This afternoon marks the deadline for MLB clubs and arbitration-eligible players to reach agreement on contracts for the 2021 season, or else each side must submit a formal figure for an arbiter to settle independently later this winter. It’s often a contentious time, unfortunately, as it can so often end up a bit of a public debate over a player’s worth, even though the team has expressed interest in retaining said player’s work.
Fortunately for the Cincinnati Reds, they avoided the ugly paperwork with a few of their key arb guys prior to today’s deadline. Each of Michael Lorenzen (3rd and final year), Jesse Winker (1st year), and newly acquired Noe Ramirez (1st year) agreed to terms for their 2021 contracts, putting at least some of the future payroll obligations for the Reds that were up in the air to date on concrete terms.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported Lorenzen settled at just over $4.43 million, which was right in-line with the projections leveled by MLB Trade Rumors.
The Reds and P/OF Michael Lorenzen settle at $4.4375 million, per source.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 15, 2021
The Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale had the news on Jesse Winker, who’ll earn a hair over $3 million in his intial trip through the arbitration process. That’s somewhere in the middle of MLBTR’s projection range, albeit a tad on the higher-end.
Jesse Winker avoided arbitration, agreeing to a 1-year, $3.15M deal for the upcoming season. #Reds— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) January 15, 2021
Feinsand also had the Noe Ramirez news, as the former Los Angeles Angels righty will earn just over $1.1 million in 2021, right in-line with MLBTR’s estimate.
The Reds settle with Noe Ramirez for $1.175 million plus AS bonus, per source.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 15, 2021
There’s still a chance that deals between the Reds and their other arb-eligible players leak out after the deadline. That group is a fairly prominent one on the roster at the moment, with the likes of Luis Castillo, Amir Garrett, and Tyler Mahle contituting it.
That’s not only going to end up being a significant amount of the Reds payroll in 2021, but those are the kind of young players who, in theory, would be prime targets for potential contract extensions, and since each is in their first trip through the arbitration process, this is their first real go-through with contract negotiations with the club. It’s not necessarily a true indication that if the two sides can’t avoid an arbitration hearing right now that they’d not want to discuss a longer-term deal later, but it certainly isn’t the best foot to get started on for one.