Homer Bailey has come a long way in his professional career since being taken 7th overall in the 2004 Amateur Draft. But might the Reds be considering the possibility of trading him this offseason?
It's a question that has to be asked if Bailey continues to be unwilling to sign a long-term contract with Cincinnati. Bailey made $5.35 million in 2013 and is set to receive even more in 2014 as he heads into his last year of arbitration.
This means the 27-year-old will hit free agency after the 2014 season and will likely seek a lucrative contract that includes much more money than the Reds will be able to afford. So, the thought of trading him may not be as crazy as it initially sounds.
There are certainly some drawbacks to moving him, though. The most important being that it would create a void in the starting rotation on a team that is expected to contend for a division title. Tony Cingrani is already expected to fill the spot left behind by free agent Bronson Arroyo and there appears to be no obvious replacement for Bailey if he were to leave. If the Reds were to deal Bailey this winter, they would probably demand a major league-ready starter to plug into the rotation, in addition to prospects.
Realistically, the odds of Bailey being traded are probably very slim, given ownership's desire to win games right now, and given that trading Bailey would likely only hurt those chances.