MLB Trade Rumors has their projected arbitration figures out, and the Cincinnati Reds will have to spend big in order to retain some of their best players. Among those up for arbitration this offseason are left fielder Jesse Winker, shortstop Kyle Farmer, and starting pitchers Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle.
MLB Trade Rumors lists 10 Cincinnati players as up for arbitration, but cites centerfielder Nick Senzel among those eligible for arbitration as well. However, the former first-round pick is still pre-arbitration eligible and should be playing for the league minimum in 2022.
Which Reds players are up for arbitration this winter?
Taking Senzel out of the mix, the Reds are estimated to spend $31.9M on arbitration eligible players in 2022. The list, in addition the aforementioned quartet of Winker, Farmer, Castillo, and Mahle, Cincinnati also has Tyler Naquin, Luis Cessa, Amir Garrett, Jeff Hoffman, and Lucas Sims up for arbitration.
MLB Trade Rumors predicts Luis Castillo to be among the biggest earners, estimating that La Piedra will take home $7.6M next season. Jesse Winker is another who's projected to take home a nice pay day with an estimated 2022 salary of $6.8M. Both are entering their second year of arbitration eligibility and should prime candidates to receive a contract extension this winter.
Mahle is another extension candidate after the former fifth-round pick had a career-year in 2021. Like Castillo and Winker, Mahle is entering his second year of arbitration eligibility and is projected to take home $5.6M in 2022.
Farmer's estimated $2.2M is a nice bump for the former backstop. Farmer could be another player who may considered to be a candidate to receive an extension this offseason. Tyler Naquin ($3.6M) is the only other position player among those Reds eligible for arbitration. This will be Naquin's last time through the arbitration process, meaning he'll be a free agent next offseason.
The rest of the group eligible for arbitration are all relievers. Hoffman ($1.1M), Sims ($1.2M), Garrett ($2.2M), and Cessa ($1.6M) will be interesting names to watch. Both Hoffman and Garrett could be non-tendered this winter, while it's almost certain we'll see the Reds come to terms on contracts with Sims and Cessa.
The Cincinnati Reds shaved several million dollars off their payroll last offseason by not retaining Archie Bradley, Brian Goodwin, and Curt Casali. I could see the front office whittling down the estimated $31.9M by a few million dollars, but an overwhelming majority of those up for arbitration are likely to return in 2022. The Reds have until December 1st to make their decisions.