The Cincinnati Reds have agreed on a six-year, $105 million extension to lock up homegrown product, Homer Bailey.
Speculation concerning the move has been days coming, but with Bailey’s arbitration hearing scheduled in Tampa, he was present at Reds practice in Goodyear. The deal was reportedly imminent before Mark Sheldon of MLB.com broke the news around 1 PM, local time.
Much has been made recently about Bailey’s “wanting out” of Cincinnati if a deal could not be reached, yet he reiterated that this was far from the truth. Avoiding arbitration with the Texas born right-hander, the club now has him under their control for the following seven seasons.
Bailey’s contract calls for a $25 million option on his final, seventh year, with a $5 million buy-out. Unless the U.S. dollar inflates to epic proportions, or Homer Bailey goes on a Roger Clemens-like training program, he will undoubtedly not be worth that hefty sum at age 35.
With the second $100+ million plus contract in as many years for the Reds, expect to see that payroll number bump up significantly. With Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos (even Aroldis Chapman) all awaiting their paydays, one player may be left out in the cold.
Some are critical of handing out a 100 million dollar plus deal to a pitcher with two productive Major League seasons. In each of his last two seasons, Bailey has thrown a no-hitter; in 2012, against division rival Pittsburgh, and last year, at home against San Francisco.
Bailey seems poised to make that jump to becoming “elite” in this upcoming season, as long as he can keep his head after becoming a 100 million dollar man.