Payroll to stay close to '09 level

My Winter Meetings preview story will roll out on Wednesday morning but I have some information to pass along a little early.

I spoke with Reds GM Walt Jocketty this morning and here are the highlights:

* It appears the Reds will not be cutting payroll significantly for 2010 as previously speculated on some media outlets.

“I think it [the payroll] will be close to what it was last year,” Jocketty said.

Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean there won’t be some tough decisions coming. The Reds payroll was $73 million in 2009. They have already committed over $64 million to nine players for 2010. Does that mean some players could still be moved to meet payroll?

“I don’t want to talk about that,” Jocketty said. “I’m still working on it.”

* The Reds are still looking to strengthen their offense and according to Jocketty, possibly to add a fifth starter.

* In trade talks with other clubs, there has been a familiar stopping point.

“I’ve had some talks with clubs and it seems everyone wants our young players and I don’t want to deal those guys,” Jocketty said.

* There were no talks last week between the Reds and the agents for arbitration eligible outfielder Jonny Gomes. It was hoped that talks could continue during the meetings. Teams must tender contract offers by Dec. 12.

The Winter Meetings will be going on from Dec. 7-10 in Indianapolis.

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I wonder why we couldn’t trade or deal away Taveras and Lincoln to save some money? I have heard so many times that we will have to deal Harang, Arroyo, Cordero, or Phillips and that the pitchers contracts are so high that we cannot move them. Phillips to me is out of the question. We have to keep him.

I’m afraid it would be in our best interest to eat some payroll. Tavaras has some potential off the bench, until another team comes calling. But I have to believe that Mike Lincoln would be better served not on the roster. It would allow a young arm to fill his role. I just don’t see where he fits into the bullpen. I understand the veteran role that Hernandez could play…but we have Hanigan and other good gloves in the minors. Re-signing him was a mistake. His 3 million would have been more useful as paying off Lincoln and Taveras.

Good article Mark, I think the Reds fans are getting the point that payroll is going to balance out this year. I think from reading the other comments we’d all like to lose some of our dead weight and replace them with something (if really anything new) but isn’t so much going to happen. Keep us all in the loop on what happens in Indy, and if you need someone to tag a long and help carry a bag or something I only live a few blocks away!


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