The Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a six-year, $105 million extension with starter Homer Bailey, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. The deal includes a $25 million mutual option or $5 million buyout for 2020, meaning that Bailey could earn $125 million over the next seven seasons.
The deal buys out five of Bailey's free agent seasons, meaning that it is the equivalent of him signing a five-year, $94-95 million contract as a free agent last winter. It is the third long-term deal given out by the Reds in recent years, joining the ten-year, $225 million deal signed by Joey Votto and the six-year, $72.5 million one signed by Brandon Phillips two years ago.
Bailey, who turns 28 in May, was slated to become a free agent after the season after posting a 49-45 record and 4.25 ERA in seven seasons with the Reds. He has stated a desire to remain in Cincinnati, and will now be part of the Reds' organization through at least his age-33 season. Since being drafted by the Reds with the seventh overall pick in the 2004 draft, Bailey has cemented himself as one of their most consistent starters, cultiminating in a 2013 season in which he went 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 32 starts.
With Bailey and Dodgers' lefty Clayton Kershaw locked up with long-term extensions, the free-agent starting market for next winter is now headlined by Max Scherzer, Justin Masterson, Jon Lester and James Shields. While Masterson and Lester are likely to talk about an extensions with their teams during spring training, it does not appear that Scherzer and Shields are likely to ink long-term deals with their current clubs.
Kershaw and Bailey share an agent, Casey Close of Excel Sports Management, who has now worked out four massive deals this offseason. By signing his clients Kershaw (seven years, $210 million), Masahiro Tanaka (seven years, $155 million), Freddie Freeman (eight years, $135 million) and Bailey (six years, $105 million), Close has now earned $605 million for his clients on long-term deals this winter.