Non-tender deadline tonight

Monday night is one of those procedural days on the baseball off-season calendar. Sometimes, however, it can be a day that brings big news.

Teams have until 11:59 p.m. ET tonight to tender 2014 contracts to any of their unsigned players on the 40-man roster. It’s also known as the non-tender deadline. The players eligible for raises in arbitration usually come into focus the most because they will mean bigger hits to the payroll. Any player not tendered a contract immediately becomes a free agent eligible to sign with any team — including the one that non-tendered him.

I do not expect any of the Reds arbitration players to be non-tendered. Although, somebody will soon have to come off of the roster to make room for the signing of Manny Parra.

Here is the list again of the Reds arbitration eligibles:

RHP Homer Bailey (3rd year), LHP Aroldis Chapman (1st year) C Ryan Hanigan (3rd year) OF Chris Heisey (2nd year), RHP Mike Leake (2nd year), RHP Sam LeCure (1st year); OF Xavier Paul (1st year); RHP Alfredo Simon (2nd year).

Recently, the great web site crunched the numbers and did salary projections for all arbitration-eligible players. Here was their Reds breakdown:

•Homer Bailey – $9.3MM
•Mike Leake – $5.9MM
•Aroldis Chapman – $4.6MM
•Ryan Hanigan – $2.3MM
•Chris Heisey – $1.7MM
•Alfredo Simon – $1.6MM
•Xavier Paul – $1MM
•Sam LeCure – $1MM


It is clear to me that Jocketty is acquiring new players that provide plate contact and plate results off the bench. Nice to see us correct and obvious deficiency over the last few seasons.

Fay: Are Reds fans in for a December surprise?
By John Fay


Jocketty’s big moves the last two years have come in December and they’ve been trades. My guess is if the Reds make a big move this offseason, it will be a trade. I don’t think the budget allows for a significant free agent signing.

Last offseason, the Reds traded Drew Stubbs and Didi Gregorius for Shin-Soo Choo and Jason McDonald in a three-team deal on Dec. 11. Two years ago, the Reds traded Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal and Edinson Volquez to San Diego for Mat Latos on Dec. 17.

In both cases, payroll was a factor in the move. In the Choo trade, they got $3 million from the Indians to make Choo’s salary a wash with Stubbs. Latos made $550,000 in 2012. Volquez made $2.2 million.

If the Reds make a trade this year, I’m guessing it will either be payroll neutral or shed payroll, so they can be more active on the free agent market.

Schumaker and Parra will both make $2 million in 2014. According to Cot’s Contracts, the Reds have $83.35 million committed to 13 players for ’14. Add in big ticket arbitration-eligible players like Homer Bailey ($9 million or so) and Mike Leake (between $5 and $6 million) and the Reds are already approaching $100 million in payroll.

This year’s payroll of $106.8 million was a club record.

Payroll flexibility is one of the reasons the Reds would be willing to part with Brandon Phillips. Phillips is owed $52 million over the next four years. The Reds would definitely be weaker second base in ’14 if they move him.

But they’d be able to address other spots on the roster, like center field/lead off. That is not to say they’d be able to afford Choo.

The club could also look at moving Bailey. He’s a free agent after this year and efforts to sign him long-term have apparently not gotten far.

What the Reds will do in the end is impossible to say. Jocketty keeps things quiet. No one saw the Latos or the Choo trade coming.

So I’d expect a December surprise.

The Winter Meetings begin Dec. 9 in Orlando. That’s generally when things heat up on the trade front, but Jocketty doesn’t rush things. The talks on Latos and Choo began at the meetings but the deals weren’t wrapped up until a week or so after the meetings.

So maybe a mid- to late-December surprise is more likely.

Very good in this year’s payroll of $106.8 million was a club record Jocketty’s big moves the last two years have come in December.

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