Homer Bailey is one season from free agency and looking at a huge payday, leading to speculation that the Reds might shop him this offseason.
Yesterday general manager Walt Jocketty addressed those rumors–and specifically one regarding the Yankees calling him about Bailey–telling Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:
I told them we’re not trading him. We’re trying to sign him.
Bailey is a tricky case in terms of handing him a massive long-term contract, because while he obviously has dominant raw stuff and is still just 27 years old he also has just two seasons with an ERA under 4.00. Of course, they’re the most recent two seasons, during which time Bailey has logged 417 total innings with a 3.58 ERA, although his strikeout rate of 7.9 per nine innings is hardly elite and prior to 2012 he’d never thrown more than 132 innings in a season.
He’ll almost surely be asking for more than $100 million and perhaps a whole lot more, but Sheldon writes that “the Reds do not feel compelled to deal Bailey for players” because they could always get draft pick compensation for him departing as a free agent.
Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor reached an agreement with the Rangers on a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension. It was announced on Saturday and finalized on Thursday. The contract is pretty typical — a signing bonus, escalating salaries each year — except for one thing: Odor received two elite horses as well, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Here are those horses, per Jared Sandler of 1053 The Fan:
Players do sometimes get perks as part of their contracts. Usually it’s mundane stuff like extra game tickets for family and friends, use of a suite, limo rides, or plane tickets. Sometimes they can get rather specific. For example, in 2005, Troy Glaus got $250,000 per year in “personal business expenses” from the Diamondbacks, which was for his wife’s equestrian training. Hall of Famer George Brett got a 10 percent stake in an apartment complex in Memphis when he signed an extension with the Royals in the mid-1980’s. But as far as my research was able to go, no one received any horses, so that’s new.
Of course, the Rangers certainly think Odor is worth the perks. Last season, Odor hit .271/.296/.502 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 632 plate appearances. And at just 23 years old, he has plenty of room to improve.
The Mariners have signed reliever Mark Lowe, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Tigers released him on Sunday.
Lowe, 33, is entering the last of a two-year, $11 million deal signed with the Tigers in December 2015. The right-hander struggled to a 7.11 ERA with a 49/21 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings last season. His performance this spring didn’t do much to inspire confidence.
Lowe began his major league career with the Mariners, breaking out in 2009 with a 3.26 ERA across 80 innings. He has been inconsistent throughout most of his 11-year big league career, however.