Want to know exactly how pitching-rich Major League Baseball is these days?
Well, tonight the Cincinnati Reds waived goodbye to a reliever who can hit 99 mph with his fastball and another who has hit 98, all over less than $3 million total. Both Logan Ondrusek and Curtis Partch failed to be tendered a contract by GM Walt Jocketty and company, with Ondrusek set to earn some $2.3 million in arbitration and Partch still making the league minimum.
Keep that in mind the next time you think .280 hitting, 20 dinger smashing outfielders grow on trees somewhere.
Both Partch and Ondrusek have tantalizing, radar-scorching fastballs, but both deliver them flat enough that they're both prone to getting hit a million miles. That's likely the overriding factor into why both were relieved of their Reds duties despite Ondrusek striking out over a batter an inning in 2014 and Partch fanning 10.3 batters per 9 innings in Louisville last season.
If the Reds didn't already have an estimated $115 million due to their existing roster for 2015, there's little chance that either of these relievers would have been let go given the struggles seen by the bullpen in the previous season, but when money's tight, saving millions when you can becomes paramount. It's the hand Jocketty has dealt himself, however, and the pair of non-tenders coupled with the trade of Chris Heisey for a minor-leaguer meant the Reds saved some $5 million bucks to put towards the many holes that need to be filled before the calendar turns to April again.
That wrapped a rather interesting non-tender deadline for the Reds, all things considered. The offseason began with the team needing serious help in the outfield and even more in the bullpen, and the dealings began with them thinning both positions even more than they were a year ago. If anything, it signals that the Reds won't be standing mostly pat this winter like they did last season, since it's impossible for a one-legged chair to stay standing.