Assessing the Reds' 2024 payroll following Jeimer Candelario's $45-million contract

Jeimer Candelario is now the highest-paid player on the Cincinnati Reds roster.
Chicago Cubs infielder Jeimer Candelario
Chicago Cubs infielder Jeimer Candelario / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds made Jeimer Candelario's contract official on Monday. The infielder signed a three-year/$45-million deal with a team-option for 2027.

At the moment, Candelario is the highest-paid player on the Reds roster. After parting ways with Joey Votto's $25-million salary from a year ago, and waving goodbye to Mike Moustakas' gargantuan payday, Cincinnati's payroll now sits at an estimated $86 million according to FanGraphs.

That includes the combined buyouts paid to Votto ($7-million), Moustakas ($4-million), Wil Myers ($1.5-million), and Curt Casali ($750,000). Subtract those figures, and the Reds' active payroll is at about $73 million.

Assessing the Reds' 2024 payroll following Jeimer Candelario's $45-million deal

Jeimer Candelario, Nick Martinez, and Emilio Pagán represent an $87-million spending spree on the part of the Cincinnati Reds front office. In addition to Candelario's $45-million contract, Cincinnati also inked Martinez to a $26-million deal and Pagán signed for $16 million.

The majority of the Reds active roster is pre-arbitration eligible, meaning that they'll receive the league minimum heading into 2024. This includes last year's rookies Matt McLain, Spencer Steer, and Elly De La Cruz, as well as TJ Friedl and Graham Ashcraft.

There is another group of players headlined by Jonathan India, Lucas Sims, and Tyler Stephenson who are up for arbitration. Each of those players will receive a raise heading into next season.

The only other players on the Cincinnati Reds roster who are signed to a guaranteed contract for the 2024 season are Luke Maile and Hunter Greene. Maile agreed to a one-year deal shortly after the 2023 season ended, and Greene signed a six-year contract extension last spring.

Reds fans shouldn't think that Cincinnati is done spending just yet. There have been several times throughout Bob Castellini's tenure as majority owner when the organization have spent over $100 million in payroll.

The Reds will still be looking to add to their starting rotation and perhaps the bullpen over the next few weeks, and don't be surprised if Cincinnati looks to add another outfielder as well.