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.


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106 Comments on "Reds Extend Homer Bailey"


Ruben_Tomorrow
1 year 5 months 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 5 months ago

He just signed an endorsement deal with Duff Beer.

GetToTheChoppa
1 year 5 months ago

He JUST signed an endorsement deal with Duff Beer.

Ruben_Tomorrow
1 year 5 months ago

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

Josh Botts
1 year 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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

Natsfan89
1 year 5 months ago

Jordan Zimmermann looks at this deal.

Jordan Zimmermann likes what he sees.

FacelessGeneralManager
1 year 5 months ago

And Nats fans hate it

Natsfan89
1 year 5 months ago

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

JMO
1 year 5 months 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 5 months 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

haplito
1 year 5 months ago

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

G W
1 year 5 months ago

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

burtonbball88
1 year 5 months ago

You know 000000000000000000000.1% is the same as .1%?

Jaysmooth2121
1 year 5 months ago

Lol ! Got em

jsprague
1 year 5 months ago

Epic decimal fail

dylanp5030
1 year 5 months ago

0.1% of 313.9 million people (current US population) is 313,900 people.

GetToTheChoppa
1 year 5 months 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.

dylanp5030
1 year 5 months ago

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

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months 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.

Tre-Day
Tre-Day
1 year 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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.

Jordan_Vaughn1
1 year 5 months 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

Eric
1 year 5 months 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.

bravesnjays
1 year 5 months 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.

TheNextEpstein
1 year 5 months 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.

UltimateYankeeFan
1 year 5 months 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.

1 year 5 months ago

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!

Eric Droegemeier
1 year 5 months ago

I think the Reds got a bargain!

Douglas Bath
1 year 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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.

EarlyMorningBoxscore
1 year 5 months 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.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months 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 5 months ago

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

CardsFanInChitown2
1 year 5 months ago

This makes Adam Wainwrights extension look even better!

Drew M
1 year 5 months ago

My exact thought.

CardsFanInChitown2
1 year 5 months 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?

1 year 5 months ago

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.

Seth Guttman
1 year 5 months 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 5 months ago

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

Seth Guttman
1 year 5 months ago

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

1 year 5 months ago

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

Tim Graddy
1 year 5 months 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 5 months 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?

Huff's dog
1 year 5 months ago

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

ShaneRedsFan
1 year 5 months ago

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

TheWegert
1 year 5 months 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 5 months 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!

Bary Tone
1 year 5 months 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 5 months ago

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

schellis
1 year 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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.

1 year 5 months ago

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 5 months ago

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

Guest
1 year 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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.