The Reds’ rotation appears to be set, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer suggests the team could trade Homer Bailey to create room in the payroll for one more free agent signing. Fay does mention that the Reds wouldn’t sign a free agent like Nelson Cruz or Stephen Drew.
Bailey, 27, is eligible for arbitration for the final time going into the 2014 season. He will get a raise over last season’s $5.35 million salary, especially since he had the best season of his career (3.49 ERA in 209 innings) and threw a no-hitter. Fay writes that it makes sense for the Reds to move Bailey if they don’t think they can sign him to a contract extension.
If the Reds do trade Bailey, they could reunite with starter Bronson Arroyo, whose market hasn’t been nearly as strong as anticipated as he remains available in the free agent market.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.