Photo Source: ABC News
April 10, 2012
Cincinnati Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty once stated that to be successful in baseball, a team must have a core group of players and then you add to the mix free agents and minor league prospects. Within the past two weeks, the former St. Louis Cardinals GM is making it obvious just who the Reds consider their core. After Jay Bruce was extended thru 2016 last year, Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips will now both likely be Reds' for the rest of their storied careers.
Votto's contract - a whopping 225 million for 10 seasons makes him among the highest paid players in Major League Baseball. Phillips' contract is in excess of 70 million dollars for six seasons; a deal Phillips has been seeking for two seasons.
All the same, the Reds had a plethora of talent at the minor league level and have since sent a number of them away via trade to stock the bullpen. Such players include Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Juan Francisco and Todd Frazier. Let's hope within the next four or five seasons, the ball club will be able to be as fortunate as they have with the minor league class of Stubbs, Heisey, Bruce and pitcher Mike Leake.
The main question is still - Where did the Reds get this kind of money to spend on players? Perhaps Jocketty is spending at a deficit which is likely what the Marlins are also doing; all in an attempt to field a winner and get fans to the ballpark. The Reds have continuously drawn criticism for their weak turnout for weeknight games. The answer is the same as it is in old Industrial cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit; Cincinnati is a blue collar town. With weeknight games continuing towards 11pm most nights, many Cincinnati residents have to be up at 4 or 5am for work. For any weekend game, owner Bob Castellini and the Reds can always expect a large turnout.
If there is one thing that is for certain, it's that no promotion or giveaway can outmatch a winning and dominant team in terms of attendance and large attendances is what the Reds need to fulfill these upcoming salaries.