Homer Bailey denies that he wants out of Cincinnati

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There has been plenty of speculation on Homer Bailey’s future this offseason, with Reds general manager Walt Jocketty recently conceding that it will be “difficult” to sign him to an extension, but the right-hander tells FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that he hasn’t dismissed the possibility of staying in Cincinnati.

“To say that I ‘want out of Cincinnati’ is not true,” said Bailey, who is from La Grange, Texas. “I have nothing but good things to say about ownership and management, and I hold a great relationship with the coaching staff.

“If I am in the organization’s future, my priorities are that things make sense for me on the business end, that we are a team that continues to be a highly competitive team in the league and a team that plays the game the right way.”

There’s nothing particularly surprising about that statement, but the key is the part about whether “things make sense for me on the business end.” Bailey is due to hit free agency next offseason and given his age and career trajectory, the 27-year-old could land a contract north of $100 million on the open market. Even if he hasn’t ruled out staying in Cincinnati, the price simply could get higher than the Reds are willing to go.

Bailey has bounced back from early injuries and disappointment to post a 3.58 ERA over the past two seasons, throwing two no-hitters along the way. With MLB Trade Rumors projecting him to earn $9.3 million in his final year of arbitration, contract talks with the Reds are on “hold” at the moment.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.

McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).

McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.