Last season the Reds did long term deals for Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. Now they’re thinking about locking up some pitching: they want to do long-term deals for Homer Bailey and Mat Latos, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Bailey and Latos look to be long-term parts of the Reds rotation, with each coming off fine years. Bailey’s season was something of a revelation. After a lot of early hype and then five years of bouncing back and forth between the minors and the bigs, Bailey finally put together a complete season, starting 33 games for Cincinnati while going 13-10 in 208 innings with a 3.68 ERA.
Latos also started 33 games in his first season in Cincinnati. While his ERA was about the same as it was the year before, the move from he majors’ most pitcher friendly park in San Diego to one of the most hitter friendly environments around in Great American Ballpark evinces some significant improvement.
Both Bailey and Latos are first-time arbitration eligible players so they won’t be bank-breaking deal, but they should be bigger than the $27 million deal that teammate Johnny Cueto received when he was in their position.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.