The Reds and Homer Bailey avoid arbitration

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According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds and Homer Bailey have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman hears that the deal is worth $5.35 million.

Bailey requested $5.8 million and was offered $4.75 million by the Reds when arbitration figures were exchanged last month, but the two sides were able to get something done in order to avoid a possible hearing on Monday. The 26-year-old right-hander remains under team control through 2014 and Reds general manager Walt Jocketty plans to revisit the idea of a multi-year extension at some point.

Bailey struggled in his initial chances in the major leagues, but the 2004 first-round pick has made some real strides over the past two seasons, including a 3.68 ERA and 168/52 K/BB ratio over a career-high 208 innings last year. He had a 3.21 ERA after the All-Star break, highlighted by a no-hitter against the Pirates on September 28.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.