The Reds appear to have their sights set on adding a frontline starter this offseason. Cincinnati was rumored to be in on free agent pitcher Sonny Gray, however, the 2023 AL Cy Young finalist signed a three-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals instead.
If the Reds were to swing a trade for Glasnow, how would that affect the club's payroll heading into the 2024 season? Would it preclude the Reds from making additional moves this winter?
What does Tyler Glasnow's contract look like?
After working his way back from Tommy John surgery, Tyler Glasnow and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a two-year contract extension. The two-year/$30.3-million deal paid Glasnow $5.3 million last season and will see the remaining $25 millon doled out in 2024.
Glasnow will then be a free agent next offseason and enter a crowded free agent field that could feature Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole, Zack Wheeler, and Robbie Ray. Three of those four pitchers are former Cy Young Award winners, and Wheeler is the ace of the Philadelphia Phillies rotation.
How would Tyler Glasnow's contract affect the Reds 2024 payroll?
Reds fans have been conditioned to think that Cincinnati never has any money to spend in free agency, nor do they have the type of cash necessary to take on a contract as big as Tyler Glasnow's. But that's just not accurate.
After shedding the $25 million owed to Joey Votto last season, along with the $22-million pay day they gave Mike Moustakas after designating the infielder for assignment, Cincinnati's books are relatively clear.
Outside of Hunter Greene and Luke Maile, the Reds have no guaranteed contracts on the 2024 payroll. According to Spotrac, the Reds projected payroll sits at $42 million.
That number takes into consideration the $6.3 million owed to Greene and Maile, the approximate $13 million owed to those Reds players who are entering arbitration, plus the $13 million for Cincinnati's pre-arbitration eligible players.
The remaining $12.8 million is split between the deferred salary of Ken Griffey Jr., and the trio of Votto, Curt Casali, and Wil Myers, all of whom had buyouts included in their contracts.
In terms of active payroll, if the Cincinnati Reds were to add Tyler Glasnow's contract to the books for next season, it would bring the team up to about $58 million.
Considering the Reds 2023 payroll was just less than $100 million, Cincinnati can certainly afford Glasnow and still add more pieces to the roster. Don't let the $25-million contract scare you.