Tomorrow was to be the arbitration hearing for the Cincinnati Reds and Homer Bailey. Cross that one off the docket now as the team and their pitcher have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $105MM deal. Jon Heyman tweets that there is a mutual option for a 7th year which would result in “big salary or smaller buyout”. That salary would be $25MM while the buyout would be $5MM, according to Mark Sheldon.
Under the watchful eye of former pitching coach-now manager Bryan Price, Bailey has taken that step forward over the past two seasons. His W-L is only 24-22, but the ERA is 3.58, the WHIP is 1.182, and the ERA+ is 111. Over the first five seasons of his career, Bailey’s ERA was 4.89 and his WHIP was 1.450. The ERA+ was only 85. Hardly what anyone would expect from a #7 overall selection.
Bailey has also adjusted to pitching at Great American Ball Park. Last season, the majority of his numbers were better at the hitter-happy stadium when compared those he posted away from Cincy.
And after battling through some nagging injuries, Bailey has posted two consecutive seasons of hurling over 200 innings. Not too difficult to see the turnaround here.
And since Bailey has portions of seven seasons under his belt, we tend to forget he’s still not past 30 years of age. He’ll be 28 at the beginning of May.
And let’s not forget Bailey’s agent here. Casey Close has had himself quite the offseason as well…
Agent Casey Close's winter: $210M for Kershaw, $155M for Tanaka, $135M for Freeman, ~$105M for Bailey. $600M+ in contracts, $30M commission.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 19, 2014
Homer Bailey owns a pair of no-hitters while donning a Reds uniform. Only two other Reds pitchers have done so: Jim Maloney (1965 and 1969), and the back-to-back efforts from Johnny Vander Meer in 1938.