The Cincinnati Reds are still working toward a contract with right-hander Homer Bailey in order to avoid an arbitration hearing. Considering the amount of time general manager Walt Jocketty has spent working on a deal, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer wouldn't be surprised if a multi-year contract extension was in the works.
Bailey is set to enter his second arbitration-eligible season. He earned $2.425 million in his first go-round, and he's currently on pace to have one more season of arbitration eligibility before reaching the free agent market following his 2014 campaign.
At one point, Bailey was considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. He struggled in his debut and over the next several seasons, but he's since put it together and has become a pivotal member of Cincinnati's starting rotation.
Over parts of six seasons in the majors, Bailey owns a career ERA of 4.50 with a 2.28 strikeout-to-walk ratio. However, over the last three years he's maintained an ERA of 4.09 with a 2.99 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Bailey turned in a career year in 2012, maintaining an ERA of 3.68 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.23 over 33 starts. Considering his impressive performance, he's set to receive a nice bump in salary.
But, rather than simply put off negotiations for one more year, the Reds may be interested in extending Bailey. They could elect to buy out his two remaining years of arbitration, or they could look to extend a contract that would enter into his free agent years.