There’s an “enormous gap” in extension negotiations between Reds and Homer Bailey

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If you have been holding out hope that the Reds will be able to lock up right-hander Homer Bailey, it’s time for a dose of reality. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, there’s “an enormous gap” between the Reds’ last offer and what Bailey wants in a long-term deal.

Bailey, who turns 28 in May, is currently on track to hit free agency next offseason. He requested $11.6 million and was offered $8.7 million from the Reds when arbitration figures were exchanged last month, so the two sides have apparently discussed both one-year and multi-year scenarios in recent weeks.

While Bailey dealt with injuries and disappointment early on in his career, he owns a 3.58 ERA over the past two seasons and has thrown two no-hitters along the way. Assuming he can stay healthy this year, he should have a good chance of landing a $100 million contract on the open market. There’s a school of thought that the Reds would be better off dealing Bailey by Opening Day if they can’t work out an extension, but there’s no indication that they are are considering such a move right now.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.