MLB Trade Rumors: Dissecting the Red's Decision to Restructure Scott Rolen's Contract

A few days ago, there was a rumor that the Dodgers were talking to the Reds about trading for starting pitcher Aaron Harang. Then on Friday, that rumor was put to rest as Dodgers GM Ned Colletti was quoted as saying the talk between the two teams is all but dead.

Then yesterday, we hear that the Reds have restructured the contract of third baseman Scott Rolen to give them more "payroll flexibility". Instead of receiving $11 million in 2010, Rolen will receive $6 million in 2010, $5 million in 2011 and $6.5 million in 2012. So, the Red extended Rolen's contract through 2012 to give them payroll flexibility. But, this extension also blocks two of their 3b prospects Todd Frazier and Juan Francisco. Both will compete for the opening in left field in spring training, and one of them will be the first to be called up when Rolen goes on the DL. My money is on Frazier.

But getting back to the rumored Harang to the Dodgers deal. The Reds were rumored to want one or two guys off the Dodgers major league roster in return for Harang. My guess is they have interest in one of Scott Elbert and James McDonald along with SS Chin-Lung Hu.

Could the restructuring of Rolen's contract allow the Reds to take on more of Harang's salary in a possible deal to the Dodgers?

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