Per Rustin Dodd of The Athletic, the Royals have signed longtime Red Homer Bailey to a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training.
Bailey, 33 in May, was part of the pre-holiday Reds-Dodgers swap that sent Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and Alex Wood to Cincinnati. There as a salary placeholder only, meant to offset, with the $28MM remaining on his deal, the sizable chunk still owed to Kemp, Bailey was immediately released by Los Angeles upon official approval of the deal by the Commissioner’s office.
After the 2013 season, in which Bailey parlayed a 3.49 ERA/3.31 FIP/3.34 xFIP (4.1 fWAR) campaign into a 6-year, $105MM extension, the former first-rounder has done little to nothing since. A solid, albeit injury-shortened, 2014 campaign was followed by a string of elbow troubles, kicked off by a 2015 Tommy John and culminating with a surgery, two years later, to remove bone spurs in the area.
Bailey’s 2018 was marred by right knee inflammation and a dangerous penchant for surrendering the longball – in 106 1/3 IP, Bailey allowed a staggering 23 bombs for Cincinnati, posting a 6.09 ERA/5.55 FIP mark that was only a slight decline from the year prior. Though his average fastball velocity has remained mostly steady, at 93.8 MPH, its efficacy has waned considerably: by FanGraphs’ measure, the pitch has been among the league’s worst in the category over the last two seasons, with the righty’s swinging strike rate plummeting to below 9%. Bailey, who once relied on the four-seamer over 72% of the time at its peak, has never boasted much in the way of swing-and-miss secondary stuff.
The Royals, who appear primed to enter the 2019 campaign with the underwhelming Brad Keller/Jakob Junis duo at the top of the rotation, may yet have a place for Homer at the rotation’s back end. Lingering gopher-ball issues could certainly be assuaged in the cavernous Kauffman Stadium dimensions, so perhaps the rebuilding Royals are a perfect place for Bailey to attempt a career resurrection.
I must have missed the story of him being released by LA after the trade.
He was released same day
It was pretty easy to miss because I think it pretty much happened with the trade and just got overshadowed
Kansas City signed Bailey, Homer
No that’s not a misnomer
Will their fans accept him
Or will they reject him
Is it bad luck for a pitcher named Homer?
Find out next time on dragonballz
His name is not really Homer. That’s his nickname.
It also seems to be his pitching style…
OK Southern Lion…I’ll give it a shot too……
There once was a fine pitcher named Bailey
Now his outlook appears rather greyly
He’s been given a reprieve
But if he can’t achieve
His future might be a rocker and ukulele
I’ll see myself out
I’d love for my future to be sitting on my porch in a rocker with a ukelele and no cares or worries and an eight or nine figure bank account 🙂
Me too, and I don’t even care for the ukelele.
Ukulele’s should be outlawed…..
Along with mimes…..
Started out so good too!!
Prob shouldn’t waste any money on him. His career is long over
I probably shouldn’t have wasted time reading this. But alas.
he can be signed for the league minimum since LAD is paying his huge contract. it’s a no brainer
Home’s contract was a winner for the Reds.
1st round of the ‘04 Draft was brutal outside of Verlander and Neil Walker
Walker and Verlander weren’t the only good players to come out of that draft. Jered Weaver, Huston Street, Gio Gonzalez, Phil Hughes, Glenn Perkins, Stephen Drew, and Billy Butler also came out of that draft (not saying all of them were stars in their prime, but all of them were at the very least solid in their prime).
mlb1225, acarneglia said 1st round not the whole draft…..
jorge78 mlb1225 listed more quality first rounders than the previous guy……They were all first rounders. Did you look that up? Seems like you just disagreed with him to disagree.
Billy Butler? Stephen Drew? Jered Weaver?
I’d take that production outside of the top ten.
With BBCor composite bats, the hitters are easier to read, and college pitchers can use their repertoires, which makes them easier to assess.
It’s probably terrible for pitchers. Having to try and throw harder and more pitches trying to avoid contact. Wooden bats in college would be better
man, Royals are gonna be brutal this year if they think giving Homer a shot is worthwhile.
At the time of his contract .. they were deciding who to give the money to, Cueto, Homer or Mike Leake … Cueto hasn’t been great but man he should have got that contract. Not Homer .. All the Reds saw was his 2 no hitters
Revisionist history. Cueto would’ve cost more, Leake wasn’t as good, and Bailey had become a top 30ish pitcher. All you see is a ton of injuries and severely diminished performance
Not only that, but at the time Cueto was injured and missing half the season, while Bailey was completely healthy. Bailey has always been inconsistent though. Almost anytime Bailey took the hill he was either going to give up 0 runs or 8 runs. It became something of a running joke in my house. When he was good, he was very good, but when he was bad, he was very bad.
Cueto was at the time nursing a groin injury (I think) that kept him out of the majority of the 2013 season. Bailey had not had many problems with injuries. You can’t really fault the Reds management for giving the healthier guy a long term extension. Personally, I thought the extension should have went to Mat Latos at the time. So they could have been burned even more.
The money we gave Homer was never going to get us an extension with Cueto. Nonetheless, giving the money to Bailey was a bad idea.
Cueto was coming off injury year at that time he easily could have went bailey. There is also the fact that just because you offer contract doesn’t mean player must accept. Cueto would have been a steal at that price even with the lost year and half at the end.
Leake was never considered more likely would have been latos
Bailey was coming off a very good year and had shown steady improvement the extension was a good sound one you just can’t predict injuries or how players will come back from them.
guy faded at
It’s a minor league deal with a ST invite. He doesn’t even take a spot on the 40 man at this point. The Dodgers are on the hook for his salary (outside of league minimum if he makes the club). I’m guessing they’ll see if he can contribute out of the pen, If he can great…..if he can’t, they let him go.
Homer gives up so many homers, it’s like watching Daffy Duck as Robin Hood:
“Yoiks, and away!” (SLAM!)
“Yoiks, and away!” (SLAM!)
Talk about a long shot!
Very long….at least it’s a minor league deal, if there is any good news in this signing.
Oh man any other Reds outcasts we can grab? Bronson Arroyo? Paul Janish? I guess there’s zero risk with the young rotation and pretty much only 2 guys guaranteed bullpen jobs
This is the most textbook case of “fling a lot of poop at the wall and hope something sticks” that I’ve seen in quite a while.
And that lucky guy is still making 23 million in the minors. He’s doing something right
He was just bad all around last year. Maybe a change of home venue helps him out. Maybe if he actually makes the roster he can achieve an era of around 5. That would have the Royals doing flips.
I assume this is a league minimum signing with dodgers on the hook for the rest? Good gamble for KC. Maybe he’s finally moved on from injury and could be a good deadline trade. At worst it’s league minimum. Since he’s a minor league invite, it doesn’t even cost them a roster spot at this point.
Can they make it a “work from home” position instead of a minor league contract?
Calling Homer a long shot seems appropriate
Homer could be a great mentor for the young guys in the Royals organization. Could lead to life after baseball
Except, by all accounts, he is a lousy teammate.
They can tell his young teammates that whatever Homer does, do the opposite.
Leadership by example.
Bailey is sort of a textbook counter-example of the notion that all pitchers recover from TJS and go on to be effective. 25% of them don’t. He seems to be in that cohort.
A pitcher named Homer is just bad karma.
Kansas City is signing the Reds hand me downs
Bailey is a stubborn man. His fastball somehow lost the late movement it had, and he refused to change his delivery when hitters were picking his pitches up early. This is the guy Albert Puhols once described as “Nasty”…
The author mentions Keller & Junis as the Royals top two rotation candidates. I’m thinking Danny Duffy may have something to say about that…..
Ian Kennedy Number 2.
Kennedy might not even make the rotation.
Good choice for Homer. Middle-America, good park to pitch in, potentially exquisite defense, low stress environment, a fan base that’s generous in its praise and forgiving in its criticisms. Perfect place for a “re-birth”; it’s not like he’s a 100 years old.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he becomes at least functional, and flip-able. Good move for KC, too.
Average FB was 93.1. For a starter that is not bad. Movement is what he needed… and a bigger ballpark (most anything is bigger than the Reds home park) may allow him to be useful in a #4/#5 starter role. His control was not an issue, but command in the K zone & HR’s were killers. He is certainly worth a gambe for KCR.
Why didn’t he just stay with LA and try and win a spot in their rotation? He signed a minor league deal anyways? He’s not an effective starter anymore, he needs to go to the pen.
Because LA cut him?
Because LA didn’t want him?
Hard to stay with a team when they won’t let you in the clubhouse
Because he would be the Dodgers 14th starter
time to regroup as Royals…fire dayton, and find a new owner.
Yeah, it’s not like those guys built a World Series winner just a few years ago with a small payroll. Oh wait…
They built from tanking, next.
“The Royals, who appear primed to enter the 2019 campaign with the underwhelming Brad Keller/Jakob Junis duo at the top of the rotation, may yet have a place for Homer at the rotation’s back end.”
Pro tip: When you don’t know the teams you’re writing about, maybe don’t make uninformed commentary, Ty. Keep it to the facts. Neither player is an ace, but “underwhelming” hardly qualifies for players that were both +WAR (2.5 fWAR / 1.3 fWAR, respectively) on a 100+ loss team (and both with solid peripherals, despite their team’s performance).
And ultimately, your point is moot. Neither Keller nor Junis will front the rotation. Duffy and maybe Kennedy will be at the top. As to the Homer signing, it’s a “move along, nothing to see here” signing. Minor league deal! Unless he somehow earns a job on a rebuilding team , he won’t sniff the majors, because they aren’t just handing out 40-man spots to sloppy seconds. This is a flyer and/or insurance in case of injury. Nothing more. Lopez and/or Fillmyer will round out the rotation.
Imagine being such a homer you think the Royals pitchers aren’t all terrible and you make some cornball post calling out a professional baseball writer. Ty knows more than you ever will, fact.
Keller and Junis ABSOLUTELY are underwhelming, not good pitchers. Neither would crack a top 10 rotation. You literally said a 1.3 fWAR isn’t “underwhelming”. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Dude, your team is bad, just eat the L and never defend your players who aren’t totally awful AAAA types, simply because they are slightly better than that. Forest from the trees = you cant see what a contending rotation looks like.
Wow. So sorry I hurt your fragile feelings, Ty. But seriously, do your research next time. I notice you ignore that Keller was a 2.5 fWAR…and immediately go after Junis. Nice deflection. Had Keller pitched 22 more innings and qualified, he would have ranked somewhere between Trevor Williams and Chris Archer in 2018. Facts are our friends.
I, personally, don’t think Junis and Keller will lead the staff either, however I don’t think either one of them pitched that badly last year. Junis has to keep the ball in the park and he will be fine. Keller will probably pitch to a 4.00 ERA but for the rebuilding Royals, that is okay.
With a pitcher named Homer, the Royals just need a hitter named Heater. Another 100-loss season in KC.
He has so much money, why bother with this and just retire and go help others or buy an island or do anything else other than be terrible at professional baseball???
Sometimes it’s not all about money. The guy may want to be remembered for his successes rather than failures. He may just wanna see if he can. Whether he does or not is a different story.
I am a Reds fan and I was ready to see Homer and his contract go. However, I was a fan of Homer at one time and I think he had some times of success as a Red. I would still like to see the guy succeed again especially since he could still possibly have a few solid years left at 33 years old. This is a low risk move for the Royals that may just pay off. If it does not work out then they aren’t out much and took a chance on a proven veteran. Change of scenery can many times do a player good. Good luck Homer Bailey!
Ok, another Limerick:
There was a young pitcher named Bailey
Who gave up home runs, almost daily!
He said, “Blame it on
having had Tommy John,
‘Cause, since then, Ive been a bit frail-y.”