Bailey, Reds set on deal
Right-hander Homer Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a $5.35 million, one-year contract, ensuring baseball will set a record low for salary arbitration hearings.
No cases have been argued before three-person panels this year among the 133 players who filed for arbitration last month and just two remain scheduled for hearings next week: San Diego left-hander Clayton Richard and Baltimore reliever Darren O’Day.
Baseball’s previous record low was three hearings, set in 2005 and matched in 2009 and 2011. The high was 35 in 1986.
Owners hold a 291-214 lead since arbitration began in 1974.
Bailey, who pitched a no-hitter at Pittsburgh on Sept. 28, had asked for $5.8 million and had been offered $4.75 million when players and teams swapped proposed arbitration salaries last month.
His agreement was for the same amount as Ryan Zimmerman’s settlement with the Washington Nationals a day earlier.
Bailey was 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA in 33 starts last year.
Chapman eyes rotation
Aroldis Chapman was one of baseball’s best closers in his first try at it, helping the Cincinnati Reds win the NL Central.
He’s getting a chance to win a spot in the rotation this spring, but manager Dusty Baker is keeping an open mind about moving Chapman back to the bullpen in an emergency.
The hard-throwing lefty saved 38 games last season in his first experience as a closer. He was getting ready to be a starter during spring training last year when closer Ryan Madson got hurt, forcing Baker to scramble.
He eased Chapman into a setup role, then promoted him to closer as he continued to pitch well.