The Cincinnati Reds have taken the necessary steps to avoid putting their financial commitments in the hands of an arbitrator today by signing starting pitcher Homer Bailey to a one-year deal worth $5.35 million. This is a good deal for both sides: Bailey should easily earn his 2013 contract, and considering this is his first year of arbitration eligibility, $5.35 million is a pretty good starting point.
Bailey, once a highly regarded prospect, took a few years to round into form, but at 26, he’s developed into a very solid pitcher and an important component of a talented Cincinnati rotation. A year ago, Bailey put up his best numbers to date, totaling 2.8 WAR per FanGraphs over the course of 208 innings. The right-handed hurler also posted strong peripherals, striking out 7.3 batters per nine and walking just 2.3.
Now that he’s coming into his prime seasons, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if Bailey continues to improve upon his 2012 effort, forcing the Reds to strongly consider tying him up for the long haul.