Ken Griffey hasn’t been a member of the Cincinnati Reds since 2008, before they traded him midseason to the Chicago White Sox. And he hasn’t played in the Majors since 2010. That’s over a decade ago. Yet, still, the Cincinnati Reds have him on their payroll as one of their highest paid players heading into the 2022 season.
How could something like this happen? It all has to do with the nine-year, $112.5-million contract that he signed with the Reds back in 2000, as nearly 50 percent of it was deferred from 2009 until 2024. As a result, Griffey has been getting paid $3.59-million per year, up until 2024.
And at that rate, he’s making more than any other Reds player in 2022, aside from five guys: Joey Votto ($25,000,000), Mike Moustakas ($16,000,000), Shogo Akiyama ($8,000,000), Luis Castillo ($7,500,000), and Tyler Mahle ($5,500,000).
Obviously the Reds aren’t fielding the most formidable, expensive roster in the Majors right now. In fact, their total payroll for 2022 is just $76.8-million, which ranks 21st out of 30 MLB teams. But it’s never a good thing when you’re still paying a player that’s been retired for over a decade now.
Just ask the Mets, who’ve been paying Bobby Bonilla $1.19-million every year, from 2011 until 2035.