Reds Extend Homer Bailey

Homer Bailey and the Reds have officially agreed to terms on a six-year, $105MM extension, including a $25MM mutual option with a $5MM buyout. Cincinnati will control the 27-year-old hurler through at least the 2019 campaign.

Bailey-Homer

Bailey, a client of Excel Sports Management, successfully avoids arbitration by agreeing to the massive extension and also forgoes his first venture into free agency, which would have come at the end of the 2014 season. He had filed for an $11.6MM salary last month, while the Reds countered with an offer of $8.7MM. The two have been said to be working on a long-term deal for quite some time.

The former No. 7 overall draft pick back in 2004, Bailey has steadily improved over the past few seasons, culminating in a 2013 campaign that saw him post a 3.49 ERA with 8.6 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 46.1 percent ground-ball rate in 209 innings. That marked the second consecutive season in which Bailey had posted a 200-inning campaign with an ERA well under 4.00 and a K/BB ratio of well over 3-to-1. It bears noting, also, that Bailey has thrown no-hitters in each of the last two seasons.

Bailey's deal accelerates throughout. He will receive $9MM and $10MM over the next two years, then see a significant bump to $18MM in 2016, $19MM in 2017, $21MM in 2018, and $23MM in 2019.

Notably, a significant portion of each year's annual salary will be deferred until the month of November, after the end of each season covered. Bailey's in-season salaries will be $3MM (2014), $4MM (2015), $11MM (2016), $12MM (2017), $14MM (2018), and $15MM (2019), with the remainder deferred to the fall of each year. Likewise, the $5MM buyout of the mutual option year is deferred until the following November, if it becomed payable. If Bailey is dealt, however, that aspect of the contract is swept away and he would receive all money during the appropriate season (or, in the case of the buyout, at the point that the option is declined). 

Though the Reds are a small-market club with definite payroll restrictions, the team has spent aggressively in recent years to secure its talent. Cincinnati issued a franchise-record 10-year, $225MM extension to Joey Votto in April 2012 and locked up second baseman Brandon Phillips on a six-year, $72.5MM extension one week after that deal. With a salary in the range of $10MM likely had they avoided arbitration on a one-year deal, Bailey has essentially signed away five free-agent seasons for a total guarantee of $95MM — or $19MM annually.

Despite that spending, the deal calls into question whether or not the Reds will be able to retain the rest of its rotation. Bronson Arroyo has already departed via free agency, but the Reds are equipped to handle that loss for the time being (rookie Tony Cingrani will fill his spot). More pressing will be the contractual situations of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Mike Leake — all of whom are under control through the 2015 season. Latos, in particular, would be costly to sign to a long-term deal, but it would seem difficult for the Reds to allow 60 percent of their rotation to walk in two years' time, even with Cingrani and top prospect Robert Stephenson on the horizon.

For the time being, Bailey will return to a strong Reds rotation that will also include Cueto, Latos, Leake and Cingrani. His extension weakens the 2014-15 free agent class, which is currently set to be headlined by Max Scherzer, James Shields, Justin Masterson and Jon Lester. It remains to be seen whether any of those names come off the board as well. Lester, in particular, appears to be a likely extension candidate, and both Scherzer and Masterson have been rumored to be in line for new deals as well. Bailey and Masterson are relatively close in age and are coming off of similarly valuable campaigns, making the former's extension a particularly relevant comparable for the Indians hurler.

The move is unquestionably the largest of the season for the Reds, who otherwise made a series of fairly small moves. Cincinnati traded Ryan Hanigan to the Rays in a three-team deal; inked free agents Brayan Pena, Skip Schumaker and Manny Parra to two-year deals; and also worked out a two-year extension for right-hander Sam LeCure. Most notably, however, are the departures of Arroyo and Shin-Soo Choo. GM Walt Jocketty, new manager Bryan Price and the rest of the Reds' brass are hopeful that Cingrani can fill Arroyo's shoes, and that top prospect Billy Hamilton can occupy center field and the leadoff position in the absence of Choo.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes first reported that the parties were close to a six-year extension. MLB.com's Mark Sheldon was first to report that a deal was in place. Joe Kay of the Associated Press reported the annual breakdown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


106 Responses to Reds Extend Homer Bailey Leave a Reply

  1. Ruben_Tomorrow 1 year ago

    I get the feeling that this is going to end up as a “d’oh” move on part of the Reds.

    • Guest 1 year ago

      He just signed an endorsement deal with Duff Beer.

    • GetToTheChoppa 1 year ago

      He JUST signed an endorsement deal with Duff Beer.

      • Ruben_Tomorrow 1 year ago

        It makes you wonder, if Marge still owned the team, would she want to keep Homer around?

    • Josh Botts 1 year ago

      Well i guess this is why you were never paid for your opinion! Bailey finished in the top 10 in 3 important categories IP, SO, and CG. Let me remind you the guy is just 27

      • DMiles5149 1 year ago

        I wouldn’t call SO’s and CG’s important categories. They’re certainly nice, but not necessary to be a successful pitcher. WHIP and ERA are much more important. Even SO/BB is probably more important. And for the record, Homer Bailey had 2 CG’s last year.

      • Douglas Bath 1 year ago

        The top 10 similar pitchers through age 27 for Bailey on BaseBallReference…

        Joe Blanton (980)
        Adam Eaton (978)
        Dustin Hermanson (974)
        Todd Stottlemyre (972)
        Kip Wells (971)
        Gavin Floyd (970)
        Francisco Liriano (967)
        Mike Pelfrey (965)
        Steve Trachsel (964)
        Luis Leal (964

  2. Natsfan89 1 year ago

    Jordan Zimmermann looks at this deal.

    Jordan Zimmermann likes what he sees.

    • FacelessGeneralManager 1 year ago

      And Nats fans hate it

      • Natsfan89 1 year ago

        Yes, I’m not particularly enthused. A time of cruel, cruel arithmetic is approaching for the Nats.

  3. JMO 1 year ago

    Great move Walt. Homer is on the verge of being an ace in 2014. He’s been with the Reds for 10 years already. Bailey in the fold, time for Latos extension.

    • Douglas Bath 1 year ago

      you’ve got to be kidding. An ace?

      Theses are the top 10 similar pitchers through age 27 for Bailey on BaseBallReference…

      Joe Blanton (980)
      Adam Eaton (978)
      Dustin Hermanson (974)
      Todd Stottlemyre (972)
      Kip Wells (971)
      Gavin Floyd (970)
      Francisco Liriano (967)
      Mike Pelfrey (965)
      Steve Trachsel (964)
      Luis Leal (964

  4. haplito 1 year ago

    Wanna get rich, son? Have two above-average years in the Majors.

    • G W 1 year ago

      Yep just be one of the 000000000000000000000.1% of people who can do that and you’re set for life!

    • GetToTheChoppa 1 year ago

      If you want to get rich in the NFL just have a couple decent games as a QB. See Kevin Kolb and Matt Flynn.

      • Dylan 1 year ago

        You used to not have to play one game to get rich (Bradford)

    • RyanWKrol 1 year ago

      Two above average years at age 26 and 27, after a slow start going back to the age of 21. He was called up at an early age, where most starting pitchers his age would only be in third or fourth big league season. So two above average years in a row at his age I think is a much better indicator of future success.

  5. Tre-Day
    Tre-Day 1 year ago

    Am I the only one who thinks that’s really high? I like Bailey, he’s obviously got the chops to be big time, but idk if I’d want my team to give him that much.

    • cubs7691 1 year ago

      around 17.5 million a year for a career ERA of 4.25. I need to start throwing again lol

    • Shin_Soo_Choo 1 year ago

      The Reds are doomed if him or Votto falter. They have already limited their payroll flexibility moving forward with about 1/3 of the payroll tied up in these two players.

  6. Jordan_Vaughn1 1 year ago

    Im a Mariners fan so I dont see Bailey alot, but what!! 100? Am I missing something here? Good pitcher, but no way is he worth that

  7. Eric 1 year ago

    Bailey was a top prospect and 7th overall pick who took a few years at the MLB level to figure it out. If he hadn’t been a top prospect, he doesn’t get this deal.

  8. bravesnjays 1 year ago

    What on earth is the purpose of that mutual option? If the Reds think Bailey is worth 25mil (or 20 mil since the difference is all that matters) after his age 33 season, wouldn’t Bailey decline and get another 4-5 year deal as a FA or leverage an extension? And if Bailey doesn’t think he can do better as a FA…why would the Reds spend 20 mil to retain him. Mutual options tend to be useless, but this one takes the cake I believe.

  9. TheNextEpstein 1 year ago

    The Reds win by having great pitching, and great defense. Locking up a potential ace, or at the least a good 2/3 in rotation is going to keep the Reds at the very least competitive. If they can manage to keep Latos, they will have one of the best rotations in baseball for years to come. Bailey, Latos, Cueto, Leake, Cingrani through 2015 will keep them on an upward trajectory, and if they catch lightning in a bottle with Billy Hamilton they will have a shot at a championship. Good move for the Reds.

  10. UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

    In today’s baseball market place it’s not a bad deal for either the player or the team. Like any long term deal for the team to come out ahead the player has to remain healthy and in this case continue to improve. Which my gut tells me Bailey will. Bailey now joins Kershaw as 2 of the “star” starting pitchers that were scheduled to be FA’s for 2015 but aren’t now.

    Now attention turns to the Indians and an extension for Masterson. Probably very close to this extension.

  11. I like it. Free agent prices are only coming higher. So, if Bailey keeps form, in six years this is going to look like a bargain comparatively. Just sayin’. Go Reds!

  12. Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

    I think the Reds got a bargain!

    • Douglas Bath 1 year ago

      Top 10 similar pitchers through age 27 for Bailey on BaseBallReference…

      Joe Blanton (980)
      Adam Eaton (978)
      Dustin Hermanson (974)
      Todd Stottlemyre (972)
      Kip Wells (971)
      Gavin Floyd (970)
      Francisco Liriano (967)
      Mike Pelfrey (965)
      Steve Trachsel (964)
      Luis Leal (964

      • xHoratiox 1 year ago

        Your comment shows no evidence against the cost of this deal. He has improved steadily the past three years. Look at the meaningful stats he has put up recently. This could be a huge bargain for the Reds if he stays healthy.

        • Douglas Bath 1 year ago

          I’m presenting facts devoid of emotion. You are presenting “if’s” and “could be’s”. And you say I lack evidence? The fact is, that the 10 most comparable players to him at age 27 in baseball history had very average careers.

  13. EarlyMorningBoxscore 1 year ago

    What? Career ERA+ of 96, SIERA of 3.99, FIP of 4.00, and xFIP of 3.95 and he gets 100 mill? Talk about giving good money to a mediocre pitcher.

    • Steve Adams 1 year ago

      They’re not paying him for his age 21 through 24 seasons. Career numbers don’t have anything to do with this extension. They’re paying him for the past two seasons and what they feel he can do over the next six.

    • RyanWKrol 1 year ago

      The guy was called up at age 21. What did you expect? Most pitchers his age would only be in their third or fourth season. So two above average seasons in a row at his age is a good ratio of success, and warrants an extension.

      • Douglas Bath 1 year ago

        Ryan, you realize he pitched more in the minors than he did the majors over those first 3 years right?

  14. CardsFanInChitown2 1 year ago

    This makes Adam Wainwrights extension look even better!

  15. CardsFanInChitown2 1 year ago

    After this contract, Votto’s big money years not even started yet, the other pitchers needing to be extended or let go and a pretty bare system…. are the reds going to be able to add anything else in the next half decade?

    • It’s not really a “bare” system. Stephenson and Lorenzen are up and coming and will probably replace two out of Cuteo/Leake/Latos depending on how things go. You can’t automatically just have a farm system, either. Jocketty has to build one. If you ask me they’re doing a pretty good job of staying competetive while they work on that, honestly.

  16. Seth Guttman 1 year ago

    Am I the only one who would rather see Latos get this extension than Bailey? I think it’d be a bit of an overpay for Latos too but atleast he has ace potential if he can stay healthy. I think Bailey’s ceiling is a #2 and I would never pay a #2 ace money in a smaller market.

    • Tim Graddy 1 year ago

      Lots of #2 pitchers throw 2 no-hitters within a calendar year don’t they?

      • Seth Guttman 1 year ago

        So lets give Hideo Nomo a $100M contract…come on man!

        • Hideo Nomo at age 27 in 2014 could probably rake in close to that.

        • Tim Graddy 1 year ago

          If he were around today and in his prime he would get one. The price for pitching is way up in todays market.

    • Josh Botts 1 year ago

      If you’re the Reds manager and it’s game 7 of the world series who do you start? Cueto, Bailey, Latos, Leake or Cingrani?

  17. Huff's dog 1 year ago

    Seems like a lot of money to give to a number 2/3 starter.

  18. ShaneRedsFan 1 year ago

    If they can somehow manage to extend Latos in 2 years I will be extremely happy. I would hate to see him walk.

  19. TheWegert 1 year ago

    They will soon regret this. No way is he worth $17.5 million a year. If Masterson wants this kind of money the tribe should and will let him walk/ trade him at the deadline.

    • Fernando 1 year ago

      With this deal it’s sad but I think Masterson is waaaaaaay beyond what the Indians can afford now. maybe they should lock up Salazar before people know who he is. No way to compete against all this spending!

  20. Bary Tone 1 year ago

    Anyone think this extension went to the wrong pitcher? Homer Bailey is arguably the 3rd best pitcher on that staff. After this deal, what is Cueto worth? Latos? Leake? I wonder what Brandon Phillips’ reaction is going to be.

    • Phillyfan425 1 year ago

      BP: “They gave him that much and he had a losing record last year?!”

    • schellis 1 year ago

      I think Homer is the best pitcher on the Reds staff. Cueto can’t stay on the field and Bailey and Latos have been somewhat similar the last two years. Bailey would be the staff ace on a number of teams.

      Contracts also have to be accepted on both ends. Who is to say that Latos would be open to a similar deal. I wouldn’t give Cueto anything close to this offer after the last few years.

      Bailey’s numbers are thrown off because he had a rough start due to being rushed in part and because he was stubborn as well. He’s finally started to get it and I’m glad that the Reds will get his best years.

      • CardsFanInChitown2 1 year ago

        Bailey would be the 5th starter on the Cardinals (Waino, Miller, Wacha, Garcia then Bailey)…. and they just gave this guy 105M and our ace who is beyond much better only got $98.5M….. thank you Cincy for taking Walt!

        • schellis 1 year ago

          Wish you were the GM of the Cards if you think Bailey wouldn’t beat out everyone but Wainwright. Wacha and Miller don’t have the innings to prove they are better yet. Bailey is better then Lynn as well.

          • Wacha could easily be a fluke too (low probability I know, but sophomore slumps are a real thing). I think Bailey would easily be number 2 with the Cards offense behind him.

          • jaybuck 1 year ago

            That is just silly. I’m not a hundred percent sure he would make the Cardinals roster.

          • Guest 1 year ago

            You’re kidding right? You know combining the last two seasons the Reds have more wins? I mean you’re acting like the Cards are SOOO much better. I think the Cardinals offensive production is really what’s better, but the only thing the Cardinals have that the Reds are missing come playoff time is a fire under their butt.

          • Guest 1 year ago

            You’re kidding right? You know combining the last two seasons the Reds have more wins? I mean you’re acting like the Cards are SOOO much better. I think the Cardinals offensive production is really what’s better, but the only thing the Cardinals have that the Reds are missing come playoff time is a fire under their butt.

          • jaybuck 1 year ago

            Bailey isn’t even the second best pitcher on his team. The same team that has an average pitching staff at best. I’d take Wainwright, Wacha, Miller, Kelly, and Lynn for their money over Bailey for half of this deal.

  21. Just ❌ 1 year ago

    I guess Batman really is Bruce Wayne now #105MillionDollarMan

    • slasher016 1 year ago

      I think this would have been better as:

      I guess Christian Bale really is Bruce Wayne.

      • Just ❌ 1 year ago

        lol I just saw this but, yeah… i chose “Batman” because thats the nickname Bailey has by his teammates. But I understand your point 😛

  22. PaganIdolCow 1 year ago

    Fangraphs has Bailey’s worth for 2013 (based on 3.7 WAR) pegged at $18.5 million. If you figure that the cost of a win is going to go up every year (stupid and short-sighted, I assure you…markets can change quite easily), then a 2.5-3.0 WAR per season might end up being worth what this extension calls for.

    (If nothing else does it, WAR might help drive MLB teams to bargain hard for a soft, NBA-style salary cap. No team wants to pay young players top-drawer veteran money.)

  23. Seth Guttman 1 year ago

    Active SP to get atleast $100M: Kershaw, Verlander, Felix, CC, Tanaka, Greinke, Hamels, Cain, Cliff Lee, Bailey. One of these names doesn’t belong!

    • Jacob Viets 1 year ago

      Barry Zito’s?

      • Seth Guttman 1 year ago

        Touche, that was an awful contract but he did win a cy young

        • Jacob Viets 1 year ago

          5 years before the contract began. Would you give Tim Lincecum a $100MM contract nowadays? (He won the Cy Young 5 years ago)

          • Seth Guttman 1 year ago

            No you wouldn’t. I think as a whole, front offices have gotten a lot smarter. Like I said the Zito contract was AWFUL there is no arguing with that.

          • Jacob Viets 1 year ago

            I know, I was just trying to prove a point that accolades from 5 years earlier aren’t exactly pertinent to the contract the pitcher should sign 5 years later.

      • westcoastwhitesox 1 year ago

        is Zito active for the 2014 season?

        • Seth Guttman 1 year ago

          He said he’s taking a year off. I had Johan in my original post too but he’s still a free agent but someone will probably pick him up on a minor league deal fairly soon.

    • GetToTheChoppa 1 year ago

      Daisuke Matsuzaka- while the Red Sox didn’t give him 100 million his total costs came to over 100 million factoring in bidding fee and contract.

    • schellis 1 year ago

      Sabathia hasn’t exactly been great for the Yankees either, I would also say that Bailey belongs in this group far far more then Tanaka does. I’m sure that Bailey could put up great numbers in a league that is barely above AAA quality.

      • Seth Guttman 1 year ago

        Sabathia has been great every year until last year. 200 IP money in the bank with a 3-3.30ish ERA. The decline last year probably has to do with throwing atleast 180 IP every year since 2001!…that’s insane. Gonna break down eventually.

        Tanaka is a to be determined in my mind, but I can’t rate him positively or negatively until I see him throw an MLB inning. I just don’t see Homer Bailey as an ace. I think his ceiling is a #2 and I wouldn’t pay him $100M to be my #2 in a smaller market like Cincinnati.

        • schellis 1 year ago

          So Sabathia is considered a ace for putting up similar numbers to what Bailey has put up in recent years, but the best Bailey can do is be a number 2 starter.

          If Bailey had gotten better run support and won 15-18 games the last two years people wouldn’t question this extension.

          • Seth Guttman 1 year ago

            Bailey has pitched more than 180 innings TWICE and has never had an ERA lower than 3.30. He’s had 2 good years lets not get carried away over there buddy.

    • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

      Right, it’s Matt Cain.

  24. Josh Botts 1 year ago

    Great Deal by the Reds, been watching this guy closely since he has been with the Reds and he has only gotten better every year. Last year he should’ve been the guy to pitch against the pirates in the wild card.. one of the reason Crusty is gone. If he stays healthy this is a steal.

  25. I think this is Bryan Price’s influence in full swing. They’re planning on Price being here awhile and Bailey is very much team Price. Seeing it as a vote of confidence from Price and Jocketty makes it easier for me!

    • schellis 1 year ago

      Bailey has taken massive strides since Price became pitching coach. So yeah I could see him wanting to stay in Cincinnati to work with him.

      • From interviews and such, I almost got the impression that he wasn’t interested in a long term contract until Price was named manager this year. Last year I got the impression that he wanted to leave.

  26. Josh Botts 1 year ago

    This contract falls right between Josh Beckett (33) 17mil, 3.94 career era – Mark Buehrle (34) 19mil 3.84 career era. Making Bailey (27) 4.25 career era the 11th highest paid pitcher in baseball.

    • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

      Bailey had a 3.34 xFIP last season. That’s worthy of 100 million. With a 3.7 WAR, he was worth 17-25 million, depending on what system you use.

      • Josh Botts 1 year ago

        I agree, this post seems to look like I’m suggesting Bailey isn’t worthy of the contract but in all reality his upside and accomplishments coupled with age to me makes it a no brainer.

  27. RyanWKrol 1 year ago

    Great move for the Reds’ future.

  28. TheNextEpstein 1 year ago

    Really like the move here, Reds needed to lock up one of their big 3 (Bailey/Latos/Cueto) and given the upward trajectory Bailey has shown under Price he should only continue to get better and be the ace that everyone thought he would be as the No. 7 overall pick.

  29. J.R. 1 year ago

    I doubt Bailey gets any better over the course of his contract. So the Reds are effectively paying over $17 million/per for an average #3 pitcher. Great investment in the crazy world of baseball contracts.

    • slasher016 1 year ago

      He’s improved 3 straight years, and is just entering his prime, but he’s not going to get better? It’s possible, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

    • TheNextEpstein 1 year ago

      Why do you think he won’t get better? Just curious.

  30. UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

    The more I look at that payment schedule the more I’m beginning to think that the Reds have no intention of keeping Bailey for the full term of the contract. That deal is just to heavily back loaded.

    • rhayex 1 year ago

      They did the same thing with Arroyo’s contract. It essentially makes them untradable unless they perform absurdly well; that way, you have security in the team you’re with. The Reds tend not to give out no trade clauses.

      • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

        Why do I get the feeling that’s it’s back loaded so that when the Reds want to trade some of these guys the acquiring team pays a disproportionate percentage of the players salary.

      • Scott 1 year ago

        Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton and Ryan Ludwick all have some form of no-trade protection… Who are you basing your statement on?

    • TheNextEpstein 1 year ago

      The Reds have backloaded most of their extensions (Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Bailey) so that their pay bumps coincide with their new TV contract that has yet to be negotiated but will begin in 2016. That’s the reason for the semi back loaded nature of the deal.

  31. Brennan 1 year ago

    The Reds just got Bailey’s prime years at a discount. Sure, it looks like a large contract now, which it is– but as he hits his prime and becomes the ace he is expected to become, this contract will suddenly become a steal. Sounds crazy, but just give it time to happen and we’ll all see.

  32. jaybuck 1 year ago

    Thanks Walt one more favor to Cardinals fans.

  33. Brian Stever 1 year ago

    Is he really that good? Lot of money for a 110 ERA+ Pitcher

  34. letsgobucs 1 year ago

    Wow, that is a HUGE deal for a pitcher that has only really had 2 passable major league seasons. I mean the guy has great stuff but c’mon, he’s going to make $18m in 2016, $19m in 2017, and over $20m in 2018,19.20? I just can’t see Bailey earning that contract. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like a bad deal for Cincy.

  35. Douglas Bath 1 year ago

    Theses are the top 10 similar pitchers through age 27 for Bailey on BaseBallReference…

    Joe Blanton (980)
    Adam Eaton (978)
    Dustin Hermanson (974)
    Todd Stottlemyre (972)
    Kip Wells (971)
    Gavin Floyd (970)
    Francisco Liriano (967)
    Mike Pelfrey (965)
    Steve Trachsel (964)
    Luis Leal (964

  36. Douglas Bath 1 year ago

    Theses are the top 10 similar pitchers through age 27 for Bailey on BaseBallReference…

    Joe Blanton (980)
    Adam Eaton (978)
    Dustin Hermanson (974)
    Todd Stottlemyre (972)
    Kip Wells (971)
    Gavin Floyd (970)
    Francisco Liriano (967)
    Mike Pelfrey (965)
    Steve Trachsel (964)
    Luis Leal (964

  37. Scuba Steve 1 year ago

    its pretty crazy a guy whose never been a allstar is gonna get paid 20 million in a season.. I bet they rebuild by then and trade him to the Phillies

  38. ShaneRedsFan 1 year ago

    Welcome to 2014.

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