September 5, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; As a member of the Indians, Choo makes a catch of a ball hit by Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Comerica Park. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Reds 5 at 5: Projections, Payroll, More


Looks like BRM is your new home for numbers today. Earlier, hope you caught Tyler’s 3 Dot Cafe. Actually, hope you catch every post here on BRM. You can. Get to that in at the very end of this post.

Today’s 5 at 5…

1. Payroll increased by arbitration

My first reaction was “Well, duh!” The typical reaction might be to cringe because we’re all (Reds fans, that is) conditioned about this “small market team” stuff. We’re not supposed to be able to afford nice things. While the Reds do occupy MLB’s smallest market, it shouldn’t get to the point where when ever we want nice things, we should shudder due to the expense of those. This is such a case.

Mat Latos, Homer Bailey and Shin-Soo Choo are projected to make about $18MM in total. Joey Votto, including a bonus, is set to make $19MM for 2013. There’s $37MM. Scary comparison here, so be ready.

The Houston Astros projected team payroll for the next two seasons (per Baseball Reference) is less than $37MM. The next two seasons separately, not total. And Houston is in the top half of baseball’s market size (according to Neilsen)…around 14th or 15th. (Yes, they’re ranked 10th nationally, but add in Toronto which is compared to Houston from a population standpoint and there are markets with more than one team.) The ‘Stros pay into the revenue sharing program.

Yes, the front office and a few of the Reds players are a little apart in regards to the salary numbers. Yes, I can foresee a case or two actually going to a hearing with Choo being one. (I mean, Choo wants $8MM. The Reds offered $6.75MM. Big disparity.) Yes, there is a chance the Reds could dish out $100MM (Yahoo! Sports says $107MM) this season. A chance.

The Reds have some pretty good players that are in this arbitration process. There were rumblings that Latos could “break the bank” and set a record for a pitcher in regards to how much he could receive in the process. Funny thing is, he and the team aren’t that far apart. Maybe this multi-year deal chatter has Walt and the Latos team a little more snuggly with each other. I don’t know.

2. ZiPS projections out on Fangraphs

In the past, ZiPS have been posted elsewhere, but I’m glad Fangraphs has ‘em this year. It’s part of my OCD because I simply like the look of that site. Nothing more. Here’s that page.

It should come as no surprise that Votto is projected to be the Reds best player (according to WAR by ZiPS) and Johnny Cueto to be the Reds best pitcher. A couple of other notes…

That last one gets me. There are enough questions (now) concerning the Reds defense and projections tell me that the Reds best defensive player (my opinion, of course) is getting his playing time cut? ZiPS is not the first to bear this either. Proof

3. Hal may still need your help

If you haven’t already heard, legendary Reds writer and Spink Award winner Hal McCoy sent out a “help wanted” ad over the weekend. It came with a cost…like Deadspin and Hardball Talk picking up on it. Needless to say, some of the comments are ignorant and purely stupid.

One tells Hal to open his wallet and pay for a service or move to Cincy in order to take a bus. Another commenter claimed McCoy was pathetic for doing this.  Seriously, don’t buy a vowel…buy a clue.

The “need-to-knows” include attending Reds home games with Hal in the press box (careful of cheering though), long days from about 1:30 PM to midnight and receive $0.55 a mile. Yes, you must endure Hal for the day, but you also get to see the majority of Reds home games.

That’s it. If anybody is interested, send an e-mail to Hal at [email protected]

4. So, you want to talk trades?

If so, the Reds aren’t the team to be following if that is your reason. According to Chris Bahr of The Sporting News (not sure if it’s the Chris Bahr I’m thinking of), it is “very unlikely” the Good Guys deal any of their starting arms.

The decision to move Aroldis Chapman from the closer role to the rotation gives the team six starters for five spots, and seemingly makes Mike Leake expendable. However, Chapman could fail to impress during Cactus League action or early in the regular season, resulting in a move back to the bullpen.

Of course, we can never say never, right?

5. Baseball lost a pair of Hall of Famers this past weekend.

I actually attended a game where Earl Weaver was the skipper for the Orioles. (I’m no spring chicken.) It was at Tiger Stadium. Don’t recall seeing any of the antics that have undoubtedly been continually reviewed over on YouTube. I think he went to the mound once the entire game (and if that’s incorrect, I’m sure my brother will notify me as he forgets nothing!).

Of course, the only two things that stand out from that game were not wanting mustard on my hot dog and thinking Boog Powell was a big dude. Nosebleed seats, to boot, and Powell still looked massive.

Jan 19, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; After learning of his passing fans begin a memorial at the Stan Musial statue at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO. (Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports)

Not as massive as the statue at Busch Stadium (I was there for Busch II, not it’s current state) placed in honor of Stan Musial. Somewhere, I believe there is still a Polaroid I snapped of that statue as the family was on a summer trip to St. Louis. Yes, we made St. Louis our destination.  It’s wasn’t as contentious back in 1976 for a family from Cincinnati to head to St. Louis to attend a game and root for the Reds.

I can’t think of too many things from my days as a youth that have such a lasting impression, but the Musial statue is one.  No question.

RIP Earl and Stan.

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