Saturday, January 11, 2014

Homer Bailey: Reports saying I want out of Cincinnati are false

Despite previous reports suggesting the contrary, Homer Bailey says he does not want to leave Cincinnati and would even entertain the idea of signing a contract extension.

It has been written and said numerous times by numerous sources this offseason that the right-hander is not open to returning with the Reds past 2014. However, Bailey tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that any speculation involving such is pure fallacy.

“To say that I 'want out of Cincinnati' is not true,” said Bailey, who is from La Grange, Texas. “I have nothing but good things to say about ownership and management, and I hold a great relationship with the coaching staff.

“If I am in the organization's future, my priorities are that things make sense for me on the business end, that we are a team that continues to be a highly competitive team in the league and a team that plays the game the right way.”

To my knowledge, it's the first time Bailey has come out publicly to express his openness to remain with the organization. The general consensus before Rosenthal's piece on Friday was that Bailey had no desire to return to the only professional franchise he has ever suited up for.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty seemed to echo Bailey's sentiments, too.

“He has quietly told a couple of people in our organization that he’s very happy here, that he respects the people in the organization and what they’ve done for him in his career. And I know he and Bryan have a great relationship,” Jocketty said.

Jocketty also revealed that the club has made an offer to Bailey and his representatives and is still awaiting a response. The executive was then quoted in saying he hopes to "get something done by the start of the season."

If all else fails, Bailey is projected to earn roughly $9.3 million in salary this season via arbitration. If true, this total would represent more money than the 27-year-old has made in his first five big league seasons combined ($9.035M). Yowzers!

Relatively speaking, is Bailey worth that kind of dough? Yes, absolutely. But worthiness is much different than affordability. Especially for a cash-starved team like the Redlegs. And I can't imagine the small market club being able to afford Bailey's price tag long term. Not with the large contracts of Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips residing on the payroll sheet. And not with the money set aside to retain Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos through the 2015 campaign, either.

Nevertheless, it's nice to hear Bailey come out and say that he wouldn't mind sticking around the Queen City. Sure, it could just be some semblance of a sugar-coated posture on his part. But at least he seems open to trying. And that is about all you can ask for from a guy who is undoubtedly going to be one of the most coveted arms on the market next winter, if he is available.

Photo Credit: Zimbio

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