There’s an “enormous gap” in extension negotiations between Reds and Homer Bailey

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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.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.