The Cincinnati Reds didn’t sign 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer after he elected free agency following the season. They did offer him a qualifying offer of $18,900,000 for the 2021 year, which was declined. With Bauer’s signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 3-years and $103,000,000 (Mark Feinsand of had the details on the deal first). In the first two years he’ll make $40,000,000 and $45,000,000 – making him the highest paid player in the league for each of those two seasons. He also has the option to opt out after the 1st and 2nd seasons of his deal. The total amount of his contract tops $50,000,000, which means the Reds pick up an extra draft pick in the 2021 draft.

Cincinnati will wind up with the 30th pick thanks to the Dodgers signing Trevor Bauer. They’ll couple that with the picks in the 1st round that they already had, the 17th overall pick and the 35th overall pick that they received as a competitive balance compensation pick.

In the 2020 draft, the 30th pick came with a draft pool value of $2,365,500. That addition will take the Reds 1st round picks alone to a value of roughly $8,000,000. With how the pool allotments work in the draft these days, having that extra money could be beneficial to Cincinnati in signing players that fall a little bit in the draft if they spread things out in a more creative manner.

37 Responses

  1. Chi Reds Fan

    2 years for $85MM makes the notion some Reds fans had about the Reds be able to sign him highly fantastical. Dodgers now have a payroll at 2X the average MLB payroll and 6X a handful of the bottom payroll dwellers. MLB payrolls as currently structured are a mess from a competitive standpoint (MLB needs a hard cap and a hard floor). NFL/NBA have figured out how to create balance, will MLB ever do so?

      • Doug Gray

        Doubt that changes anything. The players probably aren’t going to fight for that. What they need are the teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs to get so mad at basically paying their share of the revenue sharing to teams like the Rays and Pirates, that isn’t being spent on the on-field product and instead just being pocketed by those teams, to fight for some sort of new system that forces teams to actually spend money.

      • MBS

        The players don’t want a cap, but I bet they do want a floor. NY, LA, CHI don’t want increased revenue sharing but it would be beneficial to the league.

      • MK

        Don’t think the players want anything that would retard pay regardless where it is. They would not want to sour their chance of getting a big NY, Chi, LA payday.

      • MBS

        @Doug, That was a horse of a different color. MLB tried to disband the Expos after assuming ownership. After that failed, the MLB moved it to DC and eventually sold it to a new owner. There was an obvious exudes when several east cost teams moved to the West cost. Short of that there really isn’t a precedent of moving teams, because a new owner comes along. If I’m wrong correct me, but I don’t think that’s the case.

  2. Jim m

    So our Reds will never sniff a playoff series win nor a World Series appearance the rest of my lifetime. Baseball has got to make it so not a couple teams can gave 300 million dollar payrolls and the rest just become farm teams for the super rich. And to think back in 1977 MLB commissioner blocked Vida Blue from coming to the Reds as he didnt want our team to be more dominate than the from now on the Dodgers will only be allowed to sign free agents to mega deals and that so called luxury tax is just a small fine to keep going to the playoffs and world series.. some punishment eh? Mlb will soon turn off fans as the Reds and others like us will only ever win if EVERYTHING goes perfect one season.. just sucks.

    • Mike in Ottawa

      It has already happened. That and ESPN. I used to know who played for every team…Now I ONLY follow the Reds. ESPN game of the week, it the Red Sox, Yankee, Cubs and Dodgers game of the week it seems.

      I agree a high and low cap has to be implemented, I am tired of being a farm team for Big money teams. I think teams that draft or had the last contract for a FA should be able to offer more $$$ than not (similar to the NBA).

      • KyWilson1

        I see it more as a philosophical problem. TB has had a pretty good run of success with their limited resources, in possibly the hardest division in baseball. They are great at identifying talent, they trade their talent at its max value, and they are great a signing pieces that fit their needs. The Reds front office never sticks to a rebuild, they love to sign extend their talent past its peak value to them, and they have 0 clue about how to construct a roster.

  3. Jim m

    And tippy for a draft pick.. sadly the same ppl in charge that failed drafting while 4 bad seasons will be the sameones doing the draft

  4. Norwood Nate

    Hope it works out better than 2012 when they also had 3 first rounders, Travieso, Winker, Gelalich. Some bad luck there with injuries, but you’d still hope to hit on more than one of these picks.

  5. Jeff v

    If castellini can’t afford to field a team that can compete for a world series then he needs to sell to someone that can

    • jbonireland

      Blah, Blah, Blah….it will costs 2 billion to buy the Reds. Anyone with that money will probably want to move them out of Cincinnati. Then what you going to do. I know the Pirates and their $40 million payroll are looking for fans.

      • MBS

        When was the last time a MLB team was moved by a new owner? This doesn’t happen.

      • Doug Gray

        Montreal to Washington. Before that it would seem it was the Washington Senators in 1972.

      • MBS

        @Doug, That was a horse of a different color. MLB tried to disband the Expos after assuming ownership. After that failed, the MLB moved it to DC and eventually sold it to a new owner. There was an obvious exudes when several east cost teams moved to the West cost. Short of that there really isn’t a precedent of moving teams, because a new owner comes along. If I’m wrong correct me, but I don’t think that’s the case.

      • Doug Gray

        The point was simply agreeing that, yeah, teams don’t move in Major League Baseball. It’s happened once in the last 50 years.

  6. Alex Reds

    Best strategy seems to significantly going overslot (all in) and get one of the 3x high school shortstops that are in the top 10 overall 2021 draft prospects (Watson, Lawlar, Mayer) to drop to 17. The best college players will be taken and there’s no way to use the bonus pool to get them to drop to the Reds pick.

    This draft is not deep with highly rated talent. Frangraphs 45+ FV rated players end after ranked player #12. While the Reds pick #17. By ranked player #23, we are already at 40+ rated FV players. Two picks in the 30s adds a ton of $ to the bonus pool. Reds need to go after high school players with a high ceiling.

    • Alex Reds

      Hi Tom,

      College players don’t intentionally drop because they don’t have the leverage that high school players do.
      A high school player can decline to accept the bonus money of the pick, and go to college. Therefore, teams typically don’t pick high school players if they don’t have an agreement on the bonus as they are likely to not sign that player, and get a lower pick in the following year. They also can’t use that bonus money in the current year. Most picks are underslot bonus signings, so that savings can be applied to later round picks.
      A college player can also decline and not agree, but at the top to middle of the first round or even some rounds later, it would be stupid.
      A college player has to be a junior to be eligible. Going back to school for senior year is a huge risk. When a senior, they have to sign for a much lower amount of money since they don’t have leverage to go back to school again. A lot of seniors sign for less than $100k.

      • Tom

        Seems like you could pull a college player down a few picks with a strong promise of more money. But maybe that doesn’t happen. I just can’t recall. HS or college it depends on a strong promise and keeping your word.

    • Jim Delaney

      I think the Reds were short sighted on Bauer. They didnt give Reds fans a chance to show signing Bauer would make them a lot of money when he pitched in GAPB. After Bauer winning CY Young he would have increased ticket sales on games he starts exponentially. Huge attendance draw and concessions for 15 Bauer starts would have more than paid for his salary. Also, likely given Reds far better chance at contending with Bauer. Reds contend they sell more tix and make more money.
      Unfortunately the Castellini family believes spending more money on GABP changes for the FAN experience and adding post game fireworks, concerts, running the bases will bring fans to the park.. the Castellini’s dont understand thenReds fan base is fair weather in going to park. When they are winning its must be there. When bad they stay home and laugh listening on radio or watching on TV..

    • Michael E

      Trade all the picks for a good scouting department and draft coordinator. Then get better results the next few years when we bottom out again. ;^)

    • Joe Knuckles

      Delaney, few teams other the Dodgers were going to spend $34M a year on Trevor Bauer. It’s easy for you to spend his money. As usual, fans are pretty clueless. And to MFG, LOL. You’ve got the wrong sport. You don’t move up or down in the MLB draft. Stick to what little Bengals knowledge you know.

  7. James K

    Suppose Bauer makes 35 starts and makes 100 pitches per game. That’s 3500 pitches for 40,000,000 dollars. About eleven thousand dollars per pitch.

  8. donny

    i will predict as early as now that the reds will draft Joshua Baez at either 17 or 30 if he is still there at 30. Then because it is way early, things can change based on performance but as i see the rankings now and how the new reds scouts draft. He seems like the type of player they like, based on last years draft.

  9. Hoyce

    I know the competitive pick is tradable. But is the pick rec for Bauer a tradable pick?

    • Doug Gray

      I double checked, triple checked, quadruple checked and the internet seems to believe that the pick is not tradable, and that only the competitive balance pick is.

  10. Hoyce

    Doug. Do u think that Winkler +comp A pick would get adames in return? Would u do that if ur the reds or rays?

    • Doug Gray

      I’d definitely do it for the Fonz. I honestly have no idea how I feel about that kind of trade right now, though. I’d have to do a bit more of a deep dive than I’m willing to as I type this response up at 1:30am