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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cincinnati Reds, Homer Bailey agree to six-year, $105 million contract | MLB.com: News

Reds pitcher Homer Bailey has agreed to a six-year, $105 million contract, a source said Wednesday. The team has not announced the deal.

The agreement, which includes a mutual option for a seventh year worth $25 million with a $5 million buyout, enables both Bailey and the Reds to avoid an arbitration hearing.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:46 PM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: homer bailey, reds

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4659079)
Bailey is young, and has been a 2.5 - 3 WAR pitcher the past two seasons, but this just feels like an overpay to me (especially as we see the market deflated for Garza/Santana/Jimenez). But I could be biased because Bailey has sucked in my Diamond Mind League.
   2. zonk Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4659080)
Agreed.

My feelings are probably tainted by the fact that he seemed to be forever the underachiever prior to the last 2 seasons -- he was very good in both 2012 and 2013, as well as developing into a bit of a workhorse -- but I catch strong whiff of Carlos Zambrano off the guy.

Probably a fair contract... just not one that I think I'd have signed.
   3. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4659083)
Crap. This means Mike Minor got more expensive.
   4. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4659093)
The AAV is about right but it's two years too long.
   5. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4659112)
It's hard to get my mind around the new economics of the game, but if he's a 3 win/yr pitcher over the next 6 seasons, it's a fair deal (about $6M/win). I also like this deal because Cueto is both (1) injury prone and (2) 2 years from free agency.

However, I hope this doesn't affect their ability to keep Latos, or sign a decent bat next off-season.
   6. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4659118)
but I catch strong whiff of Carlos Zambrano off the guy.


umm... why?

   7. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4659121)
Even if there's a whiff of Carlos Zambrano coming from Bailey, that's a solidly above average pitcher (and occasional ace) for a decade. I'd say the Reds would probably be fine with that.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4659124)
That feels a little rich to me, given the SP prices this offseason, but I guess it's their money.
   9. SoCalDemon Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4659127)
Using a rough 3/2/1 weighting of the last three years, he looks like a 2.5-3 win pitcher (2.5 going by bWAR, 2.9 going by fWAR; they are pretty much in agreement all three years), I think that they can't be expecting him to average more than maybe 2 WAR/yr, considering injury risk etc. I think either this is an anomaly, or teams are valuing wins at a lot more than $6M/win. I am really glad I am not a GM; I would never want to sign a 110 ERA+ pitcher to this kind of contract (or the Freeman contract on the position player side), but I am pretty sure it is a necessary evil if a team wants to win more than 73 wins on a consistent basis, armchair analysis notwithstanding.
   10. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4659129)
Well, Homer was brought up way too early, then jerked around by the Reds for a few years (plus, he was pretty stubborn himself). He has improved every year since 2009 and had the lowest hit rate, homerun rate, and k rate of his career in 2013.

Seems like if there is a whiff of Carlos Zambrano about him, there is also a whiff of Curt Schilling about him also...
   11. SoCalDemon Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4659133)
All true, but still, his two good years still only come out to a 111 ERA+ (112 in 2012 and 110 in 2013, so not exactly a Randy Johnson trajectory); he definitely seems like a solid starter, but I hope nobody is betting money on him becoming a 130 ERA+ guy because of his last two years. It could happen, but...
   12. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4659134)
Seems like if there is a whiff of Carlos Zambrano about him, there is also a whiff of Curt Schilling about him also...


You get the wrong parts of those two and you've got the potential for a historically awful stench.

   13. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4659136)
You get the wrong parts of those two and you've got the potential for a historically awful stench.


HA! True.

I just don't see the Zambrano comparison, though. Zambrano is pretty much crazy, right? Homer is not that at all.

Also, this means that all of the Reds starters are under control through at least 2015, meaning they don't need to rush Robert Stephenson (like they did Homer Bailey).
   14. Davo Dozier Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4659149)
OTTOMH, I thought the Reds had tons of young pitching very near-ready in the high minors. I know, I know, TNSTAAPP, but I thought they had a half dozen prospects to look at.
   15. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4659154)
They traded for David Holmberg, and they have Robert Stephenson. Those are the only 2 starters above low A that project to be major league starters.

edit: and, I guess Daniel Corcino. But, a 5.86 era with 73bb and only 90k in a full season at AAA isn't too good.
   16. Davo Dozier Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4659155)
I'm probably letting OOTP cloud my mind again. damn that game!
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4659158)
Is Chapman ever going to start or have they abandoned that completely?
   18. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4659160)
Abandoned completely.
   19. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4659163)
I remember Homer Bailey, he was a real disappointment for five of his first five seasons. But apparently not now.
   20. Davo Dozier Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4659166)
I guess Cingrani too, but he's already part of the rotation permanently now, huh?
   21. bobm Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4659171)
Seems like if there is a whiff of Carlos Zambrano about him, there is also a whiff of Curt Schilling about him also...

You get the wrong parts of those two and you've got the potential for a historically awful stench. 


Reminded me of this apocryphal story:

[Isadora Duncan] wrote to George Bernard Shaw: "Will you be the father of my next child? A combination of my beauty and your brains would startle the world," but he replied: "I must decline your offer with thanks, for the child might have my beauty and your brains."


http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Bernard_Shaw
   22. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4659172)
I guess Cingrani too, but he's already part of the rotation permanently now, huh?


Yes.

There's also Sharky Rogers, but, he's a little old already, and probably projects better as a reliever. He needs to eventually make it, just for the nickname. He was, literally, bitten by a shark.
   23. SoCalDemon Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4659173)
Well, so were Sandy, Randy....maybe pitchers with five letter names and a half-decade of mediocrity are the new market inefficiency?
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4659174)
I believe Latos is a FA this winter, and Leake and Cueto are eligible after 2015. So locking up Bailey would be pretty important if they have few pitchers in the pipeline.
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4659175)
I guess Shaw wasn't all that smart after all, to pass up an offer like that one.
   26. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4659180)
Latos has one more year of arbitration. He's at 4.079 years of service after 2013.
   27. AROM Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4659187)
You get the wrong parts of those two and you've got the potential for a historically awful stench.


Probably smells like Bartolo Cologne.
   28. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4659203)
Using a rough 3/2/1 weighting of the last three years, he looks like a 2.5-3 win pitcher (2.5 going by bWAR, 2.9 going by fWAR; they are pretty much in agreement all three years), I think that they can't be expecting him to average more than maybe 2 WAR/yr, considering injury risk etc.
Well, there is always the injury risk (even though he hasn't missed a start in the last 2 seasons), but using the 3/2/1 weighting seriously underrates Bailey because he only pitched 132 innings in '11.

Just looking at the last 2 seasons, I think the Reds are fair to expect around 3 WAR/yr from him. Or, you can pro-rate '11 to 200 IP, and he still looks like a 3 WAR pitcher

Finally, he's one of only 16 pitchers with 400+ IP and an ERA+ over 110 over the past 2 seasons, so he isn't exactly a bum.
   29. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4659215)
Worth noting that Bailey picked up an extra tick and a half on his fastball last year. The team has tinkered with him too much in the past, but he finally looks like the healthy, power pitcher he was always supposed to be. I think this is a year too long but the AAV is about right.
   30. SoCalDemon Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4659216)
Sure, call it 3 wins. Definitely not a bum at all. But it seems like the risk of injury/pumpkining is high enoguh that I wouldnt be comfortable projecting him for more than 2wins/year over the next 6, and even that seems slightly rose-colored, given he is a pitcher. I actually think the contract is reasonable, but only because wins are about to get a lot more expensive.
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4659244)

Just looking at the last 2 seasons, I think the Reds are fair to expect around 3 WAR/yr from him. Or, you can pro-rate '11 to 200 IP, and he still looks like a 3 WAR pitcher

That assumes he's healthy every year and doesn't decline at all from ages 28-33. Then again, Bailey seems at first glance like the kind of guy who has a bit of upside in addition to the usual downside. It still seems like an overpay to me but I'd be happy to be proven wrong.
   32. Davo Dozier Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4659252)
Who starts for the Reds on opening day 2014?
   33. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4659261)
Career ERA+ of 96, high of 112. This looks like a disaster waiting to happen.
   34. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4659272)
Career ERA+ of 96, high of 112. This looks like a disaster waiting to happen.
That includes 400+ innings of 85 ERA+ before most pitchers sniff the majors (age 21-25).
   35. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4659286)
But it seems like the risk of injury/pumpkining is high enoguh that I wouldnt be comfortable projecting him for more than 2wins/year over the next 6, and even that seems slightly rose-colored, given he is a pitcher.
Are you saying his risk of injury/regression is higher than the average pitcher? If so, why?

Or are you saying that even a guy who's improved each of the past 3 seasons, and is only 27, and is only signed through his age-34 season, should be expected to significantly regress?
   36. toratoratora Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4659288)
$100 Mil for Homer Bailey?
Dear Lord,I now feel old.
As if it's not bad enough having sticker shock every time I walk into a supermarket,now this?

Seriously though, this seems like a crazy unnecessary overpay,especially in light of the recent free agent contracts.
If the Empire or The Dodgers(Empire West) make this deal, I won't blink. For a mid market team,this sounds like a helluva risk.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4659351)
Are you saying his risk of injury/regression is higher than the average pitcher? If so, why?

I assume he's saying that, for any starting pitcher, you can probably expect him to miss about one full season out of 6. (Not something we "know" to my knowledge but probably a decent guess.) So even if you consider him a 3 WAR/30 starts pitcher over that period, that's still just 15 expected WAR.

For example, there are only 45 pitchers with 12+ WAR from 2008-13. A few guys -- Latos, Fister, Chacin -- have done that in just 5 years. A few are high performing pitchers that got hurt -- e.g. Carpenter, Buchholz, J Santana, Josh Johnson, Oswalt -- i.e. probably better pitchers than Bailey so you have to hope he gives you more than 750-850 innings over those 6 years (4 full years).

At the bottom of the list, you do get a lot of Bailey-like pitchers -- Jackson, E Santana, Wandy, Scott Baker (really?), Garza, Guthrie -- all in that 12-15 range. Just above that you get reasonable guys like Floyd, A Sanchez, Dempster. But once you get around 18 WAR, you are generally talking pitchers who, at least at some point in the last 6 years, were much better than what Bailey has shown.

But I think we're overstating the money in this contract. Yes, Ubaldo just signed for a lot less ... but Ubaldo's 2013 was a bit worse than Bailey's and his 2011-12 were worthless. Jimenez has more upside in that he was once much better but I don't see any reason to think he's not currently worse than Bailey and he's two years older than Bailey. I don't think I'd go 6/$105 for Bailey but I don't think I'd have done 2/$23 for Hudson or 2/$35 for Lincecum either.

The one that looks out of line in the current market is Garza (and Vargas et al but those are a different issue). 4/$50 looks awfully cheap for him. But then he's got only 5.4 WAR over the last 3 years with just 42 starts over the last 2. His peripherals look like a wash with Bailey's over the last three years. So even there ... Bailey is 2 years younger, same peripherals and 64 starts the last two years -- on paper he sure looks like a guy who deserves a better contract than Garza and "we" think Garza is underpaid. Bailey's peripherals are also pretty close to Anibal Sanchez who is one year older and got 5/$88 last year. I'm not sure the extra year for Bailey is justified but they're roughly equivalent contracts. His peripherals and performance are better than Jackson's through 2012 -- again, I'm not sure the extra two years is justified but 4/$52 for Jackson vs. 6/$105 for Bailey doesn't seem too wacky.
   38. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: February 19, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4659371)
Everyone is too expensive~!

Doesn't this look right in line with $7m/WAR?
   39. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: February 19, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4659395)
It is a crazy deal, but mostly because of the years involved. All this "a win is worth X-million dollars" is way beside the point. He's arb eligible still so most if not all of the value for this deal would have already happened in the arb process. 6 years at 100M may work out if you run WAR per million, but that's only because he's a relative value for the next two years, so you're not actually buying any value in the deal.

The point is that your 2016 and beyond Reds could have an $18M bomb on their hands, given that Bailey as a pitcher simply has a high risk of injury and/or a 4 or 5 starter kind of season. In 3 years, an $18M hole will still keep a team like the Reds from doing something with another player or a FA, and 23M will sure as hell mean a lot in 2019.

This is only $40M more than Hamels got over the same span, and that is with no arb years being bought out. And Hamels is a far superior pitcher with a much better profile for a team that has more money to waste...and who, incidentally reported in year 2 of his deal with a sore shoulder.
   40. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4659431)
Only baileys last arb year was bought out with this deal
   41. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:30 PM (#4659438)
his two good years still only come out to a 111 ERA+ (112 in 2012 and 110 in 2013, so not exactly a Randy Johnson trajectory)


Pretty much nobody in MLB history but Randy Johnson has ever followed a "Randy Johnson trajectory" but at the age that Bailey was in 2012-13, Randy Johnson put up ERA+'s of 108 and 103.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:41 AM (#4659480)
Man, his old school b-r comps are SCARY. Blanton, Eaton, Hermanson, Todd Stottlemyre, Kip Wells, Floyd, Liriano, Pelfrey, Trachsel, Leal. Stott at 17 WAR and Trachsel at 15 WAR for the rest of their careers is fine but nobody else topped 3 (Liriano, Floyd, Pelfrey and technically Blanton still going). And Liriano, Floyd and Pelfrey have so far combined for 7 seasons, 8 WAR and 900 IP.

Another, too precise comp search turned up Nolasco (4 WAR so far, 28-30) and Fritz Peterson (10 WAR, 28-33) -- so expect Bailey and Latos to wife swap sometime soon.

Expanding that pool a bit -- K/BB 2.5+, ages 25-27, 500+ IP, 4-8 WAR -- 15 pitchers, top 28-33 careers from that list are Kaat (16), Eck (15), Millwood (12), Matlack (11), Fritz (10), Gooden, Penny and Pascual at 9. Also active guys E Santana (4.5 in 3), Nolasco (4.3 in 3) and Garza (2.7 in 2). In terms of K-rate, Millwood, Gooden, Perez, Smiley and the 3 current guys look like reasonable comps.

Not as depressing as the b-r comps but still only a 1/3 chance of even getting to 10 WAR in these 6 seasons.

Bailey's 6 WAR have been mostly the last 2 years though ... K/BB, age 26-27, 5-7 WAR, 300+ IP -- looks a bit better. You get some decent recent names like Fister, Shields, Sanchez and Scherzer; some decent not that long ago names like Bosio, Lieber, Harang around 14 WAR; and some very nice ones like Perry and Cone. 14 of the 25 made it to 10 WAR and the current names all have a good shot at it. Still, break even on the contract must be around 15 WAR.

So, yeah, it's starting to look pretty badly overpriced. It may start out looking good -- 13 of these 25 guys had 6.5+ WAR at 28-29, led by Harang at 11 -- but they don't always end well (that was Harang's last good season). From 30-33, only 8 (of 22) made it to even 8 WAR.

Pitchers, can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em.
   43. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4659509)
I will say this - an extension should save the team some money, and at best this is a market-value contract.

***

I just looked at Cot's, and it sure looks like the Reds expect a big new TV contract after next season. Bailey gets $9M this year and $10M next, then jumps to $18/19/21/23. Similarly, Votto's contract only pays him $12M/$14M the next 2 seasons, then jumps to $20/22/25 the next three. If that's true, this deal makes a bit more sense; it also means Latos could be in line for a HUGE contract.
   44. SoCalDemon Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4659526)
Re: That is kind of exactly my point. Based on everything we know about how projection systems work, and knowing everything we know about Homer Bailey, I would not expect him to significantly improve from the pitcher is today (he sure might, and there is some hope for that based on his last two years, but I would not count on it personally). I also think a lot of people underestimate the risk of injury for any pitcher. I would consider best reasonable case scenario (85th-90th percentile guess) to be something like 18 WAR. He is the the pitcher of the last two years, and he is injury-free over the next 6. But I think the injury risk is high enough that I would not put the over/under above 12 WAR or so. And again, I do not really think this is an overpay, I just think this, along with several of the other contracts signed this year, suggest that the market rate for players is heading up substantially again. And to follow up on 37, I would be curious to see how many pitchers, at the end of 2007, we would have projected to 12+ wins between 2008-13 that totally cratered. I suspect there are quite a few, and I think we mentally forget/discount these guys as relevant cases.
   45. Dolf Lucky Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4659531)
Hopefully this will trigger the zips/bat signal, but I thought I saw Szymborski make a statement that zips saw Bailey's six-year market value at $117M. This deal carries some risk, but is probably fair. I'd rather have Bailey in town for 6 more years than Cueto...
   46. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4659598)
Another thing to remember about pitchers - sure there's a decent chance at injury, but there's also a decent chance that a good pitcher has a Bronson Arroyo 2006 season, which would more than make up for the difference.

Just so last year wasn't that year for Bailey.
   47. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4659614)
the above point about using bailey's career numbers to assess versus where he is right NOW is important.

bailey to me look to have the trademarks of a late bloomer. I could easily see him continue to escalate in performance. if he gets his stuff to work more consistently game to game he could a 4 war or greater pitcher. then this deal gets assessed very differently.

he has some big time stuff when it's working.

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