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Reds GM Walt Jocketty concedes that keeping Homer Bailey will be “difficult”

Jan 6, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

Homer Bailey AP AP

Homer Bailey has been subject to trade speculation this offseason, as he’s entering his final year of arbitration and could land a huge contract on the open market next winter. The Reds are interested in keeping him long-term, but general manager Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com earlier today that he understands the reality of the marketplace.

“He would be probably the one guy that’s going to be the most difficult because of how well he’s done and where he’s at in this service class,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “Young pitchers are getting quite a bit.”

“At this point, we really haven’t discussed anybody but Homer to sign long term,” Jocketty said. “Homer is the only one we’ve pursued, but we’ve had internal discussions on the other guys. We just have to see how it all fits in, financially.”

Bailey had his best season yet last year, posting a 3.49 ERA and 199/54 K/BB ratio over 209 innings. He also threw his second career no-hitter. Still just 27 years old, he could command a contract north of $100 million if he remains healthy and effective in 2014.

MLB Trade Rumors projects Bailey to make $9.3 million in his final year of arbitration, so there’s a case to be made to trade him if the Reds don’t think they can sign him to an extension. However, Jocketty said he told clubs during the Winter Meetings that he has no intention to move him. There’s nothing wrong with keeping Bailey around for his walk year, as the Reds are expected to contend and his production in the rotation would be very difficult to replace. The Reds would also be able to make him a qualifying offer, though draft pick compensation would merely be a consolation prize if he ends up elsewhere.

  1. Ayana Rashed - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    Reblogged this on Imarashed.

  2. cackalackyank - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Hi, Walt. My name is Brian Cashman. I’m here to help.

    • Reflex - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:09 AM

      I don’t know what the Yanks have to offer. Yeah Gardner makes sense this year, but he has the exact same problem Bailey has: this is his last season and he will be difficult to retain. It would be simply creating a new problem to replace the old problem.

      What could the Yanks offer the Reds that makes any more sense for them?

  3. stex52 - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    “Hi Walt, my name is (insert GM’s name here). I’m here to help.”

    Bailey is likely to go for a big premium if he has another year like this one. Cashman had better warm up that wallet for this purchase.

    • cackalackyank - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      No argument from me. If Phil Hughes can get what he got., Bailey should get a lot more. Besides, Bailey is….young.

  4. sfs1 - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Young, near-top-of-rotation pitching isn’t the easiest thing to find. I’d hate to see Bailey traded away from the Reds, as I think his numbers will only improve (perhaps only modestly, with him ending up as a 2-3 rather than a 1-2). However, someone with his profile and at least relative cost control makes him a much easier asset to trade than, say, a Brandon Phillips, and could net the Reds recognizable value.

    My biggest fear is that the Reds are at a point of payroll determining success, and in their market, with payroll unlikely to expand notably, the franchise will end up spinning their wheels in “almost there, but not quite” territory for four, six, maybe even upwards of ten years.

  5. bobb12901 - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    reds need to keep him for credibility I mean we need some real pitcher to get to chapman and baily is the man. the league could help us out by pete rose getting his place in hof and thereby giving credibility to our team with indorsements and up our ante so shout it out ” now ”

  6. oldschoolnflman - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:09 AM

    I’ll raise the money myself to bring him to the burgh. Who wants to rob Bob Nutting’s house with me?

  7. redsin4 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:07 AM

    Bailey to the Mariners for Hultzen and Ackley/Miller + lesser prospect

  8. metalhead65 - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    unless they are getting a couple of top prospects along with somebody like gardner then why deal him? he is going to walk and will want to have a big year going into free agency so why not stick with him? let’s see if walt can do more than sign washed up ex-cards to nice retirement contracts and use that draft pick the reds will get for losing Bailey and draft a guy to replace him? his beloved former team the cardinals did that and the guy they got wacha, turned out to be pretty good didn’t he?

    • redsin4 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      hultzen > unknown draft pick.. ackley was in center last year and he has a lot of upside. Bailey’s going to kill it in 2014 but that won’t push the Reds into the WS. Get what you can for one year of Bailey, i think.

      • Reflex - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:57 PM

        Hultzen, however, is not available in a deal like that. The M’s are not going to trade their second best pitching prospect for a one year rental. They are not ready to contend for the playoffs this season so that makes no sense at all. And you want to toss Ackley and another prospect in as well? Yeah right.

      • redsin4 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:39 AM

        Doesn’t seem that much different from the Shields trade to me. Wil Meyer was #1 prospect overall wasnt he?

      • paperlions - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:15 AM

        …and the Shields trade was 12 kinds of stupid. Very few GMs will give up 6 years of Myers for 2 years of Shields and even fewer would give up 6 years of Hultzen plus something for just one year of Bailey.

  9. stoutfiles - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Bailey is not the worth the payday he’s going to get. He’ll throw a few masterpieces each year, but when he gets hit early he implodes. Whatever money the Reds have should be used to keep Bruce on the team.

  10. jm91rs - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    My 2 cents: bailey for Gardner makes sense in terms of each team’s needs and strengths, but if you’re the reds you’ve got to start bringing in cheap talent, even if it means you don’t necessarily get better this year. With a small payroll you’ve got to be careful about putting all your eggs into one basket (going all in for one season). They’ve tried it a few times recently and it hasn’t gotten them any further. If it’s time to move on from bailey it’s time to get some talented position players that can help in the next couple of years. If they don’t find an answer at 3rd base, ss or left field (need to upgrade 1 or 2 of these spots, not all 3) then I don’t see any benefit for a 1 year center fielder.

    • metalhead65 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      third base? frazier had a down year and still hit17 homers and drove in runs. cozart is fine at short as long as you do not bat him at the top of the order. once the toothpick finally dropped down to 7&8th in the lineup he produced. left field will be a problem only if they do not give Heisey a chance when ludwick proves his 2012 season was a mirage and jocketty over paid as he always does with former cardinals. the reason the reds never got anywhere in the playoffs was taken care of in the off season when they got rid of baker! any other manager would have taken those teams much farther than he did. the reds signed those big contacts they gave thinking they were ready to win and they were but had the wrong manager to do it with. now they have to think long term as well as today and that means giving Hamilton a chance in center and Cingrani a spot in the rotation.

  11. dengefever63 - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    trade him now get something other than draft compensation….

  12. csmountaineer - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    If the reds trade Homer Bailey… They HAVE to get a boat-load of prospects. At least one top prospect and a few middler prospects. If they don’t, its a waste. What would be the point? The reds have almost completely depleted their farm system, and its time to build for the future. (I did not say rebuild, but keep building) The reds are getting OLD. we need to start going the other direction

    • Reflex - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      No, the value the Reds need to get for Bailey is more than the supplemental draft pick they will receive plus his value next season. Beyond that is asking more than they can reasonably expect.

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