Starter Homer Bailey agreed to a six-year, $105-million deal on Wednesday that avoids arbitration and will help the Cincinnati Reds with their cash flow by temporarily deferring some of the salary.
The deal includes a $25 million mutual option for 2020 with a $5 million buyout.
Bailey was the Reds’ final player left in arbitration. He reached the agreement a day before his scheduled hearing in Florida. He made $5.35 million last season and had asked for $11.6 million in arbitration. The Reds offered $8.7 million, their biggest gap with one of their arbitration-eligible players.
The 27-year-old Texan was coming off a season that included his second no-hitter. The sides struck a deal that will help the Reds with their cash flow.
Bailey gets salaries of $9 million this year, $10 million in 2015, $18 million in 2016, $19 million in 2017, $21 million in 2018 and $23 million in 2019. In an unusual twist, much of the annual salary will be deferred until the November after each season.
Bailey will be paid in-season amounts of $3 million this year, $4 million next year, $11 million in 2016, $12 million in 2017, $14 million in 2018 and $15 million in 2019.
If he is traded, his new team would have to pay all of the salary amounts during the season. Also, the $5 million buyout would be paid when either side decides not to exercise the option rather than having it deferred until November as well.
Chase Headley is confident the Padres will spend what it takes to become a contender. It’s just that so far they haven’t offered him enough money to ensure he’ll stay in San Diego.
A healthy and confident Headley was upbeat in the clubhouse Wednesday after the retooled Padres held their first full squad workout of spring training, even as the third baseman acknowledged contract talks are going nowhere and he’ll likely become a free agent next winter.
“Unless something drastically changes, I think we’re just going to focus on playing this year and reevaluate when the season’s over,” Headley said. “I don’t think either side is going to close the door, necessarily, but I think we’ve had enough discussion to understand that right now we haven’t found enough common ground to keep doing this.”
Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler was similarly tightlipped when asked if he thought a deal could be reached before the start of the regular season. “All I’ll say is that discussions have taken place,” Fowler said. “To put a timeline on us I think is not appropriate at this point.”
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz hopes to get a one-year contract extension “pretty soon” and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry would like to fulfill his designated hitter’s desire to retire as a member of the team. Whether a new deal will be completed during spring training remains uncertain.
“I think it’s going to be OK,” Ortiz said Wednesday. “Conversations are good. My bosses are more than happy to talk about what we’re talking about. They’re trying to get this out of the way so it doesn’t begin to be a distraction.
The Atlanta Braves have been on a signing spree. So far they’ve locked up first baseman Freddie Freeman, right fielder Jason Heyward, starter Julio Teheran, and closer Craig Kimbrel.
On Wednesday, the Braves extended the contracts of general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez.