Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds Breaking the Bank: Really?

Brian KleinCorrespondent IIApril 10, 2012

Breaking The Bank
Breaking The Bank

So when think Ohio baseball; and you think about the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds, do you think about big market contracts?

Reports broke last night that the Cleveland Indians have agreed on a new, five-year contract extension with catcher Carlos Santana.  The extension is reportedly worth $21 million, and has a team option for 2017.  An official announcement will be made today at 2:30 PM from Progressive Field.

Reaction:  Okay, maybe I am playing up the big-money contract phrase a little bit with the Carlos Santana deal.  $21 million guaranteed over five years is not really breaking the bank for the Cleveland Indians—it breaks down to $4.2 million per season.

This contract indicates that the Indians obviously see Santana taking that next step to stardom some time really soon.

The Indians only locked Santana up for one more season than they would of originally had control over his free agent status: The contract covers Santana's final two pre-arbitration eligible seasons, his three arbitration-eligible seasons, and if the option is exercised, his first season eligible for free agency.

Last season was Santana's first full major-league season, and he impressed with 27 home runs. With that said, Santana also only hit .239 while splitting time between catcher and first base.

It is also being reported that the Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a contract extension with veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips.  The contract is reportedly a six-year deal worth $72.5 million.

Reaction:  Wow, do the Reds remember that they are considered a middle-of-the-market baseball team?  The Reds have committed roughly $300 million to two players' contract extensions over the last couple of days.

Joey Votto's contract broke the bank, weighing in at 10 years for $225 million (breaking down to $22.5 million a season and keeping him in Cincinnati for the next 12 years).  Locking up Brandon Phillips with this new contract is also going to be placing quite the strain on the Reds' pocketbooks, costing them roughly $12.1 million per season starting in 2013).

With this deal, Phillips passes up the opportunity to test the open free agent market; he was eligible to become a free agent after the baseball season.  It also means that it looks like Brandon Phillips—currently 30 years old— and Joey Votto—now 28—will both be retiring with the Cincinnati Reds.