Report: Reds are “getting close” on a nine-figure extension with Homer Bailey

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Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer with the report:

Previous reports had indicated that there was an “enormous gap” in negotiations between the Reds and Bailey. If a deal can’t be hammered out soon, Bailey is on track to go to an arbitration hearing. In his third and final year, Bailey filed for an $11.6 million salary for 2014 while the Reds filed for $8.7 million, putting the midpoint at $10.15 million.

Obviously, a six-year deal in the $100 million range puts the average annual value just under $17 million per year, a significant upgrade over what Bailey is projected to earn on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, or what he would be awarded by an arbitrator.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.