02/16/2013 3:31 PM ET
Bailey, Reds avoid arbitration with one-year deal
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds and starting pitcher Homer Bailey avoided arbitration as the right-hander signed a one-year contract worth a reported $5.35 million.
Bailey, who made $2.4 million in 2012 when he also avoided arbitration, filed at $5.8 million, while the club offered $4.75 million.
The deal got done on Friday night. Bailey's hearing was scheduled for Monday. He was the last of seven Reds to be eligible for arbitration this offseason.
"It drags on too long. It's a very tough process," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Saturday morning.
The closest to going to a hearing was pitcher Mat Latos, who agreed to a two-year, $11.5 million deal Tuesday, moments before his hearing was scheduled to start.
In the other deals that avoided arbitration, Soo Choo signed a one-year, $7.3 million contract this week. Last month, reliever Logan Ondrusek signed a two-year, $2.3 million deal with several incentive clauses. Pitcher Mike Leake was signed to a one-year, $3.06 million contract last week. Outfielder Chris Heisey got a one-year, $1.325 million contract and reliever Alfredo Simon inked a one-year, $890,000 contract.
Cincinnati has not gone to arbitration since defeating Chris Reitsma in 2004.
Bailey's signing means there are 21 Reds players under contract for 2013, for a total of $100 million. This year, the Reds will have the highest payroll in club history.
Jocketty felt this was the toughest arbitration group he's ever had.
"Absolutely, with the number of guys and the quality of guys," Jocketty said. "We had some tough cases."
Jocketty said "at some point," the club would revisit trying to sign Bailey to a multiyear contract.
Bailey, 26, was 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA in a career-high 33 starts in 2012. He also established career bests in wins, innings (208), strikeouts (168) and quality starts (21), while leading the National League with a 2.32 road ERA.
The finest individual moment of Bailey's career came on Sept. 28 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, when Bailey threw a no-hitter with 10 strikeouts during a 1-0 win over the Pirates. It was the first no-hitter for the club since Tom Browning's 1988 perfect game and the 15th no-hitter in franchise history.
The Reds' first-round Draft pick in 2004, Bailey has already made 111 starts during his young career. He is 38-33 lifetime with a 4.50 ERA.
With Heisey, Baker knows Reds have plenty in reserve
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- For his three seasons in the Majors with the Reds, Chris Heisey has mostly been in the role of fourth outfielder. While many fans often clamor for Heisey to get more playing time, manager Dusty Baker insists Heisey's job is vital.
"You can't play everybody. I've talked to Heisey about it already," Baker said on Saturday. "That's a very valuable person on your team, which I've tried to explain to everybody before. That's like my sixth man in basketball. They should give an award like they do for the sixth man in basketball. That person is invaluable."
In 2012, Heisey often split time in left field with veteran Ryan Ludwick. But it was Ludwick who emerged as the regular by midseason. Ludwick was re-signed to a two-year, $15 million contract as a free agent in December.
Heisey, 28, avoided arbitration last month by signing a one-year, $1.325 million contract. Last season, in 120 games with 80 starts, he batted .265 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs while establishing career highs in at-bats (347), hits (92), doubles (16) and triples (5).
"He can pinch-hit, play all three outfield positions if somebody goes down for a period of time," Baker said. "He hasn't shown quite yet if he can play every day or not. People want you to throw him out there for a month or two months, it doesn't work like that. Most chances come in days. They don't come in months."
Heisey is batting .329 with six homers and 22 RBIs in 76 lifetime at-bats as a pinch-hitter.
• Pitcher Bronson Arroyo (flu-like symptoms) was again unable to participate in the team's workout on Saturday.
• Saturday morning was photo day at the Reds complex with several publications and baseball card companies taking shots needed for 2013.