MLB Trade Rumors, as the website does every offseason, published their projected list arbitration eligible players along with what it's assumed each player may receive through the arbitration process. The Cincinnati Reds would be insane to pay Amir Garrett the projected arbitration figure of $2.2M.
Last season, Garrett's first year of arbitration eligibility, the left-hander earned a one-year/$1.5M contract for his efforts from 2017-2020. During that timeframe, Garrett posted a 4.89 ERA with 238 punch outs through 208 innings of work.
Taking Garrett's rookie season, in which the southpaw made 14 starts, and he put up a 3.60 ERA with 175 strikeouts over 137.1 innings. His 125 ERA+ during those three seasons would suggest that the $1.5M salary AG took home last season was a bargain.
The Reds should not entertain bringing Amir Garrett back in 2022.
Unfortunately, 2021 was not Garrett's finest moment. In fact, David Bell quickly removed Garrett from high-leverage situations after it was painfully obvious that the left-hander didn't have what it took to close out games.
Garrett's ERA was 6.04 on the season and while his strikeout numbers were still solid (11.5 K/9), the Reds' reliever fell woefully short of expectations. Garrett's 79 ERA+ and -0.3 WAR per Baseball Reference should be enough for Cincinnati to cut ties with AG this winter.
Amir Garrett's projected salary of $2.2M is the same as Kyle Farmer's. Farmer, who helped the Reds save face from the failed "Eugenio Suárez can still play shortstop" experiment, is more than worth twice the $2.2M projection. Garrett, however, should be non-tendered within the next few weeks.
Teams across Major League Baseball will have until December 1st to decide whether or not to tender contracts to those players who are arbitration eligible and pre-arbitration eligible. That projected $2.2M could be used to help retain free agents like Nick Castellanos or Mychal Givens, or toward an extension for the likes of Tyler Mahle and Jesse Winker.
I've thought for months that the Cincinnati Reds and Amir Garrett would be headed for a divorce this offseason, but if the 29-year-old's actual number is anything close to that $2.2M projection, then the Redlegs should no longer count on AG.