Cincinnati-Reds-Mr-RedAs discussed a couple times recently, top would-be free agent starting pitchers signing extensions before reaching free agency after this season is probably not a good thing for the Cubs, what with their bounty of positional prospects set to (hopefully) break through in the near-term, but a relative dearth of big-league ready, top-of-the-rotation arms.

You can add Homer Bailey to the list of pitchers the Cubs definitely won’t be pursuing after this season, as Mark Sheldon reports that Bailey and the Reds have agreed to terms on a six-year, $105 million extension. There’s a mutual, $25 million option year tacked on to the end, with a $5 million buyout. The deal hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s been forecast for days now.

As for the contract, it’s really not all that outlandish for a guy who isn’t quite yet 28, has been getting better every year, sports fantastic peripherals, and is coming off of his best season (3.7 WAR, 3.31 FIP, 3.69 K/BB). On the one hand, that’s bad news for the Cubs, as a non-crippling deal for the Reds only helps them down the line. On the other hand, at least the deal doesn’t set an unconscionable precedent for a Jeff Samardzija extension, to the extent the Cubs are holding out hope they can make one happen. Bailey is a year younger than Samardzija, has comparable peripherals, and has put it together a little bit better/more consistently, in terms of actual production. He’s getting an AAV of $17.5 with only one arbitration year in there (he was going to get about $10 million for that year). Take out the arb year, and he’s getting $19 million per year for the five free agent years bought out.

Even if you valued Bailey and Samardzija – who has two arbitration years left – as identical pitchers, on a five-year extension, the Cubs would be looking at something like this for Samardzija:

2014 – $5.345 million
2015 – $8 million
2016 – $19 million
2017 – $19 million
2018 – $19 million

Or $70.345 million over five years, however you want to play with the numbers in the individual years. All things considered, that’s not a terrible deal for the Cubs, and that’s if you value you Samardzija and Bailey identically (which is probably being generous to Samardzija). Seems like the final figure, if over five years, should actually be a little bit lower if both sides are interested in coming to the most reasonable deal.

  • dreese


    BTW are we every going to see a podcast again?

    • DarthHater

      Since Breaking Bad ended, there’s nothing for Brett and Sahadev to talk about. 😉

      • dreese

        I guess we will have to wait till Better Call Saul premiers. 😛

      • RoscoeVillageFan

        Love that comment

      • YourResidentJag

        Well, if both had HBO, they could talk about True Detective.

        • Brett

          We both watch it through … ways.

          I was not feeling it until this most recent episode. Very well made, certainly worth watching, but it was feeling like they were stirring up a whole lot of stuff without any follow-through. Now I see it. Only three episodes left, though.

  • Steve

    So, that I have this right, the issues are:
    1) We will be wasting at least 2 years of this contract if we extend now
    2) We are assuming he wants ace money, and he has not produced at ace level yet
    3) We can get 2 top prospects and a couple of flyers from a trade at the deadline

    Just want to make sure I have this straight.

    Hell, flip a coin… this game is a big bag of ifs and butts anyway.

  • Cerambam

    There were rumors that shark wanted 5/70-75 right? While cubs were closer to 50-55MM?

    I value shark less than Bailey, but this does show that shark isn’t just being completely unreasonable.

    • Austin8466

      Very true. Give him the 5/75 with a mutual option of a 6th year for 20.

  • TulaneCubs

    This kind of seems like a bad deal to me for the Reds.

    Reason being: Look at what FAs with QOs are getting.

    Bailey is younger and has a better recent history of success, but Ubaldo Jimenez got 4 years and $50M. Is Bailey really that much more valuable than Jimenez?

    As you said, the Reds basically gave Bailey 5 years, $95M for his FA years. Were I them, I’d offer Bailey 5 years, $75-80M and then let him know (subtly) that he’ll get a QO if he doesn’t accept. Then, point to Jimenez’s contract so he knows what to expect on the market once he has that pick compensation attached.

    • Jon

      Is Bailey really that much more valuable than Jimenez?

      Yes. And I like Jimenez.

      • TulaneCubs

        An extra year and $19M AAV vs $12M AAV seems like too big of a difference to me.

        • Jon

          There would be a line of teams out the door(I hope the Cubs being one) willing to not only top 5-80, but also give up a draft pick. I think you are really undervaluing Bailey. He’s the real deal. He’s done everything in MLB so far except the superficial shit,(like win 15-20 games)

          • TulaneCubs

            I guess I think you’re really overvaluing Bailey’s current value.

            He’s had 1 year in which he’s surpassed 3 WAR (last year). And only 2 years when he’s been above 2 WAR.

            By the end of this year, you could certainly have had teams lining up for him at 5-80. Or, he could have put up another season with <2 WAR.

      • SenorGato

        I would go yes as well. Easy to say when we’re talking about a 27 going on 28 YO vs. a 30 YO who’s lost 4 MPH in the past 2-3 seasons. I too like Jimenez.

    • BlameHendry

      That’s a pretty good tactic to making a deal more team-friendly (threatening the QO) and I hope they’ve been using that on Shark (I’m sure they have), because if he doesn’t start making his demands reasonable he will end up with a Garza/Jimenez contract and the Cubs will walk away with a comp pick and open payroll space.

      • TulaneCubs

        I don’t think the Cubs will walk away with a comp pick. They’ll trade him if he doesn’t agree to a deal. Before they trade him and in contract talks, they’ll say,”Look, if we deal you, the team that we’re going to trade you to is going to hold onto you through the end of your deal most likely. And then they’re going to put a QO on you if you’ve established yourself as a 3 or better. If you haven’t established yourself as an ace, the comp pick will crush your value (see Jimenez, Santana, etc.).”

  • Austin8466

    Just give Jeff 6 years at $90 million and be done with it.

    • Ron Swansons Mustache

      Terrible way to do business.

      • Austin8466

        Fine 5/75 with a mutual 6th year option for 15.

        Either way, the guy has been a workhorse and a strikeout machine. The wins will come when the offense gets better. He would be a great veteran presence for these young guys coming up.

        • mjhurdle

          “The wins will come when the offense gets better.”

          perfect summation of why W-Ls are so meaningless when evaluating a pitcher.

        • Ron Swansons Mustache

          My point was more along the lines that you don’t just give in to a player to get something done. Bailey is one year away from free agency, younger and better than Shark at this point. I am surprised he resigned and didn’t test free agency.

          • aaronb

            What about Samjay for 5/65 beginning in 2015?

        • RoscoeVillageFan

          No way you get that deal at this point. With these huge contracts? Shark is looking for the contract for the rest of his life. I think trading him might be the most likely scenario. 5/75 is what the cubs want but shark is betting on more than that…all things considered shark has been better than I ever thought since we gave him a bunch of money to not play football.

          • Brocktoon

            If it replaces this years deal that’s paying him ~3/60 for 3 FA years. If it starts next year you’re buying 4 years at ~65. Neither are outrageous

            • RoscoeVillageFan

              You’re a fair and frugal but shark has to bet that someone is going to overpay. His biggest risk in all of this is injury, but since he’s never been injured, I don’t blame him. A lot of people wanted Tanaka for this magical, super-cubs-sweet contract but things just aren’t working that way right now. Or we aren’t in a position for them to work that way at least…we are beyond 4/65. The better year Shark has, the more likely we trade him. And we should if that happens

  • V23

    Moving the same theme with the last post….but Bailey, is just one more example of why these tank seasons shouldn’t be taken lightly by fans. There isn’t a set of free agents that will be had in a year. Progress has to be made each offseason on the MLB roster.

    Do you really think the cubs are going to find TOR with all this money they are “saving” by not spending? Right now, the biggest FA signing since TheoJed is Edwin Jackson.

    No upper 20 stud is going to be cheap, and even if the Cubs signed him, it’s still a guess as far as health. And, I don’t think Bailey is TOR!

    At this rate, in 2019, we will be arguing whether Eloy Jimenez should be coming up north or going to AAA. Then trading CJ Edwards before arb years end looking for young talent?

    Remember, I guess it’s all about the minor leagues, right?

    • Chad

      Who were they going to be able to sign that was not the equivalent of Edwin Jackson last year. The only TOR arm was Tanaka and I don’t think the Yankees were going to be beaten. I actually think the rumor that the cubs weren’t going to be outbid hurt the cubs.

      Jiminez, Santana, and Garza were not going to be those saviors. Yes they would be quality arms, but those types of guys will be available in years to come. The cubs will have to take advantage when the Scherzers and Price’s of the world become available which will be rare. That’s why it is so important to develop internally.

      I agree FA will be tough but with a good farm system, that is deep and not required to fill numerous holes in the ML team, it can be used to get talent via trade. That’s how the cubs will have to do it.

      • aaronb

        The flaw in this is expecting one signing to be a savoir.

        We could have went a long way to improving the team this year by signing Ubaldo Jiminez, Nelson Cruz and maybe making a trade for David Freese?

        Then we could go into next offseason with 3 less holes to fill on the roster.

        • college_of_coaches

          “The flaw in this is expecting one signing to be a savoir.”

          Savoir faire is everywhere!

          • aaronb

            Cubs are more laissez faire

        • TulaneCubs

          Actual LOL.

          Yeah, I’ll feel a lot better going into next offseason having filled our DH and backup 3B holes.

          • college_of_coaches


      • V23

        It is more like to incrementally get better than to flip a switch. Sure, I’d sign a 3 in the rotation, instead of stacking the team with 4/5’s.
        I’d rather sign one true starting OF, instead of 4 scrap heap guys.

        The move of the offseason was Doug Fister, Theo was sleeping on that trade. And yes, you have to analyze misses like that, because the cubs didn’t even use any bullets.

        I will say, I like the bullpen potential.

  • Blackhawks1963

    This is a great deal for the Reds and Bailey. I’m really high on Homer and like his chances of becoming a true top of the rotation starter. His stuff is filthy and he’s got good mechanics. Plus he should be coming into his own age wise.

    • Jason P

      He already is a top of the rotation starter.

  • TommyK

    If the Cubs are serious about being respectable in 2015, (and if they’re not screw them), they can’t trade Samardzija. It’s time to stop thinking about flipping assets and start thinking about winning some games. 2014 is the last throw away season I’ll endure before giving up on the team. If they don’t try to win in 2015 I will conclude they don’t care. And if they don’t care, why should I?

    • CubFan Paul

      “If the Cubs are serious about being respectable in 2015”

      What gave you that idea?

    • http://BleacherNation blewett

      I agree. Trading Shark would set us back at least a year, maybe two. Cub fans have been patient for the most part, but that would be a little tough to stomach. 2015 needs to be the turning point.

      If some combination of CJ Edwards, Pierce Johnson, Arodys Viscaino, maybe Grimm or Arrieta, and whatever college arm we draft this year (assuming we do) can come through, we might not be as pitching thin as we fear over the next few years. Not ruling out a trade or FA pick-up, but getting a TOR guy that way is looking increasingly doubtful.

    • Rebuilding

      Wait…are people still operating under the premise that Jeff Samardzija is a TOR arm? He has had two VERY average seasons as a starter. He’s 29, not 24-25 coming into his own. Looking at their past stats its 50/50 whether the disliked Edwin Jackson will have a better year than him this year. This thread is Exhibit A as to why he should be traded – his perceived value is so much higher than the actual value

      • YourResidentJag

        Won’t get any argument here.

        • http://BleacherNation blewett

          But he’s the closest thing we have to an ace. And I don’t see us getting an Archie Bradley or Taijuan Walker for him! That’s why I think a trade would set us back.

          • Rebuilding

            “But he’s the closest thing we have to an ace” – but the problem is that’s not really true. He has been the definition of average and he’s 29. He gets those comps because he throws 97 at times, but his FB is very flat. When that gets down in the 93-96 range it gets rocked. He relies on the splitter, when he has a feel for it he looks great but that’s only about 50% of the time

            • http://BleacherNation blewett

              If he’s not the closest thing we have to an ace, then who is?

              Not saying he’s a true ace, but he is one of only a handful of SPs in the NL who can strike out 200+ batters a year. I think you’re selling him a little short (and obviously you think I’m overvaluing him ha ha)!

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