[Photo credit: The Enquirer/Gary Landers]

Paul Hoynes is the veteran baseball beat writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and one of the best at that job. He tweeted Sunday night that the Reds are “getting close” to a deal with Homer Bailey in the neighborhood of $100 million over 6 years. That’s an AAV in the range of $16-17 million, which sounds about right to me, although 6 years is one more than I expected.

[Update: Here’s the report Hoynes filed with the Plain Dealer yesterday and updated Monday morning. It explains the connection between the Bailey/Cincinnati and the Masterson/Cleveland negotiations.

It makes sense that Hoynes’ source is someone in the Masterson or Indians camps, since he’s the Cleveland beat writer. In that case, the source may have only indirect knowledge of the Bailey/Reds discussions. None of the Reds’ beat writers have confirmed Hoynes’ report, further adding to the conclusion that the leak is coming from the Cleveland side.

On the other hand, the Reds and Indians share the Goodyear facility for spring training, so Hoynes has out-of-the-ordinary access to Reds/Bailey sources right now. And like I said in the original post, he’s a great reporter with a long track record of being the guy when it comes to inside news for the Indians.

Yet, it’s important to keep in mind this is all just a rumor. In negotiations, it’s often in the interest of one side or the other to leak numbers as a way to move the needle in the talks. In this case, given the unusual connection with the Masterson contract, the speculation/rumor may even not be coming from someone directly involved with the Bailey deal.]

[Update 2: Homer Bailey confirms that a deal is close. Mark Sheldon’s report has Bailey saying: “It feels like we’re really close. … To say this as confident as I’ve been, yeah, I think so. … There are a lot of things that we have in place, I think. I feel like a majority of it is fairly worked out. It’s some of the little details, I think, that we’re really close with. With us being here and everybody in different time zones, it puts a little bit of a damper on things.”]

Earlier today, Walt Jocketty appeared for an interview on XM Radio and was asked about a long-term contract for Bailey. The Reds general manager’s response was “hopefully we’ll get something done” in the next few days so “if at all possible avoid the hearing.” He’s referring to the arbitration hearing scheduled with the 27-year-old Texan on Thursday of this week.

Jocketty said that “we’re confident that we’ve made enough progress on a multi-year deal that we’ll get it done.”

Particularly intriguing, Jim Bowden suggested in the form of a question the specific contract terms of 6 years/$16 million. In response, Jocketty stiffened up and declined to answer saying that he doesn’t talk about contracts.

More than a coincidence that Bowden would ask about basically the same amount that Hoynes was suggesting tonight?

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 140 Comments

  1. That is some good news. I’d love to see Homer Bailey pitch in Cincinnati for the future. Hopefully it happens and injuries stay away, I think he could still go down as a great pitcher.

  2. Hoynes’ source may be someone associated with Cleveland pitcher Justin Masterson. Masterson and Bailey have been linked as being in a similar negotiating position with their respective clubs. The two pitchers also share comparable numbers in terms of overall performance the past three seasons.

    So even though leaks may not be coming from the Reds or Bailey’s representatives, the agents for Masterson may be extremely familiar with the latest in the Cincinnati situation.

    One difference between the two negotiating contexts is that the Reds’ payroll is expected to be $20-25 million more than Cleveland’s.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Please keep in mind that this is just a rumor as of today (Monday morning). Hoynes doesn’t cite anyone specifically or even someone involved in the negotiations. He just said it was something he heard.

      If his source is someone in either the Masterson or Cleveland Indians camps, the incentive to distort aspects of the Bailey/Reds deal is high.

      That’s what explains the use of the word “rumor” in the title of this post.

  3. Wonderful news. That sure soothes the pains of a bad off-season. That’ll make Bailey a cornerstone peice to the roster like Votto and Bruce.
    Thank you Uncle Walt, may we have another. Latos.

  4. I love the idea of Bailey being a Red for 6 more years. Bryan Price should get an assist I might suggest in not only improving Bailey but also being a major factor in him resigning. I am just drooling over the idea of Latos, Bailey, Stephenson, Leake and Cingrani being our starting rotation. I have enjoyed Cueto a great deal, but I would bundle him and a couple of prospects to get an everyday player, when the time comes. Now let’s see how well Ervin develops this season. Thanks to Uncle Walt and all of those good people in Cincy, who regularly go to the games- 2 million more fans going to the games and Latos will be a Red for a long time!!!!

    • @SFredsfan: I believe the Reds are thinking along the same lines you are. Their serious pursuit of Homer does not reflect on how they feel about Latos, whom they will also make every effort to sign. Right now Cueto is regarded as the ultimately expendable guy. Of course that could change in 2014.

      If Latos stays in form in 2014, he’ll command a little more than Homer, I think.

  5. At the Reds Caravan, after witnessing first hand how close Price and Bailey interacted, I couldn’t help but think that there wasn’t another manager that Bailey wanted to play for. They were tight.
    (Steve you certainly have my permission to use any of those pics I sent you in your next article if Bailey does sign soon.)

    • @WVRedlegs: Interesting. When I heard and watched Homer as he talked in an interview about Price, I felt like he wanted to stay with the Reds, and would agree on what he felt was a fair offer.

  6. “More than a coincidence that Bowden would ask about basically the same amount that Hoynes was suggesting tonight?”

    Is that a figure that’s consistent with a pitcher like Bailey? If so, that two people could arrive at that number would suggest that they know what the market is worth for guys like Bailey and Masterson.

  7. Wouldn’t you probably think Homer’s contract should also set somewhat the market price for Mat Latos?

    • @earl: Somewhat but if Latos holds form in 2014 I think he gets a “little” more, maybe 6 years in the $18M/year range.

  8. People on twitter have been wondering aloud whether this is worth it to sign Homer if they re-sign Latos, but the Reds will be able to get both deals done. And Homer is the best pitcher on the Reds right now, and will be for the next couple of years. I’m finally excited about baseball again. If this happens that is.

  9. Probably ends up being a mistake, but okay, could be worse.

    Walt specializes in giving out contracts 1 year too long.

    • @CP: We don’t know …maybe he wanted a 5-year deal and Bailey said no to that. I am reluctant to blame Walt for every contract. 60 percent of this roster will be out of baseball in 6 more years.

  10. If the numbers are accurate, this seems like a fair deal for both sides, given the present market. However, though I like Homer and believe he could wreak havoc in the playoffs, I cannot help but cringe as I think of a $16.7 AAV over six years for a power pitcher who throws splits and sliders. Maybe these are the kinds of deals that competitive teams have to make. I wonder, would the Rays offer a similar contract to Price and, if not, why not?

    • @Drew Mac: The Rays don’t have more than a few fans, so it’s tough for them to make a competitive contract offer to anyone close to free agency. They locked in Longoria early on, how they have to do it.

      • @pinson343: They do have less margin for error than most other teams. However, they are also very smart. One thing that I notice about them is that they are very willing to lock up a position player and not as willing to lock up pitching, unless it is on the very young/very cheap (Matt Moore), which they believe will save them some money on the arbitration front and buy out a year or two of free agency. They know that any pitcher is only one pitch away from Tommy John or, even worse, shoulder troubles. . . . So, why take on the risk of a long term contract for a pitcher? However, their Matt Moore contract is pure genius.

        My issue is this. I believe the game is changing and that pitchers’ numbers are much better, in the aggregate, than they were fifteen years ago. In other words, there are many Homer Baileys out there and I fear that committing to this number of years is very risky. In my estimation, good hitters should demand a much greater premium than pitchers do at this point. Though this is counter intuitive to those of us who watched a lot of baseball during the PED years, I would much rather have Jay Bruce for the next six years than Homer Bailey. I would rather that they add a few years to the end of Bruce’s contract, sign Cingrani to a Matt Moore-type deal, and even add a year or two (on the cheap in a buy low situation) to the end of Cueto’s deal.

  11. The deal still isn’t done, but I’ve been hopeful. For one thing, for better or worse, Bob C. is a “fan’s owner”. He doesn’t like to see good players leave. And let’s give him credit for realizing that a winning Reds team will bring in a whole lot more money than a losing one. No one gave him a chance to keep Votto, and after that not many gave him a chance to extend BP.

    Another thing that made me as hopeful was an interview I recently saw with Homer. The media has painted him as an arrogant guy who would just want to maximize his bucks. (I never paid attention to the rumors that he didn’t like Cincy or its fans, he just doesn’t seem to like a certain broadcaster.) Anyway in the interview he struck me as a reasonable, likeable guy who had a balanced view – that the Reds could not offer him as much money as some other teams, but that there were advantages to staying with the Reds, including Price, whom he obviously likes.

  12. I hope this deal gets done because of the Reds projected “big 3”, only Bailey appears to be healthy right now.

    Cueto is now almost two years into essentially the same chronic injury. Things are reaching the point where who knows if or when he will ever be the pitcher he was prior?

    Latos’ problems would seem rather insignificant in the big picture. However one never really knows where elbows are involved. The knee injury is at the least a pesky complication in the middle of the elbow rehab; and, ending up with a more severe injury while trying to work through the two lesser ones simultaneously, especially under the gun to limit time missed, is always a possibility.

    So, I think it is important to get Bailey in the fold; and, given the situation, if it costs them a few million more over 6 years, that is a cost of doing business.

    • @OhioJim: Cueto was healthy for the entire 2012 regular season, didn’t miss an inning. Going by the calendar, he hurt himself in October 2012 and was still hurting in October 2013. He had an injury-plagued 2011 while posting a 2.31 ERA in 156 innings. We’ll learn a lot about him in 2014.

      • @pinson343: I guess time runs together when one gets older. But haven’t the 2011 Cueto injury been linked to the same issues as the Oct 2012 to date injuries.

  13. 6/$100 for Bailey makes me terrified to see what Latos will end up costing. Reds would end up using like 70-80% of their payroll on Votto/Bruce/Phillips/Bailey/Latos.

    • @ToddAlmighty: The payroll will have to rise significantly. We’ll see.

    • @ToddAlmighty: sure it does but then signing $100M+ for any player is a risk that gives lots of heartburn. And just think how much the price went up after Homer went back-to-back good seasons in 2012 and 2013. would Homer jumped on a 5y/$65M after 2012 season? not saying Walt/Reds made a mistake, as I too at that time wanted Homer to show a 2nd good year after 2012. Just wondering what was the cost of waiting added.

      • @doctor: Great points . . . If true, the 6 years/$100 million doesn’t even sound like that much of a discount (if any). Maybe Homer would be the kind of pitcher left to rot on the market because of the draft pick compensation and the price (or number of years) would come down a bit.

        • @Drew Mac: No, 27-year-olds with 2 no-hitters and fastballs that touch 97 are not left to rot on the market because of a draft pick. Again, the $96mm is just a rumor, but it seems to be a fair number to me. Bailey would get either $9mm or $11mm this year, so one way to look at it is 5 years for $85mm.

          • @Big Ed: He’ll be 28 when he hits the market. Ubaldo Jimenez is still available this year. However, I don’t believe that Homer will be in the same situation (though I hope the Reds do get a bit of a discount).

  14. As an organization, I think its wise to reward home grown talent with contracts designed to keep a player in the fold…especially when you consider losing a guy like Arroyo who was a fan favorite and a cornerstone to Cincy baseball for so long now. Baseball players have to believe that their efforts in Cincinnati will be noticed and valued. This makes it easier to sign free agents because they look at it as a more desirable destination… and convinces those in your own organization they have a chance as well. Has Bailey earned it? I think so… but if you’re the Reds, you have to be able to afford it. I want and deserve all sorts of things that I can’t afford to buy. (still traumatized from watching the Griffey contract tie up Reds baseball for years.)

  15. First off, if this happens I will be very happy. Bailey is home grown and has turned into a legitimate ace and I want him in a Reds uniform for the long haul.

    But now I’ll ask the question I’ve asked a few times over the last few months: If this is the one big move that we make this offseason, will it make everyone happy? It puts the same team on the field that we were expecting a month ago and that is a team that has a ton of question marks and that a lot of people see fighting to scrape into a WC spot. It gives us some long term stability, but it doesn’t mean much for 2014 and it leaves our farm system just as weak as it has been.

    Secondly, what does this mean for Latos? I’d throw Cueto in here, but I think Cueto ends up being very affordable and I think we extend him regardless. But the top teams have at least 2-3 legit aces at the top of their rotation, some have more. By the numbers, Latos has actually been superior to Bailey over the last 2 years and is a year younger. The smart move would be to lock up both of them, but considering Latos will also require a $100m+ deal is that even conceivable? Who knows. I know a lot of people thought a $75m contract for Phillips was an impossibility after the Votto deal but we were surprised then. Maybe finding a way to get Chapman (and possibly Broxton) off the books opens things up. Ditto for BP next year if his numbers increase and the market opens up for 2B’s.

    All in all, I will be happy if this gets confirmed this week. But I don’t know that it will make 2014 any more enjoyable for us and I’m a little skeptical about what it means for our long term plans.

  16. Fay has Homer confirming that they are very close on Twitter. As someone noted, b/c Homer was certain to make ~10 million this season, the currently rumored extension would effectively be 5 years at almost $18 million a year,. That is a hefty price for the Reds but probably about right.

    • @CaptainTonyKW: Quote from Homer in the original post now, in update#2.

    • @CaptainTonyKW: About right if he hit FA right now, which I guess means the Reds didn’t get much of a discount for signing him early and for being the team that drafted him and he has appeared for the last 7 years.

      I know he has a ton of potential to be an ace.. I just have this nagging feeling that the Reds will regret not signing Arroyo for 2/$23.5 or 3/$30 (and who knows, maybe the Reds could have gotten a little discount from what he ended up signing for) and dealing Bailey for a bat.

      • @ToddAlmighty: I just recall how the Brewers got Jean Segura (now a 23-year-old All Star), and two starting pitching prospects who both had a sub-4 ERA in either AA or AAA last year…. in exchange for 1/2 a year of Zack Greinke. I didn’t expect the Reds to get quite that haul, but just the fact that it was a possibility was tempting.

      • @ToddAlmighty: Todd All — This rotation with Homer is much better than one that has Arroyo replacing Homer. My gut tells me that WJ explored trade options and found that he wouldn’t get much of a bat for a one year Homer rental.

        This team’s resurgence has been built on pitching and fielding. I, for one, do not miss the Big Donkey and Jr days when the great Jimmy Haynes was the staff ace. We never even sniffed the playoffs when we had no pitching.

        Choo was a 1 yr bridge to Billy Hamilton, and Ludwick is a 1 yr bridge to our top 2 outfield prospects, Ervin and Winker. Hamilton, Winker, and Ervin will allow us to re-sign some of our pitching and remain in playoff contention year after year.

        • @earmbrister: That last bit sure does brim with optimism…They call them “prospects” for a reason.

          • @eric nyc: Some here opt for pessimism, is optimism any less realistic? Bruce blew thru the minors; now we have three top prospects trying to fill two positions, LF and CF. This season will tell us if these prospects are ready (Hamilton) or close to ready (Ervin and Winker). At some point you have to play these guys; I see no point in waiting any longer on Hamilton.

            If these guys don’t pan out, THEN you can look for another bat as a bridge to when these guys are ready. IMHO left field is probably the easiest position to fill on the diamond.

          • @earmbrister: Hey, I’m all for optimism. That being said, Bruce was a super prospect. I’m high on Ervin and Winker, and I’m cautiously optimistic about Hamilton being able to get on base enough to make use of his speed, but it’s not like we’re a year or 2 away from having 3 Jay Bruce’s in the outfield. Realistically, one of those guys will probably turn into a productive major league player for us. If we’re lucky, 2. All 3? The odds just aren’t there.

          • @eric nyc: The point I’m trying to make is that 3 of the top 5 prospects in the organization are OF’s. We arguably only need 1 to pan out this year, and I for one am ALL FOR giving Hamilton his shot (can he exceed Drew Stubbs’ production? Probably). As for the other two, there’s a good chance that one of the two will continue to excel, PERHAPS quick enough to be an option for LF in 2015. If not, then the Reds can look to add a short term solution, until one of them are ready.

            Your 1 of 3, or 2 of 3, outlook is not all that different from mine. I’m not putting any of them in the HOF quite yet.

          • @earmbrister: I buy into the notion of being optimistic. Hamilton is aware of what he needs to do and he’s been pinned to the lineup card.

            Winker may be a less dramatic version of Bryce Harper but he’s as likely to make the show as anybody else in AA right now.

            I agree with the idea of putting these guys on the GABP turf. The idea of giving them more “seasoning” just clogs up the roster with Schumakers and Bernardinas.

            We got lucky that Sizemore didn’t clog up the other side of the outfield.

        • @earmbrister: Yeah, feel free to take it to the far extreme of the days of Dunn… but right now the Reds don’t sniff a postseason series win WITHOUT some good bats. Until the Reds can beat Kershaw/Greinke/Ryu, or Wainwright/Miller/Kelly/Wacha, or Strasburg/Gonzalez/Zimmerman, or Medlan/Minor/Tehran, then they’re never going to win a world series. Fact.

          ..and I am just not sure if they have the bats to do that right now since last year they only had 3 guys with an OPS+ of 100 or higher and he only change from last year is taking away one of those three and adding in a rookie who hit very poorly in AAA.

          I’m not asking for all bat and no pitching. I am just saying right now they’re pretty close to all pitching and no bat.

          • @ToddAlmighty: Arguably, none of the teams in any of the leagues should be able to beat these rotations.

            Allegedly that is why they are favored.

            I agree that a team with a combined .250 batting average isn’t likely to take 2 of 3 from the Dodgers, Cards, Braves or the Pirates.

            The problem is, I haven’t seen anything that resembles a sensible solution. We have a new hitting coach.

            What we don’t need is another Grady Sizemore clogging up the outfield.

            Until then, we will have to win those games 2-1.

          • @ToddAlmighty: I don’t see the Reds beating the Dodgers, Cards, Nats, etc. WITHOUT top notch pitching of their own. I’d rather have Homer facing these teams in the playoffs than Arroyo or Leake.

            As far as the offense goes, maybe (just maybe) we should be comparing the 2014 Reds to the 2012 Reds (not 2013). The 2012 Reds only had 3 guys with an OPS+ of 100 or higher, and all 3 guys are back and presumably (caveat understood) healthy: Votto, Bruce, and Cueto. Meanwhile, the supporting cast is arguably better, and the pitching is arguably much better.

            The 2012 Reds were a Cueto injury away from the WS. I’ll take my chances this year and next WITH Homer and without a free agent add in LF. This team is top tier pitching wise, and middle of the pack on offense (hardly no bat). SF proved that you can win with that combo.

          • @earmbrister: er, Votto, Bruce, and LUDWICK.

          • @earmbrister: Reds had 4 guys with an OPS+ of 100 or higher in 2012 (you forgot Frazier). Either way, I don’t know if 2012 is the year to use as an example of why the Reds can win it. SF in 2012 when they won it all had 5 guys with an OPS+ of 100 or higher. Not to mention they had Buster Posey’s MVP season and Melky Cabrera roiding up and hitting .346/.390/.516… besides, they scored 69 runs in 16 games compared to their 47 allowed. That’s not exactly shutting people down with pitching and winning with weak hitting.

            So unless 3 people not named Votto or Bruce manage to really pick up their game, and even with that Votto still needs to have an MVP season and Bruce needs to have a career type year, the Reds won’t win it in the same style as SF in 2012.

          • @ToddAlmighty: SFG was also 5th in BA, 8th in OBP, and 4th in OPS+ in all of MLB in 2012 (which means that includes AL teams and their DHs). That’s hardly a middle of the pack offense.

          • @ToddAlmighty: And yet SF was only 6th out of 16 NL teams in runs scored (Reds were 9th). Some of that could be attributed to the ballpark, but “that’s hardly” a murders’ row offense. A bigger factor for them in the playoffs was that their pitching started to jell, particularly Lincecum.

            Do you think that weakening are rotation to add a bat is going to help us beat the Dodgers, Cards, and Nats? I don’t think that a one year rental of Bailey will return enough in offense to offset his loss to the rotation.

          • @earmbrister: “our” rotation.

          • @ToddAlmighty: I was really comparing the 2014 Reds to the 2012 Reds. All four of the guys with an OPS+ of 100 or higher in 2012 are still with the team in 2014, and all are capable of a repeat performance, with Votto and Ludwick most likely more healthy than in 2013. Meanwhile, the rest of the position players are capable of meeting or exceeding the production of 2012 (yeah, including Hamilton over the Stubbs of 2012).

            The pitching should be better in 2014 than in 2012, but we probably can’t assume it will be as healthy as the Superman 2012 staff. But nonetheless better in 2014, barring any major injuries.

            The SF comment was an afterthought, but did the better team win in 2012, or the healthier one? We’ll never know. However, I’ll take pitching over hitting in the playoffs every time – ask a NYY fan what their preference is. We’re not going to do much in the playoffs without superior pitching. I feel that an average offense, with this outstanding rotation, can win in October.

            Am I being optomistic? Perhaps, but pitching is what has gotten us to the dance. I’ll wait for the minors to fill in the gaps in our lineup, unless a golden opportunity presents itself. Re-sign 2 of the 3 amongst Bailey, Cueto, and Latos, add Cingrani and Stephenson, and the rotation is very good for the next several years. Not to mention that Leake is controlled for 2014 and 2015, and is a heckuva good back of the rotation pitcher.

          • @ToddAlmighty: I have to agree with Todd. So many people say pitching wins championships like in football defense wins championships. I am still a firm believer that it is a team game, that it requires all parts. Case in point, consider the Braves of the 90’s. The best starting rotation in the league. If they had any knocks, it was batting first, I believe, then relieving. They may have won a lot of division titles. But, how many pennants during that time? Not many.

            Or, even, for us, Homer is a good pitcher, yes. But, how many wins did he have last season? A losing record with an ERA of 3.48. But, then, Bronson won more games, a winning record, with an ERA only 0.30 higher. When you consider something like this, you have to consider the run support the team is giving Homer, aka the offense.

          • @ToddAlmighty: It’s human nature to want what we don’t have, and I certainly agree that offense is the Reds’ most apparent weakness at this point–this point being prior to any games being played. But if I have to choose one skill set (and I combine pitching and defense for the sake of logic and simplicity), then I go with pitching/defense. The pitching part of the equation is the most costly and rare element in the game, and the defense element (upon which the pitching depends) is probably the least expensive and easiest to assemble. A team built on this foundation is competitive, an offense-only team rarely so.

        • @redmountain: I read that the Arroyo contract had $15m in deferred payments through 2021. So it’s certainly not coming off the books anytime soon, but it’s also long enough that it doesn’t have a significant impact on payroll.

          As for Broxton, I know that when his option comes up in 2016, that’s when Votto’s contract jumps up to the $20m range. So Broxton has 2yr/$17m left, and Votto makes $12m and $14m in those two years. Then it jumps up to $20m, then $22m, then stays at $25m. So anything cleared up by Broxton will immediately get eaten up by Votto.

          Marshall has 2yr/$12m left on his contract, Chapman is making $5m this year and has a player option next year that he’ll almost certainly turn down followed by 2 years of arbitration eligibility (meaning he’ll cost much more). Ludwick makes $8.5m this year and then $9m for 2015 (or a $4.5m buyout). So in 2 years there’ll be Marshall and Ludwick off payroll, but Chapman will cost more and Frazier and Cozart will both be in their second year of arbitration, so they’ll cost more.

          All in all, I think the money coming off is already going to be taken up by non-Bailey sources. Of course I am sure there’ll be revenue increase and hopefully a new TV deal or something to increase the payroll.

  17. This contract is budget dust.

    get it done, then on to Latos, Bruce and Cueto

    There is a reason the team wins 90 games per year

    • @reaganspad: Not exactly sure how to read your comment…Are you knocking the team for JUST winning 90 games a year because contracts like this should be more automatic? Or are you praising the team for getting deals like this done to win at least 90 wins a year?

  18. Why do all of my comments “await moderation” all of a sudden?

    • @eric nyc: You’re such a trouble-maker 😉

      It happens to me sometimes too. Most the time it’s when I get to posting a lot.

      • @LWBlogger: Seems like the last couple weeks or so it’s been happening to me whenever I make the first post of the day.

  19. Well, Sheldon’s report has filtered through and is now on the Reds official website, so that would mean a lot to me.

    Official MLB websites are not inclined to post rumors.

  20. The total dollars of the deal won’t drive up the price of pitching on the open market, but rather creating a scarcity of supply will. Viewed thru that lens, it becomes even more pressing to lock up Latos before opening day (presuming he looks normal). But yeah, there’s a massive roadblock to that happening—the contracts to Broxton and Chapman.

    Looks like Cueto will be on the outside looking in when all is said and done.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Shoulda sent Latos a contract to sign while he was coming out of the knee surgery. “Um, here, this is a standard medical form for you file.”

  21. Not that this is part of the conversation, but we don’t have places to put “weird stuff about baseball.”

    CoCo Cordero has signed a minor-league contract with the Red Sox.

    • @Johnu1: And maybe this was noted already somewhere, but Harang has a minor league deal with the Indians. He’ll get to share Goodyear with the Reds.

    • @Johnu1: Good luck, CoCo. Hope we see him in the WS.

    • @Johnu1: Yeah, saw that in the paper this morning. Man he fell off the face of the world quick. 2.45 ERA and making a little over $11m in 2011, 7.55 ERA in 2012, didn’t play in 2013. Now resurfacing with a minor league deal. Talk about a career cliff.

      On the topic of closers for other teams. Kimbrel signed a 4yr/$42m deal. Does this mean that the closer market is finally becoming slightly more sane? Cordero got 4yr/$46m as a 33-year-old in 2008 and he was never anything close to what Kimbrel is. Kimbrel is better and younger yet got less. Of course I say more sane, but it’s still over $10m a year for 60-something innings.

      Anyway, I guess that means Chapman will probably cost someone in the neighborhood of 4yr/$32-36?… Unless some team offers him a starter contract.

      • @ToddAlmighty: The caveat there is that the Braves only signed him for one of his free agent years. The Reds would probably be signing for a couple of Chapman’s. I still think your guess at a possible contract is similar, though. Maybe 4/40, due to buying out two free agent years.

        On the topic of Nick Franklin, I’ve been wanting the Reds to go after him since the M’s signed Cano. The problem with him is that you’re competing against other teams. I think there’s hardly any chance that the Mariners keep him after spring training; they’ll use it as a showcase for interested teams and to drive up his price. He’d probably cost a “good” bullpen type of guy (assuming they’re in need of bullpen help). If not, he’d probably go for a utility man and a mid level (or a couple of low level) prospects. Think Alfredo Simon/Sam Lecure type, or a Schumaker + Travieso (I understand the Reds won’t trade Schumaker after signing him, it’s just an example). All this hinges, of course, on what other teams are offering. If you get in a bidding war, I could easily see it going to something like a Winker/Ervin type for him instead. If that’s the case, I don’t think the Reds could justify trading for him (at least, unless they’re absolutely SURE he will be a stud AND have a BP trade lined up AND believe the risk/reward greatly favors them [ie, Winker/Ervin aren’t going to pan out/BP trade returns something comparable]).

        You could go back and see what prospects like Franklin have cost in trades; I’d think Smoak could be a comparable, although I believe he was traded in a “star” for prospects deal his first time; his second trade might be a bit on the low side.

        (after looking him up, I realized that Smoak was not the player who I meant to refer to; I meant Brett Wallace).

        Brett Wallace was a former top prospect who was traded multiple times; the first, as one of the central pieces for Matt Holliday in July 2009. He was traded twice more, once for Michael Taylor in December of 2009 (an outfielder who was the number 35 prospect in MLB in 2010), and later for Anthony Gose in July of 2010 (he was ranked the number 4 Blue Jays prospect following the 2010 season).

        From this, it looks as though my earlier thoughts (above), were completely slanted towards the Reds. It appears more likely that it would cost an Ervin/Winker UP FRONT, and from there the price would actually increase based on how many teams were interested in Franklin. In the end, I think it would take the Reds a combination of one of the two of Ervin/Winker, along with a lesser prospect such as Daniel Corcino, who the Mariners might hope to reestablish value; a possible final trade might look something like this:

        Mariners receive:
        Tanner Rahier/Ryan Lamarre/Tucker Barnhardt (depending on what Mariners are looking for)

        Reds receive:
        Low-mid level prospect (possibly Tyler Marlette, C, Patrick Kivlehan, 3B, or Ketel Marte, SS)

        The only problem with this trade is that the Mariners currently have a LOT of top pitching prospects; instead of Corcino, they might want someone like YRod, or one of the ones I mentioned if Ondrusek were involved. Another thing to consider is that Marshall’s trade value is down due to his injury; if he reestablishes his value this season, the Reds could flip him at the trade deadline for a very good prospect. In the end, it all depends on what the Reds and Mariners want. This is just a hypothetical that has been thrown out.

        • @rhayex: I also would like to add that I understand that this is a lot for the Reds to give up; I’m not going to cop out and say “You have to give up something to get something”, but consider that the Reds are going against other teams here. There’s the possibility that Ervin/Winker alone would be enough to get Franklin, but there’s also the possibility a team like the Yankees would want him badly enough to open their doors and say, “take what you want”. If that’s the case, the Reds would have to offer (probably in the WORST CASE), the trade above. If you can get him for less, that’s great; however, based on comparable trades, this is the closest I can get for the Reds given all the variables.

          • @rhayex: I would rather have Ervin and Marshall than Franklin

          • @reaganspad: My issue really is, where does Franklin play? The Reds have been unable to get value in return for BP. I disagree with the notion that moving BP should be done simply as a salary dump. The Reds need to get value in a trade involving BP. They may even have to fork over some of his salary to get that value as they haven’t gotten the value they’ve wanted to get in return, while shopping him. So, the Reds may just need to hold onto BP. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. So I agree. I’d rather have Ervin, Marshall and BP than Franklin.

          • @rhayex: Yeah, the Reds might have to trade a good prospect, but despite Winker being promising, can we all remind ourselves that he’s only in Dayton? There’s a LONG way to go before it’s sure if he’ll even pan out as a major league player. Mike Costanzo (we all remember him, right?) hit .270/.368/.490 with 27 HR over a season when he first reached AA. FIVE YEARS later he goes 1 for 18 in the majors and looks horribly outclassed.

            Winker has quite a good deal to go before he’s a sure thing. If I could get a Franklin type player who’s 22/23, and hit .324/.440/.472 last year part time down in AAA and accumulated 2.3 WAR in 100 or so games in the majors and has SIX years of major league control, then I would be fine dealing Winker.

            Besides, Hamilton will be in CF, Bruce will be in RF, and then you have two prospects (Ervin/Winker) who are potentially the future of LF. Ervin is the one touted as more major league ready, which is why he was in A ball his rookie year and was looking at going to A+ before he had a wrist injury. Either way, the Reds have a promising OF prospect in reserve. They don’t have anything coming through the pipelines at 2B unless you think Rodriguez and his .244/.264/.333 2013 AAA line looks good.

            So I could live with trading Winker+Corcino (who Holmberg made expendable)+Ondrusek in exchange for Franklin. Then sell Phillips for whatever you can get in order to get his contract off the books, giving that saved money to Latos.

            6 years of Franklin + Latos extended > Winker + Corcino + Ondrusek + Phillips

          • @rhayex: Seems like a lot of players being shuffled around just so you can get a 2B.

          • @Johnu1: This is just my opinion on what it would take to get a Nick Franklin type of player based on the research I’ve done. People keep throwing his name around, but that is the closest to an actual trade that I could figure out based on comparables.

            Now, if the Mariners want to just give away Franklin a la the Doug Fister trade, that’s a different story. But until that happens, this is about the cost for him. I’m not saying whether or not I’d make the trade; I think that if I were Jocketty and were approached with this, I’d have to carefully consider it with most of my attention for at least a few days (enough time to get scouting reports on everyone involved, exchange names, counteroffer, etc.). I don’t have enough information on my end to make an informed decision either way. Jocketty does.

          • @rhayex: Just reread my earlier post. Yes, I’d like the Reds to trade for Nick Franklin if it were for a bullpen piece. That should be obvious; however, I changed my opinion after researching. I’d be more on the fence on a deal involving the players named. It could go either way, and you’d have to be CERTAIN to have a deal in place for BP before you did it.

          • @Johnu1: I agree, particularly because I hold the minority view that BP is a fine 2nd baseman and will be for a few years yet. He was injured last year, played through it, drove in 100 runs (I know, I know, but list the bad hitters who have driven in 100) and won the Gold Glove deservedly, and I can’t see replacing him, let alone trashing the farm system to do so.

  22. What are the chances that Bailey could be the opening-day pitcher?

    • @FLARed: Excellent. They’re not going to rush Latos. And this will be Price’s decision, not Dusty Baker’s, who would go with Cueto.

  23. A Cardinal fan at the Reds mlb.com site is talking about how this will be a terrible move by the Reds. A good sign.

    • @pinson343: Didn’t the Cardinals spend a few million less a year on a guy who was just suspended for PEDs?

    • @pinson343: Can’t be worse than the Pirates giving $5m to the guy who led the NL in earned runs allowed. Who was only beaten for the most earned runs allowed in all of MLB by 4, by a guy who pitched 41 more innings.

  24. @earmbrister:

    Not to mention that Leake is controlled for 2014 and 2015, and is a heckuva good back of the rotation pitcher.

    Leake is NOT a ‘back of the rotation pitcher’. Leake is a very good middle rotation pitcher. He just happens to be a back of the rotation pitcher on the Reds’ staff.

  25. My following statement is in no way negative toward Bailey. I think he is a fine pitcher. But I don’t like the details if true. Six years is a very long gamble on a pitcher with a history of shoulder issues. And $16M a year is exorbitant for the Reds.

    On the other hand, he hasn’t had shoulder issues in a few years and by the end of the contract $16M will see like a steal if he continues to pitch like he has the past two years.

    I still see Bailey as the #3 on this staff behind Cueto and Latos. That perception was challenged a little this past year, but that’s where I have him for now.

    • @TC: I guess I’m saying, if I didn’t hate Arroyo at $12M, I certainly don’t hate Bailey at $16M. I just don’t like long contracts for pitchers.

    • @TC: Six year deal is just a five year extension. One of the seasons would be 2014, I’m guessing.

    • @TC: If anything I see Cueto as the #3 guy behind Bailey and Latos. The argument in my mind is who’s #1, Bailey or Latos. I just don’t see Cueto ever staying healthy throughout an entire season again, and even if he did I think we’ve seen his best baseball while Latos might still have some ceiling. For me, Latos is the best regular season pitcher on the roster and will give you 200+ innings of top shelf pitching, but Homer’s the guy I want in an elimination game or the first game of a playoff series.

      • @eric nyc: A healthy Cueto is still the staff ace in my eyes. Guy hasn’t had an ERA higher than 2.82 the last three seasons. You make it sound like he’s Ken Griffey Jr in his Reds days and just made out of pure glass but he’s started 30 games or more in 4/6 of his seasons.

        As for seeing Cueto’s best baseball, I think people forget.. **Cueto is only 2 months and 18 days older than Bailey**. This is only his age 28 season. He’s just now entering his prime years, though even if we’ve seen Cueto’s best, and the best we can expect from him is Cy Young top 5 finisher and MVP vote getter? That’s still pretty nice.

        At least that’s why I think a healthy Cueto is your ace.

        • @ToddAlmighty: Maybe. I didn’t like what I saw out of him in that wild card game in terms of mental toughness, but it’s easy to believe he still wasn’t completely healthy and that had as much to do with it. Might seem silly, but throwing a no hitter takes incredible mental toughness. Those last couple innings must be the most be insanely intense and Bailey’s proven up to it twice. That counts for a lot in my book when talking about an ace.

          Anyway, it’s a good problem to have. That’s been my point for a while. I think we need to sew up all 3 of them to long term deals and I know that’s going to cost a fortune. But the elite teams have 3+ guys like that in their rotation. You add Cingrani and Stephenson and we could have one of the best rotations in baseball for 5+ years.

          • @eric nyc: Yeah, he had no business starting that game. He had been on the DL almost the entire season, only pitching in two games from June 29th to the end of the season going straight into a road game with over 40,000 Pirates fans who hadn’t had a winning season in 20 years only to find themselves in the postseason.

            He’s pitched well in the postseason before. In 2010 (before his new delivery, so he wasn’t quite as good then) he only allowed 1 earned run to the Phillies off a HR in 5 innings.

            Homer Bailey showed mental toughness on the no hitters, but he collapses too. Last season he had 11 regular season starts where he allowed 4 or more runs out of 32 stats. That’s over 33% of the time.

            In order to get to 11 regular season games where Cueto has allowed 4 or more runs, you have to count all the way back to September 22…. of 2010. Or in other words, 70 starts.

      • @eric nyc: I’m not sure I follow your metal toughness discussion. By that same argument I can say I don’t think Latos can climb a mound without hurting himself. But I can see how anyone could project Bailey as the #1. Or Latos. Or Cueto. They are all fine pitchers.

        While Latos has been the most solid, and Bailey is the only one to throw a no-hitter (not to mention 2), Cueto is the only one who has ever had Cy Young votes. Truth is, and this is just a gut feeling, I feel the most confident the team will win when Cueto is on the mound, followed by Latos, then Bailey.

  26. Not sure what’s been said already. But, Fay has a post of what I was wondering about. With the extension of Bailey, we almost have to consider that Latos, Cueto, Cingrani, or Leake is going to be out at some point in time. Either that, or we will be trading Stephenson.

    I don’t know of Walt tried to trade Homer or not, but I would have looked to trade Homer for something like a couple of prospects, trying to rebuild our minor league system a bit. Then, I would have tried to bring back Bronson. That would have made a decent bridge, I believe, to Stephenson.

    But, I can understand extending Homer and don’t have a problem with it. I’ve said before, boy, it’s good that the Reds are in positions where they can go several different ways and pretty not miss a beat. That’s why I could understand extending BP a couple of years ago and not trading him last season. We didn’t have a plan B there. On the extension, maybe we could have found a FA there that could have provided us something (we will never be able to replace BP, but he will not be this good forever; he has been getting a bit slower each year, with the bat, glove, and foot). But, on trading in the middle of last season? We had no plan B. With Homer, we have plans B, C, D, etc.

    If we can get to the point where that TV deal gets redone, then I believe we will be alright.

    • @steveschoen: It’s not inconceivable that an extension for Homer might actually make him MORE tradable. This might be going out on a limb a bit, but I think most people agree something around $100m/6 years is a fair market rate for Bailey. Without the extension, the only trading partners we could look at were people looking for 1 year rentals. Now we have a young ace pitcher under team control for 6 years at a fair price. Not saying that’s the plan, but let’s just say he puts up CY type numbers this year but our lack of offense still holds us back. Wouldn’t be THAT crazy to try shopping him for a bat next year with the pitching market price even higher.

      • @eric nyc: Exactly, Eric, options. The Reds can still go a bundle of ways with Homer. Trade him for prospects, trade him for a 4 hole bat, keep and sign him, trade him mid-season, trade someone else mid-season, etc. All I can very well understand. That’s what I meant. We may all have our preferences. But, I can’t understand why anyone would disagree with any of the options.

        Now who we get back if we were to trade him. Or, if he gets injured as soon as he signs the extension, that’s something else.

  27. Here is another angle to the Bailey, Cueto, Latos, Cingrani, Leake rotation. If the Reds decided to keep all of them, then you have to wonder what you do with Holmberg, Stephenson, Lorenzen, etc? Seems like the “lousy” minor league prospect argument is just silly. Need a 2b? We have some prospects. I cannot see any reason to consider to trade for an OF as there are several prospects available. People are not even considering Yorman, or some of the other OFs in the minors. The biggest hole is going to be at 2b, with SS and 3b possibly in a year or two.

    • @redmountain: Can’t believe nobody has pried Nick Franklin from Seattle’s hands yet. There’s rumors the Yankees are targeting him. Still think Walt needs to make that happen for the Reds.

      • @ToddAlmighty: I agree. The guy can take and he would look good in Red.

      • @ToddAlmighty: I agree. The guy can rake and he would look good in Red.

      • @ToddAlmighty: I agree that Franklin would look good in Red (as well as Red Mtn’s premise that 2B will be the biggest weakness in a couple of years, particularly with no viable replacement seemingly in the minors).

        Point is, if Walt needs to make it happen, it becomes a 3 team trade, with a landing place for BP needed. Walt’s shown the ability to pull off 3 team trades; who would be interested in BP?

        • @earmbrister: Toronto seems to be in need of a second baseman.

          • @Drew Mac: Yes, and the Orioles don’t have much at 2B as well. It’s a shame that Arizona doesn’t have a need …

        • @earmbrister: If you can get Franklin in the trade, letting BP go for almost free would be alright with me. Don’t need to worry about return value. With Franklin to lock down the position, the return value of getting rid of BP would be getting his $12.5m/yr for the next 4 years off the books and being able to instead give it to Latos.

          • @ToddAlmighty: Still believe that if the Reds could land Franklin, BP might end up in pinstripes (which would result in the NYY picking up his contract). Brian Roberts hasn’t played a full season since 2009 (!!!) and Kelly Johnson is mediocre at best. With the Yanks having crap for infield depth, Kelly Johnson is backing up half the infield, when he’s not starting at 3B.

  28. At least maybe those who were freaking out because Jocketty didn’t resign Choo or hit the free agent market are now backing away from the ledge.

  29. Eric, sorry busy day so I will respond to both of your comments

    Johnny Cueto is by far the best pitcher on the staff. His ERA has not been over 3 since 2010.

    Latos and Bailey both have stuff. They are learning how to pitch and control their emotions. Johnny has been there, done that. 19 game winner. Nobody runs on Cueto. Bailey is still learning to hold guys on. Latos is in between.

    Sign Johnny now for as long as you can. Add 5 years to his contract and then start talking to Latos. Health is not an issue. Shoot a few years ago everyone was worried about Baileys health. Pitchers will run into a health bug every few years. That is why Bronson was so amazing but even he could not beat mono.

    “Not exactly sure how to read your comment…Are you knocking the team for JUST winning 90 games a year because contracts like this should be more automatic? Or are you praising the team for getting deals like this done to win at least 90 wins a year?” “If anything I see Cueto as the #3 guy behind Bailey and Latos. ”

    So you sign all these guys to long term contracts, what does that mean? It means you are maximizing assets. The Reds cannot afford to buy free agents on the open market so they must sign their own where it makes sense. Bronson not so much, Bailey absolutely.

    Trades will absolutely become part of our future.

    You have 8 guys that are your core and then you build young talent around that. Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Cueto, Latos, Chapman, Bailey and Leake are our 8 today.

    Stephenson is going nowhere but to the bigs when he is ready. I hope Leake has 10 wins again at the all star break as teams will always need pitching.

    But to trade a Mike Leake, we need Bailey and Cueto signed. I want Latos signed also…all three long term with Cingrani and Stephenson

    • @reaganspad: I’ll add the caveat that the Reds know a lot more about his medical problems than me but I completely agree about adding years on Cueto now. I have no idea what he is looking for but this seems like a buy low opportunity with him. The guy has been lights out outside of last season (when he was very good when not injured). This is the type of high risk, high reward move the Reds should be looking to make.

    • Nobody runs on Cueto.

      That’s the added bonus with Cueto. He is the best RH starter at holding runners on first base and most choose not to run on him. That is nice to have with a young catcher that didn’t throw out as many base runners as Hanigan did.

      • @WVRedlegs: No one ran on Cueto/Hanigan. The two of the them were an incredible team. Will it be the same without Hanigan?

      • @WVRedlegs:According to fangraphs, Hanigan was 8th best against stolen bases in 2013 without Cueto. In 2012 Hanigan with Cueto was 2nd. In 2013 Mesoraco was in the middle of the pack at 24th. I did not find him on the rankings for 2012.

        In 2012 Cueto/Hanigan were the best battery in baseball. In 2013 Arroyo/Hanigan were the 9th best. It seems obvious to me the two (Cueto and Hanigan) helped each other.

    • @reaganspad: Again, it’s a good problem to have – too many top end starters. Rank them however you’d like I guess. I still think we need to extend all 3 of them to stay competitive. It’s the new reality of the league.

      One thing about Cueto, though – He became truly dominant when he adopted the full twist wind up motion. That’s also when the injuries started occurring which is why he’s already said he’s going to change his delivery this season. It’ll be interesting to see if he can maintain both his health and dominance with an altered delivery. On the other side, Latos is a pure overhand downhill thrower which doesn’t lead to as many upper body injuries in the long run. Bailey seems to have put his injury streak behind him but you always get a little nervous with guys who have had multiple shoulder issues.

  30. I am soooo ready for a game thread.

    • @preach: Let’s get one started.

      I thought Homer was real sharp there in the first. I don’t think the Yanks can handle him. Man, winning this W.S. would be a dream for me. Now let’s see what Hamilton can do against Tanaka.

      Bunt, Billy, and run like a deer!

  31. I continue to read comments about trading for a “couple of prospects.”

    I need something of a disclaimer on what that actually means. As if any organization has a “couple of prospects” lying around — I’d still like to seem some names instead of the ubiquitous non-people. And if we can get a “couple” of prospects, how good do they have to be?

    If they are really really good, can we get some names? If they aren’t really really good, can we ask for “several” prospects?

    I think the notion that we have real players who we would like to trade for “prospects” is like getting a 2-week paid vacation to “somewhere else.”

    • @Johnu1: It all depends, now doesn’t it? Factors would depend on who you trade and how badly the other team needs what you have. It’s impossible to be specific without this turning into a trade ideas thread, which is isn’t.

    • @Johnu1: great comment.

  32. To me Cingrani is the most interesting pitcher in 2014. Last year I kept waiting for him to break down and give up the big inning or have a disasterously bad game like all rookies. I don’t recall that ever happening. Maybe it did and just don’t recall.

    This is his sophomore year. He’s earned a spot in the rotation at the 5th guy (YES, 5th guy.) I just wonder if he can continue to fool hitters with 2 pitches.

    • @TC: I seem to remember him having a couple shaky outings, but nothing I wouldn’t expect from a rookie. His biggest problem was his pitch count because he relied so much on his fastball to strike guys out. If he develops a secondary pitch and can start pitching to contact a bit more that would help. As it is, you can’t count on him for more than 5-6 innings. But I agree, he’s intriguing.

    • @TC: @eric nyc: As reported by Sheldon in an article about Mike Lorenzen in his first big league camp…

      “The biggest thing is just learning how to be a pitcher and not just go up and throw,” Lorenzen said. “I think it’s really good for me to be in a clubhouse like this where you have guys like [Mat] Latos, [Tony] Cingrani and [Mike] Leake. All of these guys have so much knowledge. They’ve been pitching their whole lives and I’ve been pitching for two years.”

      “I’ve been working with Cingrani at playing catch and making my slider more consistent,” Lorenzen said. “He learned one too last year and it’s fresh in his mind. We were playing catch today and it felt way better.”

      Being fast-tracked to the major leagues inhibited the development of Cingrani’s slider and changeup. Cingrani never needed the additional pitches as a college reliever or minor league starter, but Cingrani is a ‘pitcher’ and knows he won’t survive against major league hitters without the additional pitches in his repertoire. Cingrani also understands where his major league value will unfold now that he’s proven he can pitch in the show.

      • @Shchi Cossack: Oh I get it. I know he was rushed up. But just because he knows he needs to develop some secondary pitches doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be successful at it. That being said, I’m very optimistic with him. And if we can lock up at least 2 of Bailey/Latos/Cueto long term then we don’t need Cingrani to be an ace – we might just need him to be a #4 or even #5 pitcher, especially once Stephenson is ready.

    • @TC: Funny you should mention this… I just saw this article on Cingrani wanting to get more confident in those other pitches now that he’s been in the Show: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/reds-39-cingrani-trying-more-164524431–mlb.html

  33. This is certainly one of the least reliable sources of information, but this ‘rumor’ appears to have some serious legs. Jim Bowden via twitter…

    Reds and Homer Bailey moving the chains down to the one yard line on a long term deal

    The Old Cossack did not expect an extention for any of the top three starters, but Bailey is healthy and improving while entering his prime production seasons. If the Reds can do this financially and continue to improve the rest of the team needs, this is good news.

    • @Shchi Cossack: This puts Bryan Price in a comfortable position methinks. He probably gets some credit for creating a conducive work environment for Homer, and maintaining that atmosphere will be crucial in seeing a good return on investment. It also bolsters his standing across baseball as a guy people will want to play for.

    • @Shchi Cossack: If they’re really that close, it’ll get done before the scheduled arbitration hearing on Thursday. The hearing is in Florida. Homer Bailey is in Arizona. If the hearing is scheduled in the morning, then Homer really needs to leave tomorrow. So my guess is by tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon, they’ll have a deal. Both sides want to avoid the arbitration hearing at this point.

    • @Shchi Cossack: The more I think about this, the more I’m starting to like it. At first the length of the contract had me a bit worried (and it still does to some extent), but provided Bailey can pitch 70% of the length of the contract it is a club friendly deal and that’s 20% of the rotation covered.

      I really think an average of $16.6M a year for Bailey is an excellent deal for the club.

      • @TC: Six years for a premier pitcher entering his age 28 season is a LOT different than six years for a pitcher entering his age 30 season. If the Reds can fit the $18MM per over the final 5 years into their budget, it’s a good deal. The risk is injury and no one has that crystal ball. There’s no reason to think that Bailey’s age 33 season (barring injury) will not be productive, at least a 3 WAR performance, if not excellent.

  34. This is the best scenario. Bailey locked up and then appeal to both Cueto and Latos at the same time. Good leverage there. I think and hope that both can be signed

    Also gives you the assurance that you can trade Leake, either before the season, or even better at the All Star Break when he hopefully has 8-10 wins and a season going like last year.

    That will have ample time to see how Hamilton is adjusting, Ludwick is returning to health and if any of our kids are on a rocketship (Ervin, anyone, Ervin).

    I am actually ok (and have been ok with the lack of moves made this year). I really like the young talent base and do not want to give up Travis Wood and 2 others for Sean Marshall again. I want to sell high and reap what our talent is worth.

    would I trade Leake to Seattle who needs a pitcher for Franklin. Sure. but you can only trade Leake when you know where your Homer is.

    As far as who might take his place in the rotation? Simon and LeCure are both very good and if Chapman doesn’t want to come out of the pen, I would love to see Sam step right into Leake’s spot

    • @reaganspad: I think LeCure has carved out a very valuable role for himself as a long reliever. I’d much rather keep him in that role than move him to the rotation. Has Simon ever started? I think in your scenario we’d more likely bring up Jeff Francis…Which is exactly why Leake isn’t going anywhere this year unless we’re totally out of it by the deadline.

      Only other scenario would be Stephenson absolutely dominating in AAA, but even then I wouldn’t see us rushing him up. We’re not very deep. Without Arroyo, we don’t have the fallback of a Cingrani if/when one of our starting 5 gets hurt.

      • @eric nyc: Simon and LeCure have demonstrated that they will pitch wherever and whenever they can.

        If Leake is traded at All Star Break, Stephenson will be coming up. That guy will not spend the entire year in the minors, and if someone does get hurt, he may be the next Cingrani.

        Francis has a need to prove he can be more than a spot starter who will have a 5 ERA on this team. We actually have a surplus of relievers right now. If the season started today, Ondrusek would be odd man out.

        That is why I would not be concerned with Simon or LeCure starting. You want your best players on the field as much as possible. The trade opening may also light a fire under another underutilized guy in the pen, especially when Homer’s contract goes public.

        This is an ego and challenge game also

        • @reaganspad: I’m not saying LeCure COULDN’T start or that he wouldn’t if asked to. Obviously he’d do whatever he was asked to do and he’s proven he can be at least a serviceable starter. All I’m saying is that he’s proven VERY valuable as a fairly dominant long reliever which isn’t an easy skillset to replace. I think he’s more valuable in that role than he would be as a 5th starter. Simon…I mean I guess if we had to? He’s started 19 games in his career with an ERA+ south of 80 in those appearances so I’m not chomping at the bit to swap Leake for that. I don’t think Leake’s going anywhere this year. The guy I still really want to see moved is Chapman. And in a perfect world Broxton, though I doubt you could get much for him at all with that contract.

          • @eric nyc: you don’t get much for relievers.

            Simon is a lot different pitcher on the Reds than he was previously. He is as good as anyone in our pen and has been Walt’s best move. The guy is a steal.

            You would never get value for Broxton. My hope is that surgery fixed what ailed him and that he can return to form. I think he would be more effective with a little less of that form. You just do not see 300 pound pitchers.

            Leake is a starter with 2 years of control. There is a bigger market for him today than for Homer. Notice that David Price is still in Tampa Bay. Teams are not going to give up a lot of trinkets this year for a one year rental

          • @reaganspad: Sabathia?

          • @greenmtred: good call greenmtred.

            But he is only “listed” at 290

            I would say that he is a fluke.

            Hey maybe I am wrong and 300 pound pitchers will become the norm

  35. Heyman is now reporting…

    The contract, if finalized, will be for between $100 million and $110 million over six years, according to scources, and including a seventh-year option.

    The Old Cossack likes the idea of an option included but it sounds like an expensive buyout if the option is not excercised.


  36. Jon Heyman reporting that Reds, Bailey close to deal worth “north” of $100 mm

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


Homer Bailey