1:03pm: Badenhop will earn $50K for reaching 45 appearances, $100K for 50 appearances and another $100K for 55 appearances, reports WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. He’s made 63 or more appearances in each of the past three seasons, making those bonuses seem highly attainable.
12:02pm: MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon adds (via Twitter) that Badenhop can earn up to $250K via performance bonuses.
11:45pm: Grantland’s Jonah Keri reports that Badenhop is guaranteed $2.5MM, as he’ll earn $1MM in 2015 and has a $1.5MM buyout on a $4MM mutual option for the 2016 season (Twitter links).
11:33pm: The Reds announced today that they have signed right-hander Burke Badenhop to a one-year contract with a mutual option for the 2016 season. Lefty Ismael Guillon has been designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
The contract should serve as a fine birthday present for Badenhop, who turns 32 years old tomorrow. The ground-ball specialist has been quietly excellent over the past three seasons despite being traded twice in that time, posting a combined 2.90 ERA with 5.7 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and a 55.3 percent ground-ball rate. Badenhop, a client of ACES, has totaled 195 1/3 innings over that three-year stretch, spending one season each with the Rays, Brewers and Red Sox.
Badenhop was one of the top remaining arms on a relief market that still features right-handers Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain. He’ll slot into a bullpen that features lights-out closer Aroldis Chapman, setup man Sam LeCure and lefties Sean Marshall and Manny Parra. Reds fans looking to get to know their newest reliever can check out the MLBTR Podcast from Oct. 30, in which Badenhop himself was a guest and chatted with host Jeff Todd. Badenhop was an excellent interview, sharing insightful answers about his strengths and weaknesses as well as his knowledge of advanced metrics and experiences from pitching in multiple roles out of the bullpen.
As for Guillon, the soon-to-be 23-year-old has struggled over the past two seasons at two Class-A levels, pitching to a combined 4.82 ERA with 248 strikeouts against 150 walks in 244 2/3 innings of work. He ranked among Baseball America’s Top 30 Reds prospects following the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons, topping out at No. 9. Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel recently pegged him 21st among Reds farmhands, noting that his changeup is a 60-65 on the 20-80 scale, but his curve is below average, and his upside comes with maddening inconsistency. One Reds source described Guillon as a “pull your hair out kind of guy” to McDaniel, who noted that Guillon would be an intriguing waiver pickup should Cincinnati part ways with him.