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.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.