The Reds avoided having to go to an arbitration hearing for the first time in nine years after inking Homer Bailey to a one-year deal worth $5.35 million, the team announced on Saturday.
Bailey originally filed for $5.8 million while the club countered at $4.75 million. As usual in these arbitration cases, the two sides worked out a settlement and found a common middle ground to avoid having to fight it out in front of an arbitrator.
The right-hander was the last of the club's seven arbitration cases to agree on a contract. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty called this year the "toughest" he has ever experienced as far as negotiating deals with arbitration players goes.
Bailey went 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA in 33 starts for the National League Central champions in 2012 -- one of those victories came after he tossed a no-hitter in September. He also earned a base salary of $2.425 million. Therefore, this season will provide the 26-year-old with a rather sizeable pay increase.
Cincinnati previously signed Mat Latos, Logan Ondrusek, Mike Leake, Chris Heisey, Shin-Soo Choo, and Alfredo Simon to short-term contracts to avoid going to an arbitration hearing, as well.
As John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer astutely points out, the team payroll for the franchise is expected to be over the $100 million mark for the first time in its long history. However, if there was ever a year for the Reds to splurge on spending, 2013 is the time. The team looks poised to contend for another division title and quite possibly a World Series crown.