Cincinnati Reds: Ranking the value of contracts signed to avoid arbitration

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Cincinnati Reds

PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 27: Michael Lorenzen #21 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a RBI single during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 27, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

On Friday, the Cincinnati Reds announced that all five arbitration eligible players had reached agreements with the club. Which one brings the most value?

The Cincinnati Reds reached one-year agreements with all five arbitration eligible players on Friday. The signings guarantee that Cincinnati will avoid dealing with the arbitration process for the second year in a row. It’s always difficult to assign value to players who’ve yet to take the field, but based on what we know, which deals could be the biggest bargains for the Reds in 2020?

Travis Jankowski, who was brought to Cincinnati earlier this offseason, agreed to a one-year/$1.05M contract prior to yesterday’s deadline for teams and players to exchange figures. The arbitration process can be a messy one, so it’s always advantageous for both parties to attempt to work out a deal without having to go through the exercise.

Last winter, the likes of Yasiel Puig, Tanner Roark, and Scooter Gennett were among those up for arbitration for the final time. Billy Hamilton was non-tendered last year, a method used to avoid entering the arbitration process with an eligible player. The same fate awaited José Peraza and Kevin Gausman this offseason.

This time, both Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani entered their final year of arbitration eligibility, meaning both starting pitchers will be a free agent following the 2020 season. Agreeing the one-year deals does not prohibit clubs from negotiating long-term extensions with players, but Bauer has been steadfast in his desire to not sign anything beyond a one-year deal.

So, which deals offered the Reds a bargain and which contracts may not live up to the expectations? Let’s give it our best guess as to which one-year agreements are the best and which ones carry a bit more risk.

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