Reds payroll likely to be down slightly from last season

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After signing Ryan Ludwick last week the Reds more or less have their roster set, with John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer speculating that the one last move they might make is adding a veteran utility man like Ryan Theriot.

Fay crunched the numbers to find that Cincinnati’s current payroll will be around $76 million even if they lose both pending arbitration cases, which is slightly down from last season’s $80 million mark.

Their most expensive pickup of the offseason is Ryan Madson on a one-year, $8.5 million deal and no one else added this winter is on the books for more than $3.1 million (Sean Marshall).

Last year’s team went just 79-83 on that $80 million payroll, while the 2010 team won the division at 91-71 with a payroll around $72 million.

Report: Mets have discussed a Matt Harvey trade with at least two teams

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Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets have discussed a trade involving starter Matt Harvey with at least two teams. Apparently, the Mets were even willing to move Harvey for a reliever.

The Mets tendered Harvey a contract on December 1. He’s entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility and will likely see a slight bump from last season’s salary of $5.125 million. As a result, there was some thought going into late November that the Mets would non-tender Harvey.

Harvey, 28, made 18 starts and one relief appearance last year and had horrendous results. He put up a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92 2/3 innings. Between his performance, his impending free agency, and his injury history, the Mets aren’t likely to get much back in return for Harvey. Even expecting a reliever in return may be too lofty.

Along with bullpen help, the Mets also need help at second base, first base, and the outfield. They don’t have many resources with which to address those needs. Ackert described the Mets’ resources as “a very limited stash of prospects” and “limited payroll space.”