The deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to reach agreements on their 2021 salaries and avoid hearings was today, and it appears the Cincinnati Reds managed to do just that with each of their eligibles. We covered earlier the agreements reached with each of Michael Lorenzen, Jesse Winker, Noe Ramirez, Amir Garrett, and Tyler Mahle, but as the deadline passed, there had been no word of the status of ace Luis Castillo.
Fortunately, it appears that was merely administrative, as the righty and the Reds settled on a $4.2 million deal for 2021. FanSided’s Robert Murray had the news.
Source: Reds, Luis Castillo settle at $4.2 million, avoiding arbitration.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) January 15, 2021
This is Castillo’s initial trip through the arbitration process after clearing 3 full years of service time during the 2020 season, therefore each of his 2022 and 2023 salaries will be benchmarked on this number. While it wasn’t the single biggest of the Reds class - Lorenzen’s $4.43 million just topped it - it was the highest among all of the 1st year eligibles, topping Jesse Winker’s $3.1 number.
Castillo’s projections by MLB Trade Rumors had a decidedly large range, as their models predicted between $3.0 million and $5.8 million for his 2021 number.
With all of their arb-eligibles now under contract for 2021, that settles one of the final ‘up in the air’ aspects of the club’s 2021 payroll. Perhaps this was the kind of uncertainty the front office and ownership was waiting for before jumping into the shortstop acquisition market, or at least that’s the hope of this blogger who has watched them sit idly by for the bulk of the offseason while trimming costs at every step of the way.
All told, the arb class will constitute some $16.7 million of the club’s payroll for 2021.