Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Homer Bailey headlines six Reds players filing for arbitration


A total of six Reds players officially filed arbitration paperwork on Tuesday. These players include Homer Bailey, Aroldis Chapman, Chris Heisey, Mike Leake, Sam LeCure and Alfredo Simon.

Naturally, all six veterans are in line to receive big boosts in salary. But there is no Red projected to earn a bigger spike in his income than Bailey.

After making $5.35 million in 2013, mlbtraderumors.com projects for Bailey to earn $9.3 million in 2014, which represents a drastic increase in cash flow, indeed. Although the team has expressed interest in signing the right-hander to a long-term contract, Bailey is slated to hit free agency next offseason, and should demand an average annual salary in excess of the exorbitant amount he will collect in '14.

Here is a comparison at the 2013 salary for each arbitration-eligible players in addition to their projected salary for 2014 (per mlbtraderumors.com):

Leake:
2013 - $3.06M
2014 - $5.9M

Chapman:
2013 - $2M
2014 - $4.6M

Heisey:
2013 - $1.325M
2014 - $1.7M

Simon:
2013 - $890,000
2014 - $1.6M

LeCure:
2013 - $510,000
2014 - $1M

It should be noted that Leake, Heisey, and Simon each prevented going to arbitration last winter by agreeing to one-year deals. This is pretty much the norm.

On Friday, both sides will exchange offers and have until a specified date to reach an accord, thus avoiding the dreadful prospect of going through an arbitration hearing.

The last Reds player to actually go all the way to an arbiter was Chris Reitsma in 2004. Again, it is very rare. For the record, the team beat Reitsma in that particular case.

Honestly, I think the Reds probably reach deals with all six players before the middle of February. However, general manager Walt Jocketty may want to think twice about extending an olive branch to Simon. A $1.6 million salary is a considerable amount of dough to shell out for a middle reliever. Especially considering Cincinnati already has roughly $18 million tied up with the backend bullpen trio of Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton, and Chapman alone. A cheaper alternative can be found elsewhere. Namely, either via the minor league system or through the waiver wire, which is ironically how the Reds obtained Simon in 2012, much to the dismay of Reds fans at the time.

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