The Reds spoke with Homer Bailey's representatives before the holidays about a new long-term contract for the right-hander, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. This isn't the first time the club has explored locking up Bailey, as the two sides reportedly discussed an extension last winter before settling on a one-year, $5.35MM contract to avoid arbitration.
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told Sheldon that Bailey is the only one of Cincinnati's six arbitration-eligible players who is currently being considered for a long-term deal. Unsurprisingly, Jocketty sees Bailey as "probably the one guy that's going to be the most difficult [to sign] because of how well he's done and where he's at in this service class. Young pitchers are getting quite a bit."
"At this point, we really haven't discussed anybody but Homer to sign long term. Homer is the only one we've pursued, but we've had internal discussions on the other guys. We just have to see how it all fits in, financially."
Bailey is arb-eligible for the third and final time this winter, and MLBTR's Matt Swartz projects that Bailey will earn $9.3MM through the arbitration process. Another strong reason for Bailey would almost surely net him a $100MM contract in free agency next offseason, and the mid-market Reds would be hard-pressed outbid richer clubs for Bailey's services on the open market. Even locking him up now would be an expensive proposition for the Reds — MLBTR's Tim Dierkes opined that it might take more than a five-year, $85MM deal to keep Bailey in the fold since he's so close to free agency.
If the Reds can't extend Bailey this offseason, they could explore a trade, though Jocketty has said that the team wants to keep Bailey in order to help them contend in 2014. I'd guess it would also be difficult for Jocketty to find fair value for Bailey in a trade considering a suitor would only have him for one season. Since Bailey would net Cincinnati a first-round compensation pick (for turning down a qualifying offer) if he signed elsewhere in the offseason, the Reds would likely only be motivated to move the righty if they could obtain something of greater value than a first-round pick.
Of the other arbitration cases, Leake and Chapman stand out as the only possible candidates for a long-term deal. Leake, picked eighth overall in the 2009 draft, has become a solid part of the rotation in his own right, with a 3.99 ERA and 677 1/3 IP over his first four seasons. This is Leake's second year of arb-eligibility and Swartz projects him to earn $5.9MM. Chapman is projected by Swartz to earn $4.6MM through his first year of arbitration eligibility (on top of the $3MM he earns from his original contract). It's probably unlikely that the Reds would look to make a long financial commitment to a closer, especially since the chance still exists that Chapman could be moved into the rotation.
Speaking as someone who was a huge supporter of the Reds being considered in the Championship conversation prior to last season…I’ve been very disappointed with this team. I know the offseason isn’t over yet but do they realize that they lost Shin Soo Choo and 112 walks + 21 homers doesn’t grow on trees?
I understand they have a lot of confidence in Billy Hamilton but is it just me or has this team done absolutely nothing to try to improve their chances of contending with the Red Birds? The only reason they may not lose that much ground is the Pirates haven’t done anything either (but they’ll be gaining a full season of Gerrit Cole and potentially Taillon by midseason).
I just hate that this team isn’t doing much to compete after I rode them hard the last 2 seasons. Wanna win a championship? Do something to prove it…not trading away Homer Bailey to make yourself even worse. If you are out of contention by July, then you can deal Bailey. if not…compensation can’t be the worst thing.
Completely agree. This team will miss Choo’s production more than they seem to understand. Billy Hamilton’s inability to get on base in the minors does not give one much sense of hope. It feels like an unfortunate return to the days of Taveras and Patterson. Meanwhile, they’re relying on Ludwick in left: that’s a lot to expect for the aging, erratic slugger. Maybe magic dust will snow up GABP and we’ll see big steps forward from Mesoraco, Frazier and Cozart? The pitching should be decent, that is if they stay healthy – which is assuming a lot, particularly with Cueto. This is a team that needs to take advantage of their window and unless Jocketty has a trick or two up his sleeve, this off-season will look like a real lost opportunity. But, at least Dusty is gone … which is nice.
I think that we should sign Grady Size more to a minor league to a two year deal. If he has a good spring training then great if not start him out in triple a give give home at least 150 at bats cause you know Hamilton is going to come hot out of the gate. So that gives Grady a month to get in a groove before coming up and contributing. As for Bailey keep him this year see what happens around the all star break if were in contention keep him all year and give him a qualifying offer and if he songs elsewhere we get a first round pick. I Aldo really like our catching duo of mesoraco and Peña . Phillips should come in with a chip on his shoulder and hopefully joey votto will be more aggressive. Cozart can play great d that’s a given I need him to hit over the Mendoza line. Frazier is going to make major adjustments this year and have a .270 season + great d. Ludwick hopefully he can give us 20-25+ homeruns. Bruce is gonna be Bruce he’s improved every year since entering the majors. Peace
This is where Phillips and Votto’s long term deals hamstring the Reds.. Reds will be in the thick of it in 2014. They have to get 200 IP from Cueto and Hamilton has to hit..
What do you think Votto’s contract would run today, guy is 29 and is a top 5 player in the game, he is a 300 million dollar player, and Philips besides being a cancer is on a decent contract. The problem is teams are signing new TV deals and spending that money. Philly just signed a new deal that gives them a $100 million a year in new money.
This is exactly WHY they should make an offer to Chapman. Pay for him at a closer rate and if he converts to a starter down the road you have yourself a bargain.
That sounds nice, but unfortunately I think the ship has sailed on Chapman as a starter.
The Reds need to leave Chapman as their closer and stop having this discussion
I disagree. I trade Chapman and resign Bailey. There are multiple options on the team to close, and I think Bailey has to take the step to #2 starter on this team. Chapman also has a lot of value to the right team(Detroit for Austin Jackson)
Detroit wouldn’t do it since they signed Joe Nathan to be their closer for the next two years which also coincides with Chapman’s last 2 seasons of team control
Ahhh…didn`t know about the Nathan signing. Still I think if you`re going to trade one of the two you trade Chapman.
Reds are a bit late on this. Bailey would be foolish to sign a team friendly extension 1 yr removed from free agency unless he is not feeling 100%. If the Yankees miss out on Tanaka and reset the tax rate they could be big spenders next year (unless Hank and Hal enjoy the rebates and lower payroll too much). Other teams would also be in, especially if guys like Lester and Scherzer get extended
He could be looking at 6/120 as a FA, maybe more.
These things happen all the time in the MLB.. Trade Bailey and gain assets, they have 4 very good pitchers in the mid to high minors who all look good and will be key pieces in the future.
As long as he doesnt win the Cy ala Scherxer we are good
Difficult to find fair value? Look at what the Cubs got for two months of Garza. Not saying they should trade him, but getting a return better than a pick between the first and second rounds in 2015 won’t exactly be a challenge.