Where Did the Dollars Go?, Part 2: Cincinnati Reds Payroll


A couple of days ago, we looked back at the payroll dollars, average salary, and percentage of the overall payroll for the position players. We also “established” which players were of good value and those that weren’t encompassing the 2014 season. This post will take the pitchers into consideration.

In the table below, you will find the salaries of those pitchers that were on the Reds 2014 Opening Day payroll. Some names weren’t on the roster all that long, but a few points can be made in looking at these.

[table id=33 /]

Overall, the pitching staff represented roughly 54% of the total Opening Day payroll. There are 16 players in the table above whose salaries contributed to the total for pitchers. As a comparison, position players accounted for the other 46% with also 16 players falling on the Reds’ ledger at the start of the 2014 season.

But what got a little interesting, or may be not so interesting to a few, was the average salary for the four different “areas” of the team.

Starting 8: $5.47M
Bench: $1.09M
Starting pitchers: $5.69M
Bullpen: $2.29M

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  • To me, I wasn’t surprised or shocked to see that the average salaries for starting pitchers was higher than those of the position players. We’ve seen over the past few years, and more in particular the last two offseasons, that teams appear to value starting pitching a little more than that of position players. Of course, the recent signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez certainly made you lean the other direction.

    But think what the Minnesota Twins doled out for Ricky Nolasco (4 years, $49M). Heading into 2014, Nolasco owned a record of 89-75, which we can get into the value of wins some other time, but he was 14 games over .500. But his ERA was 4.37, had a WHIP of 1.288, ERA+ of 94, and FIP of 3.76. Do you think he was worth $12M+ per season? Did anyone? I know some felt it was a value signing.

    And the Reds have a few players, but the big news prior to 2014 was the deal provided to Homer Bailey. Did he live up to his $9M salary? According to Fangraphs’ value, he did not.

    Back to our beloved Reds. So what of the value of these pitchers? Among the top three, three may be a slight surprise.

    Best value

    1. Johnny Cueto: FG value = $22.8M
    2. Aroldis Chapman: FG value = $14.7M
    3. Mike Leake: FG value = $10.2M

    Worst value

    1. David Holmberg: FG value = ($4.9M)
    2. J.J. Hoover: FG value = ($3.2M)
    3. Tony Cingrani: FG value = ($1.8M)

    If you did not read the post on position players, you might be wondering where the “FG value” comes from. I briefly mentioned it above, but you can find those for every team member if you go to the Reds team page on Fangraphs. Now, I do have a question…

    Did you honestly suspect Mike Leake would be the third best pitching value?