The news broke last night that the Reds are looking to shed payroll. Well by "news" I mean "assertions" and by "are" I mean "might," but hey.
This is your reminder that the Reds have $9M tied up to Ludwick, Hannahan, and Schumaker for 2015 in contracts that were bad from the moment they were signed and which will, best-case scenario, equal ~300 PAs of replacement-level production. The Reds have another $10M in the hands of Parra and Marshall, who are at least somewhat more defensible but will combine for ~60IP of ~3.00 ERA, again, best-case. So, that's a bummer.
If the Reds do decide to shed another approximately $17M, that means that two of Latos, Cueto, Leake, and Chapman are going to be gone. And honestly, if the Reds are losing two of those for league-minimum players/prospects, they have a slim chance to compete in 2015 in an NL Central in which every other team has gotten better this offseason (well, depending on how you feel about a Lind-for-Estrada deal).
I mentioned earlier this winter how I'd prefer the Reds to go all-in for 2015 because there's no guarantee 2016 will be rosier. But if there's no way to add without subtraction due to payroll, by all counts, blow the dang thing up rather than tread water. It's looking incredibly slim that the Reds will be able to bring on players the caliber of Heyward and Walden that the Cards got. "Why bother?" ought to be answered in a way more satisfactory than "because we must imagine Sisyphus to be happy" by Walt Jocketty. If the Reds can push the window to 2016/17 ("Jay Bruce window" than they by all means should. That beats 80-84 wins the next couple of years.
There's really no way to transition to less-Reds-focused, general "other news" besides the divider. But some cool folks are behind Cold Takes, a repository of Timeless and Untimely Baseball Writing. It seems very much up our alley, so check it out.
A friend of a friend, Rich Garr, makes baseball-themed art. That includes this awesome collage of Jim Thorpe:
He has a show at Redtree Galley in Cincinnati, and if you're looking for a date night it may be worth checking out. I mean, it beats worrying about the Reds.