I am putting up some very detailed spreadsheets of the Reds' organization that will be handy to fans here to reference. I've been compiling data for this project for several weeks, and been building the spreadsheet. If a mod would care to sticky this, it could stay here for quick referencing.
First, a primer on transactions and personnel decisions to help understand the sheet, as well as what to look for when discussing personnel. Some of the discussion will belong in the minor league forum, but I didn't know where to place this.
If there's anything you feel should be included in this primer, let me know. I'll gladly amend.
When a player is drafted or signed from Latin America, typically they are signed to a Minor League Uniform Player's Contract (referred herein as UPC) that totals seven (7) years in length. According to terms of the contract, which is just a cookie-cutter template with room for additional terms to be written in, the contract spans six additional seasons after the initial season. Sometimes clubs sign a next-season contract where a draft pick or international signing won't begin competition until the following year, in order to keep from using one of their evaluation seasons prior to Rule 5 eligibility (more on that in a moment).
Basically, this initial contract covers seven separate full or partial minor league seasons. Any full seasons spent under a Major League UPC (or Major League contract) do not count toward fulfillment of the minor league seasons.
Players earn a specified amount within their contract based on the level they're likely to attain. These amounts are generally set by the commissioner's office, though they may vary slightly from organization to organization. The amounts go higher with each additional season or partial season spent at that level, and bonuses are added for time in rank.
Minor Leaguers are paid $25 for every day spent on the road (though their home clubhouse dues are usually around $10 for every day at home) and are paid semi-monthly on the 15th and 30th of every month a prorated portion of their specified monthly salary. They are technically paid by the clubs they are performing service for, though minor league salaries are actually paid by the Major League clubs themselves. These salaries usually are something like this:
Rookie: $1,150-$1,250 (1st season to 3rd season plus)
Low A: $1,300-$1,400
High A: $1,500-$1,600
As you can see, these amounts are not very lucrative. And they're only paid these amounts during the season, with income taxes taken out like the rest of us. So when push comes to shove, they're often making less than $10,000 a year. So as far as the draft and signing period is concerned, signing bonuses (paid out in installments over the first full year of the contract) are often all they have to rely on.
RULE 5 ELIGIBILITY
After a player begins his first pro contract, he has four seasons to be added to a Major League 40-man roster. If he is under 19 years old when signing, he has an additional 5th season. Under this rule, however, a season is defined as being active for 90 or more days in a season. So time spent in rookie ball for 60 days would not count toward an evaluation season. Because players are required to report within a designated period of time (24 hours) after signing, clubs cannot delay reporting in order to skirt this evaluation time. That is why they'll often send players initially to a season that ends sooner or will delay the effective date of the contract until the following year.
Once a player has become eligible for Rule 5 (which is named aptly and generically because it's Major League Rule No. 5 in the Major League Rules), he must be added to the 40-man roster (signing a Major League contract in the process) or risk being selected by a club. Teams take turns drafting in succession until everyone has passed. Teams are not required to make selections, however, so there are often only 10-20 such players selected in a given year.
For every year a player is not on the 40-man roster, he is subsequently eligible for the Rule 5 draft (after gaining initial eligibility). The Rule 5 draft also has AAA and AA phases (Phases 3 and 2) which are eligible to draft players reserved by clubs lower than each phase. For instance, the AAA phase is used for players only reserved by other clubs at the AA level or below. Phase 3 is open to Rule 5 eligible players not reserved at the Triple-A level. Phase 2 is open to Rule 5 players not reserved at the Triple-A or Double-A level.
If a player is picked in the Major League phase (to which a team cannot do unless it has an open spot on the 40-man roster), he is added to the roster and must be active for an entire season or offered back to the original club, or placed on waivers if the club declines. Anyone making a claim on waivers must be prepared to keep the player active the entire season. If a player is injured and spends less than 90 days active, he must continue to stay active until he's fulfilled the 90-day requirement.
MAJOR LEAGUE CONTRACTS
If/when a player is placed on the 40-man roster, he is signed to a Major League contract and his contract is purchased (a figurative term these days as it comes from the old days when a minor league player was performing independent service for an unrelated club, and the Major League team had to purchase the contract from the minor league club). The language is written as such that it does not nullify the original minor league contract, but it does supersede it for the duration of the Major League contract and while it's in full effect.
Except for the cases of high draft picks being added to the Major League roster, who often sign initial 4 or 5-year contracts, most players signing their first Major League UPC do so for one season. Clubs can do so because they own reservation rights to a player until such player has accrued 6 years of service.
Clubs have full discretion over the contracts to renew from year to year. By each December 12, clubs must tender players under reserve a new contract. Players have no say in the matter until after reaching Arbitration (3 years or Super 2 status, which is the top 17 percent of players with more than 2 but less than 3 years service, had at least 86 days in the preceding season--usually 2 years and 135 days is the point in which players are Super 2). Some players' agents (Scott Boras) will refuse to "agree" to the salary terms under renewal out of principal, though if they do so, the player will automatically have the salary renewed at his previous amount.
Players are paid at a rate not less than $400,000 while in the Major Leagues, paid in 12 semi-monthly installments over the season. They are paid prorated to the number of days active (or disabled) that bears to the number of days in the championship season (usually 183). A season of "service" is 172 days, as far as service time is concerned, which is simply every day spent on an active Major League roster--including call-ups if the transaction takes place before a game in which he is eligible to play. However, it is based on when a player reports. A player's UPC also typically designates a rate of pay based on service when in the minor leagues. This amount cannot be less than a prorated $30,000 daily for players under a first contract and $65,000 daily for players on a subsequent contract or having at least 1 day of ML service.
Players earn $85 per diem for all days traveling, as well as reimbursed travel expenses when their contracts are assigned. One day of service constitutes enrollment in the MLBPA Pension plan, with a year or more constituting the full benefits. Pension starts at roughly $1,000 a month after (early retirement) age of 40 or age of 65. It increases with each full year of service accrued. Players do have expensive union dues ($50 a day) while on the Major League roster and clubhouse dues (usually $25 a day) while at home. They pay income taxes based on their home state and also all cities they play in (though Florida and Texas are nice places to play given no state income tax). Clubhouse dues are paid to the clubhouse attendant, who is essentially his own business, collecting dues from players but in return, doing errands, laundry and tasks for the players while providing them daily with a pregame and postgame spread of delicious treats, a meal, etc.
Once a player is eligible for Arbitration, he may file for each season until reaching free agency. Clubs often will 'buy out' Arbitration by signing the player to a multi-year deal. If a player files, the player and club may negotiate a salary prior to deadline for submitting a proposed salary amount by each side. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, the proposals by each side are sent to the Arbitration panel which hears the case. Essentially, the panel's job is to decide which amount (player or club) is the most just. They cannot award an arbitrary amount... it's one or the other.
The sides are able to argue things like health, popularity, quality of service, etc. They are not able to use media reports, articles, etc. in the hearings. Additionally, the panel has a comparative list of salaries of all players, grouped by position and service, to help decide what proposal is fair. Essentially, once it gets to Arbitration, a UPC is considered signed, and the panel will fill in the amount on the contract once they reach a conclusion.
It becomes necessary, sometimes, to place a player in the minors. Sometimes it's because of development reasons, other times salary reasons, to clear roster space for another player or even help delay accrual of service. When a player is sent to another team by trade or demotion, this is called an assignment. It's essentially the assigning of a contract to another team. If it's a team in the same organization, it just means the contract is assigned to, and reserved under, that particular club.
An assignment does not change a player's contract. If a player is assigned, the receiving club takes over the contract and pays the player. If the club is a minor league club from a Major League club, the minor league club pays the going rate for its' level and the Major League club pays the differential between the contract and the going rate. Of course, the Major League club actually is responsible for all the salaries of its' affiliates, but this is merely a procedural move to keep consistent with the rare instances where an independent minor league club is involved.
A player under Major League UPC can be assigned by optional agreement in three separate seasons. An option is considered used if a player spends more than 20 days in a season in the minors while under Major League reserve, or, if a player is assigned outright during the year and re-added to the roster after at least 20 days. Players can be optioned back and forth as many times as the club wishes during the year while using just one option. However, a player under optional assignment to the minors cannot be recalled for at least 10 days unless because of an injury to a Major League player.
While all three optional assignments are not always used early in a player's career, players with 5 years or more service may refuse an optional assignment--even if they have options remaining--and elect to become a free agent.
Clubs wishing to assign a contract "outright" to a minor league club, thereby removing them from a Major League 40-man reserve roster, may do so without player's consent until the player has reached 3 years of service. Any subsequent outright assignment in a player's career, even short of 3 years of service, must be approved by the player or he otherwise may elect for free agency immediately or after the season--if the club does not re-sign the player to another Major League UPC prior to that time.
If a player's original Minor League UPC expires following the season, the player becomes a Minor League free agent even if the club is not required to re-add the player to the 40-man roster.
It should be noted that "Designated for Assignment" is not technically the same as an "Outright Assignment." Designating a player for assignment or DFA is placing a player on the Major League "Designated List." It's a temporary (10 days or more if the 10th day falls on a weekend) list to allow the club to decide whether to trade, assign or release a player. During this period, the player is removed from the active 25-man roster (or 40-man) and a club can spend up to 8 days attempting to trade the player or pass him through waivers for purpose of assigning his contract outright to the minors. If by the 8th day they are unsuccessful, they must place the player on waivers for purpose of his release, though they can elect to do that sooner if they desire.
Teams that want to make a trade and assign a player contract may do so at anytime by way of a "transfer agreement" which is just the formal contract between two clubs, designating terms of the trade. Cash may be included up to $3 million without commissioner approval. A draft pick cannot be traded, but an actual player can be traded once a year has passed since his signing. Clubs may designate "players to be named later" in the agreement, which can be named up to six months after the trade is completed. If players are not specified in the list or clubs cannot reach an agreement, cash is substituted instead.
After July 31, 4 PM Eastern, any player must pass through Major League waivers prior to being traded. This waiver system is revocable, meaning one time a player can have waivers requested, and if a claim is made within the 48-hour business period, can be pulled back by the club. If a player is claimed, they can allow the player to be awarded or attempt a trade with that club. If they are not claimed, a trade with any club can be executed--provided the players coming back also passed through waivers. Only players under a Major League UPC (i.e. on the 40-man roster) must pass through waivers during this time. It's also important to note any player traded on or after Sep. 1 is not eligible for that club's postseason, if applicable. Also, any "player to be named later" included during this time cannot be a player that was active at the time the transfer agreement is filed (which is an important distinction to make because this can be up to 15 days after the trade, so it doesn't necessarily preclude the player from having been active at the time of the trade).
There are essentially four waiver periods throughout the season: middle of February to 30 days after start of the season, May 1 (or 30 days after the season) to July 31, August 1 to end of the season and offseason through mid-February. Waivers are necessary for an optional assignment of someone with at least 3 years service, the outright assignment of a player contract, unconditional release and (as mentioned above) trades after July 31.
All waivers are reverse order of standings, with priority given to all the teams in the waiving club's league then all clubs in the other league. During the first period of a season, the previous year's standings are used in lieu of current standings.
In addition to the Major League (trade) waivers, optional waivers are also revocable once in each period. Since they are only necessary during the season, they're applicable during April, the May to July period and August/September period. This means a player that a club wishes to option to the minors must first pass through waivers. A club may revoke any claim and pull back the player, but may not do so again during that period with the right to revoke (i.e. if they try it again during that period they cannot stop a team from claiming the player).
Waivers for both outright assignments and release are irrevocable. If a claim (or claims) is made, the winning claim is awarded the player. In either case, the team takes on full responsibility of the existing contract. Once a player is placed on release waivers, he cannot be pulled back even if no claim is made. He is considered released at that time. The club must continue to pay him terms of the contract if it is either during the season or additional seasons remain. Players passing through outright waivers may then be assigned. Any waiver request for Outright or Option waivers is good for the rest of the period if granted.
REDS' ORGANIZATION ROSTER SPREADSHEET
I will be updating this very soon with the link to the sheet, hosted in Google Docs. It currently has all the Reds' 40-man roster with player vitals, service, contract information, 5-year projected payroll and I'm in the process of compiling all option/assignment/trade data to show which players have options remaining, the ability to block a trade, etc. It's going to be a very nifty resource, if I may say so.
Here is a preview with the entire 40-man roster included. I am working to add minor league players over the next several days.
CINCINNATI REDS ORGANIZATION CHART
Some notes on the chart (though I also included a legend for reference)
* The vitals are self-explanatory.
* Active status indicates the Major League player designation relative to his roster
* Level is simply the level the player is currently active (or disabled)
* Assignments indicates (*) for number of options that have been used, (A) for any outright assignments that have been used (NOTE: if a player has multiple outright assignments in his career, I only used one since these players have to give consent for subsequent assignments anyhow) and (T) if a player has a no-trade clause; (L) if he has a limited no-trade clause.
* PRO will indicate the professional seasons a player has accrued, defined by 90+ days active in a season, which is the standard set for determining Rule 5 eligibility
* Service is MLB service, defined by one day credited for each day active (172 constitutes a full season). So it goes years, period, then the number of additional days above and beyond full seasons accrued. This list currently is as of January 1, 2010 but I will be updating that in a week or so to reflect this season. Further, I will try to keep that updated next year periodically.
* UPC indicates Major League or Minor League contract (i.e. either 40-man or not).
* Exp. indicates the expiration of the contract. If a player contains an option year, the last option season is the expiration. I will be adding further contract details (i.e. years/dollars) for a future version of this doc.
* 2011 status indicates the Reds' reservation rights to the player, i.e. are they signed, contain some option in their contract, a free agent (listed with the type of free agent they are projected to be according to Elias rankings), unsigned (but under reserve for renewal), arbitration-eligible, reserved in the minors, Rule 5 eligible, etc.
* Current is simply the current salary
* 2011-2015 is the future salaries. If they are already set for multi-year contracts, I used those salaries. For players that are currently on the 40-man, I did a rough projection for renewal & arbitration seasons in future years. For renewals, I did their previous year's salary until accruing 2 years, then just doubled the salary for that year. For Arbitration-eligible projections, I used the Major League average arbitration figure of $2.75 million for their first arb year (or super-2 projection if they were in line to get to 2.140 years), then an increase of $250k for each additional arbitration year until free agency. While the Arb projections as a sum will be higher than they actually end up being, the guys that will never see arbitration will mostly balance out the guys that will see long-term deals (like Votto, Bruce, etc.). In the end, the MLB Arbitration average is a good placeholder for these projections. The color codes for salary grid are: Red, Arbitration projection; Purple, Renewal projection; Yellow, Player option; Blue, Club option and Green, Mutual option.
Future versions will have a list of free agents, all the minor league players in the system (as I said, coming very soon) and more.