problem is clear. It's not Juan Castro's $975,000.

    And the $25.5 million is going to a position where the Reds have inexpensive, excellent replacements about ready.
    My only question is this. Regardless of how much money they make, the replacements you talks about...will they drive in 200 runs between them. And if we don't improve in the pitching department, how are we going to replace those runs? And say we replace that 25.5 million with, say $760K leaving us approximately $23.5 million to spend, who is out there that would come here and make a difference?

    Granted, that's too much money on this team, but I contend that stupid mistakes in granting unrealistic contracts to has-beens and never-was's is just as big of a problem. I repeat what I said earlier. At least Dunn and Griffey produce runs--what they are supposed to do. What in wide, wide, world of sports did Stanton, Freel, Coffey, and Castro do for us last year for $9.75 million?

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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    Of course, it would be better if Krivsky made some better calls on signing middle relievers and bench players. And it would be best to shed some of those salaries.

    But for years now, from a financial viewpoint, this team has been built around powerful outfielders. At a $65 million overall payroll level, those two salaries will be about 40 percent of the entire team's next year. That's a big percentage, particularly when the pitching is so terrible and the defense so poor.

    The team needs to change this structure and have its money concentrated more in pitching, leaving enough to field good position players and perhaps one big position salary. And with Bruce and Hamilton up and coming, having two big ticket corner outfield salaries is certainly open to question.

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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    If I remember correctly both the Freel and Coffey signings came when they both were struggling mightly. Also, Hamilton had already emerged because when Freel signed his contract he was quoting as saying he wouldn't mind going to the bench to make room for Hamilton.

    The Reds are paying $3 million for their fourth best bench player (Hatteberg, Keppinger, Hopper).
    I don't really think it's fair to say that Hamilton had "emerged" by that point. He was certainly off to a good start, but nobody knew if that was going to be a mirage or not (and even now his ability to remain healthy is questionable). Further, given Freel's diversity to play so many positions (and the fact that Griffey has had some sort of injury nearly every season he has been with the Reds), I think this was pretty reasonable money for Freel's abilities. Also, with Coffey, he had a pretty good season last year. He had a dynamite first half and so the thinking was likely that he would return to similar form. His contract honestly isn't all that expensive anyhow (though that certainly doesn't mean he hasn't been a disappointment).

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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Of course, it would be better if Krivsky made some better calls on signing middle relievers and bench players. And it would be best to shed some of those salaries.

    But for years now, from a financial viewpoint, this team has been built around powerful outfielders. At a $65 million overall payroll level, those two salaries will be about 40 percent of the entire team's next year. That's a big percentage, particularly when the pitching is so terrible and the defense so poor.

    The team needs to change this structure and have its money concentrated more in pitching, leaving enough to field good position players and perhaps one big position salary. And with Bruce and Hamilton up and coming, having two big ticket corner outfield salaries is certainly open to question.
    Of course, KC, I agree with what you've said. The problem has been the talent that is brought in if you exclude Phillips, Arroyo, and Hamilton. That is the problem, but I keep hearing "win now" from the ownership. In order to do that, you have to keep some of the expensive players and get even more. For some reason, I don't think we can do that. We have to have a dramatic increase in payroll or rebuild. To tell you the truth, i'd rather rebuild, but that doesn't seem to be the direction we're taking.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The argument about fringe guys like Castro and Stanton is really not very compelling. Every team has a few million tied up in guys who haven't panned out. No GM makes perfect signings. If the Reds' payroll is tight it's because they can't afford to field a high caliber major league team except occasionally when things line up perfectly.

    The argument that the Reds should get rid of all the backup players to save $9.75 million is also not very compelling. First, these guys are signed so it's hard to get rid of them without cost. Also the team has to have backup players and they do cost money, unless they are all minimum salary guys and rookies, which usually results in a very bad team.

    The bottom line is that it's hard to field a good team on a below $70 million payroll. You can do it once in awhile when the stars are aligned, but overall it's very tough. So you need to allocate resources, most of which should go to pitching. And, yes, the Dunn and Griffey salaries (combined) are a luxury on a team like this. One high priced outfielder would seem to be enough.
    I agree KC. Only Stanton and Castro were obviously bad deals at the time they were signed. A lot of dead wood has gone off the payroll (Milton, Cormier, Conine, Larue, etc) and that has allowed the team to finance the raises of Harang, Arroyo, Dunn etc. There really isn't room to complain much about the salaries of the players on the team and now its time to address the make-up of the team to free salary and add to the pitching mix. I think WVRedsFan is corrrect about trying to dump Stanton, and Freel and Hatte should be considered trade bait or should take on bigger roles so other players can be traded (Hamilton? Votto?) for an impact arm, but even if they are all dealt the team needs to consider moving Griffey.

    I, for one, believe that Hamilton and Bruce will produce at near Griffey levels and the defensive improvement with him gone will be enormous. IMO the team would be better with Griffey gone and Hamilton and Bruce manning RF and CF respectively regardless of anything else. Add that in 2009, Harang and Arroyo get even more costly and Griffey's salary will go toward that anyway and it really would help to move Griffey and Freel now before the $4 Million buyout for Griffey and the $4 Million Salary for Freel cause the 09 payroll to be an issue. If Griffey is retained, letting him walk next year, the net savings of $8.5 Million won't even finance the raises scheduled for Harang and Arroyo in 2009 let alone the salary of the theoretical new pitcher that we all want to obtain. I think the team could probably finance a new pitcher buy dumping some combination of Stanton, Hatte and Freel in 2008, but they probably couldn't keep him for 2009 if Griffey's buyout and Freel's salary are still around unless the team lets Dunn walk too. I think the team needs to keep Dunn.

    One thing to consider is that maybe Fay's assumed $75 Million payroll is low. Its possible that signing Dusty for $4 Million per year is an indication that the payroll could go higher and that would allow for a couple luxuries like Freel and Hatte on the bench. Even so, I'd still move Griffey if I could. Its time for the Jay Bruce era.
    Last edited by mth123; 11-11-2007 at 06:02 AM.
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    Re: Fay on the Payroll

    As much as I think the team should be reconfigured I don't think it is likely this off-season. Dunn is a keeper right now, whose option was exercised and has a no-trade. With 600 coming and 10-5 rights, I just don't think moving Griffey is likely.

    So not much payroll freed up, I'd expect any acquired free agents to be relievers. Any starting pitcher is likely to be a trade and the guy acquired somebody who, for whatever reason, doesn't currently earn big bucks.


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