Homer Bailey Clarifies He Doesn’t Want Out of Cincinnati
Earlier in the offseason whispers around the league intimated that Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey wanted out of Cincy. The 27-year old is entering his final year of arbitration before qualifying for free agency and is projected to earn around $9.3 million in 2014. Those figures would make him an attractive trade option for a number of big league teams interested in the services of a top-flight starter that routinely shows flashes of brilliance.
In search of an answer to the swirling rumors, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports spoke with Bailey last Friday – and Bailey reiterated that he doesn’t want to go anywhere. A quote from Rosenthal’s piece:
[quote]”To say that I ‘want out of Cincinnati’ is not true…I have nothing but good things to say about ownership and management, and I hold a great relationship with the coaching staff.
“If I am in the organization’s future, my priorities are that things make sense for me on the business end, that we are a team that continues to be a highly competitive team in the league and a team that plays the game the right way.
Reds G.M. Walt Jocketty says the team has made an offer to Bailey and his agent, but to this point negotiations haven’t progressed close enough to get a deal done. Bailey’s situation is similar to that faced by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw, who is also a free agent after the 2014 season (and the subject of on-again, off-again negotiations with the team’s front office over the past few months).
It makes sense for Bailey and agent Casey Close (also the agent of Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka, who has yet to sign with an MLB club) to be cautious about making a commitment to the Reds. If Bailey has another stellar 2014 campaign he’ll be in line for a massive payday as one of the top free agent starters on the market. In 2013 Bailey finished 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA, 199 strikeouts (a career high), a 1.124 WHIP and a 110 ERA+ in 209 IP. He’s thrown no-hitters in each of the past two seasons to boot.
Should the Reds decide it wouldd be better for the organization to maximize Bailey’s value in a trade rather than commit tens of millions of dollars to him long-term, he’d surely be sought by probably half of the teams in the league.
Follow Adrian on Twitter (@adriangarro) for more news & notes!