The Reds need a closer and a left fielder in 2012, right? We'd (mostly) agree that these are the needs, I'm guessing. We wouldn't want the FO to sit on their hands again and not do something to improve the club.
So how much do they have left to spend?
Let's assume the Reds are operating with around $80 million in payroll for 2012. I plugged commitments (from Cot's and other sources) into a spreadsheet and came up with $68 mill. Before a few arbitration cases. See chart below.
This assumed a couple things:
1) BPhil's option will be picked up; though it's possible that the they'll rework that salary and break into a 3 year extenstion (a la Arroyo). This could be a place to "find" more money.
2) Cordero's option will be turned down; so I built in $1 mill for that pay-out.
3) I assume Ramon won't be back of offered arb and that Mes is up.
Those arbitration cases could quickly eat up that pay-flex. They are:
No world beaters in the mix, to be sure. But I have to think all of them will add up to a few million.
So... do the Reds have less than $8 million to solve left field and closer?
This, to me, screams out that a salary-shedding trade will be made. Possibly of the Votto magnitude.
It's going to be an interesting hot stove league.
Code:2012 salary c Hanigan 1.3 1b Votto 11.5 2b Phillips 12 ss Cozart 0.45 3b Rolen 8.17 rf Bruce 5.08 cf Stubbs 0.45 lf sp1 Cueto 5.4 sp2 Arroyo 12 sp3 Leake 0.45 sp4 Bailey Arb1 sp5 Chapman 4.71 closer bench Mes 0.45 Cairo 1 Sappelt 0.45 Heisey 0.45 Janish Arb1 bull Masset Arb3 Lecure 0.45 Ondrusek 0.45 Bray Arb2 Arrendondo Arb1 Burton Arb3 other Alonso 1.4 Coco buyout 1 contracts 10 67.16 options 1 1 arbs 6 ??? TOTAL 68.16