Reds owner Bob Castellini in attendance at the game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. (Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)
Read a comment this morning that included a statement which the Reds ownership is unwilling to open the bank – or wallet, if you prefer – in order to win a World Series.
(I need to re-order my day so that reading comments doesn’t divert my attention from what I was originally going to write.)
Anyway, that statement about an unwillingness to spend is a false notion.
In comparing the Opening Day payrolls of 2012 to 2013 of all 30 MLB teams, the Reds payroll increased the 8th most (21.75%) and the 5th most ($19.1M) in terms of dollars. Cincinnati went from being the NL Central’s second lowest payroll to the second highest. That dollar amount sees only the Cardinals payroll as higher.
And even though the Pirates have the highest percentage increase among NLC rivals, they still own the division’s lowest overall payroll dollars.
But look at that first column: DMA. What’s DMA? It could be referred to as a region in which media within a major city of the area is seen in households. In short, media market as set by Neilsen Media. See that #35 by Cincy? Smallest DMA market in the US which houses a MLB team. That has a bearing as smaller markets may not be able to have the dollars from advertising or possibly other “commodities” such as a big dollar broadcasting rights deal.
That last one might be on the way for the Reds though. They are one of MLB’s most watched teams.
But the issue here shouldn’t be a falsely perceived notion that the Reds won’t spend. Nope. Think about this. Maybe the Reds have already put all their 2013 money on the table. Even baseball teams have a budget. Maybe there is no more payroll flexibility in order to acquire any talent that could potentially upgrade the roster.
Reds GM Walt Jocketty doesn’t think the roster needs to be upgraded.
"“There’s not too much we can do. We’ve got four guys on the disabled list and when we get them back, it strengthens our club even more,” Jocketty said. “I don’t want to trade prospects to improve the club.”"
Actually, it is six (Cueto, Marshall, Broxton, Hanigan, Ludwick and Masset), and I don’t think anyone would stomp up and down at the exclusion of Nick Masset from that statement. But he’s getting paid, so I got to add to my next statement. Of these six, that’s over $23M. That’s roughly 20% of the team’s current payroll.
And releasing Masset would solve nothing. He’s on the 60-day DL, not taking a spot on the 40-man roster. He’s still owed his money regardless.
Which is why I thought it was odd that the Reds were linked to Michael Young. The only two ways that transaction could occur is if the Phils eat all or most of his salary or the Reds sent a relatively high-priced player back to Philly. And the last one would be a rare instance.
Honestly, if the Reds do nothing, I wouldn’t be shocked one bit.