2021 payroll, Asdrubal Cabrera roster move

MIAMI – The Cincinnati Reds have carried a $130 million player payroll through the first five months of the 2021 season, which is slightly lower than their Opening Day payroll from 2019.

The Reds were expected to have a club-record payroll ahead of the 2020 season, but the season was shortened to 60 games because of the COVID-19 pandemic (with prorated pay). During the winter, the Reds jettisoned relievers Raisel Iglesias and Archie Bradley to lower payroll ahead of this season.

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They have the 16th-highest payroll in Major League Baseball, according to figures obtained by USA TODAY, which is slightly below the league average. 

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) congratulates first baseman Joey Votto (19) after hitting three-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Friday, June 11, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

The Reds have about $90 million committed to their seven highest-paid players: Joey Votto, Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas, Sonny Gray, Eugenio Suárez, Wade Miley and Shogo Akiyama.

Among potential National League playoff teams, the Reds are behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (first, $261 million), Philadelphia Phillies (fourth, $191 million), San Diego Padres (eighth, $183 million), San Francisco Giants (11th, $163 million) and Atlanta Braves (14th, $149 million). The Milwaukee Brewers rank 19th in the league with a $105 million payroll.

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Votto is the 20th highest-paid player in the league after signing his 10-year, $225 million contract extension in 2012. The Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels have three players apiece making more in annual salary this season. 

Aug 6, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Asdrubal Cabrera (14) throws to first base on a ground out by San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer (not pictured) during the second inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

HELLO, NEWCOMER: Asdrúbal Cabrera joined the Reds in Miami before Saturday’s game, activated to the 26-man roster.

Cabrera, a 15-year veteran, strengthens the Reds’ bench as a switch-hitter. He’s hit lefties well this season, a weakness for the Reds, so he could carve out a regular role against left-handed pitching.

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