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Can The Reds Win With Their Payroll?

Quick answer – no.

There will be plenty of hand-wringing among baseball pundits about the contracts of Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon. Rendon just signed a 7 year, $245,000,000 deal with the Angels. And Strasburg signs with the Nationals for similar money (what’s $245 million in D.C. anyway?). Finally the hated Yankees pick up Cole for, I don’t know, a billion dollars, give or take. I can remember when guys had to sell cars in the off season (football players too).

Reds management completed the Winter Meetings, held this year in San Diego, and apparently didn’t read or learn from the quotes of previous Reds GM’s who led the team to vast stretches of losing. These quotes always aim to explain the Reds’ inability to compete financially for free agents or why they can’t make trades.  It all sounds very logical, until July when the Reds are 15 games out and the word salads you see below turn into paranoid, psychotic ramblings from the near criminally insane (see: Stepian, Ted).As to more player movement listen to Dick Williams/Nick Krall discuss what happened:

“Hey look, it happens. Sometimes you get the guy you want and sometimes you don’t.”  Feel free to rephrase that as “Sometimes you get the guy you want and sometimes another team pays him what your whole payroll is.” Or try this on for size :”If you can get the best player in baseball with no cost,  you would do anything right? That’s how you look at it. Some guys are harder to get than others. If you can get this and you only have to get this guy, who might be your top prospect, you have to have interest. Some guys are definitely harder to get than others.”

Man. That’s, uh, impressive. I can’t believe some reporter actually wrote that down as a quote. Anything else?

“(We) don’t operate with any untouchable players in trade talks. That could turn into their path to improve the offense and add pitching depth, depending on how the free agent market continues to take shape.”

I swear to God that was the exact quote. So can the Reds compete with their payroll?  Not for a championship. Maybe a wild card,  but only if club management can get the job done better than they can explain how they’re getting the job done.



  1. Herb

    January 18, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Rich I can see the day when the obvious solution becomes a sad reality. Namely, reduce the number of MLB clubs to about 24 total teams and one league with say 4 divisions. End the fan abuse of the teams with owners that won’t compete. Every player is a multi millionaire. All traditions are gone. Interest is equivalent to the “sport” of jai-alai which exists solely for wagering. I got to go get a drink. This is so depressing.

  2. Rais

    January 19, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    What happened to revenue sharing?

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