UPDATE: Mark Sheldon reports that the deal is done. Six years, $105 million with a mutual option for a seventh.
1:05 PM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Homer Bailey extension with the Reds is “all but done.” The deal is for six years and between $100 million and $110 million according to Rosenthal and Jon Heyman. This deal will avoid an arbitration hearing and prevent Bailey from hitting the open market next winter.
Bailey has pitched seven years for the Reds. He’s come on much more strongly the past two, however, putting up ERA+ of 110 and 112 and starting 32 and 33 games, respectively. While he has not yet put together a totally superior season, the kind of performance he has shown is now getting guys contracts in excess of $50 million pretty routinely. If Bailey has a year everyone has long thought he was capable of, that $100 million would likely be easily eclipsed if he were to hit the free agent market before the 2015 season.
After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”
Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.
Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.
Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.