Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday's Reds notes: Bailey signs, position players report, free pizza?

Homer Bailey's deal includes a mutual option for a seventh year. (Joe Robbins)

After five full days of pitchers and catchers working out, Wednesday marked the report date for the remaining position players, thus bringing the Reds to full strength from a numbers perspective.

Of course, some position players had already reported to Goodyear before Wednesday. Most notably, Jay BruceTodd FrazierRyan LudwickJack HannahanChris Heisey, and Skip Schumaker. There may have been others, but those are the ones I saw reported by beat writers.

Overshadowing everything else on Wednesday was news of Homer Bailey's long-term contract extension. Bailey is set to receive $105 million spread over six seasons. There is a mutual option for a seventh year to the tune of $25 million. A buyout of $5 million exists if the Reds choose to decline.

+ In case you missed it, Tuesday's news and notes.

+ Bruce says he "feels great" coming into spring training and that he is looking forward to getting the "train rolling in the right direction," writes Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. The native Texan also expressed how he isn't worrying about his weight as much anymore and instead is focusing on how he feels. That's not to stay he went heavy on the ham and turkey over the holidays.

+ This should tickle the fancy of some of you guys. The Reds are planning to host a Star Wars weekend from May 2-4 this season. There will be music, t-shirts, fireworks, and baseball. Wearing Star Wars attire to the stadium is very much encouraged.

+ Kyle Johansen of Rant Sports provides a spring training capsule for Neftali Soto. The Puerto Rican is widely considered the best right-handed hitting prospect the Reds have in their farm system. He'll spend more time catching this spring to help his chances of getting to the big leagues sooner.

+ Jesse published a preseason preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier today. I don't know about you, but I feel like the Reds owe those guys some revenge for the way last year ended. Pittsburgh comes to town on April 14 for the first meeting between the two teams since the Wild Card game.

+ Minor league pitcher Jose Diaz showed up to camp much lighter than we saw him in 2013. All told, "Jumbo" lost 70 pounds over the winter, trimming his weight down to 278.

+ This is fantastic news for anyone who loves pizza and the Reds. Remember that free pizza promotion LaRosa's had last season when pitchers struckout 11 or more batters in a game? Well, it appears the success of the deal has led the Cincinnati-based pizza company to do it again in 2014.

+ Bleed Cubbie Blue, a Chicago Cubs blog affiliated with SB Nation, had some things to say about the preseason outlook of the Reds today.

+ Joe Kay of the Associated Press explains why the Reds need Ryan Ludwick to bounce back this season after an injury-plagued 2013. Yes, Ludwick's bat will definitely be needed.

+ Roger Bernadina was the only player expected to report today who failed to do so. He reportedly experienced travel issues and is expected to be in camp Thursday, writes Kay.

+ Todd Frazier talks with Tyler Kepner of the New York Times about his connection to retiring Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Frazier and Jeter go way back to when Cincy's third basemen was just 12-years-old in the LLWS. You might have heard the gist of the story before.

+ For anyone hoping Joey Votto bats second this year, it doesn't look likely that Bryan Price is going to fulfill those wishes, telling John Fay that he plans on hitting Votto third in the order.
+ Fay also notes that recently outrighted infielder Henry Rodriguez is back in spring camp. Apparently, Rodriguez slipped through the waiver wire.
+ The Reds later tweeted that Rodriguez has been outrighted to the minors, but will stay with the major league camp for now.
+ By my tally, we're now 40 days away from Opening Day.

Photo: Joe Robbins

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