Reality Check: Homer Bailey's mega deal

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - On Thursday, the Reds avoided arbitration with Homer Bailey, making him one of the highest paid players in baseball.

But did they pay too much for a pitcher who started third in the rotation last season? One thing is certain, the Reds are looking ahead.

Baseball is a game of numbers, and when it comes to Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey, several numbers stand out.

There's the number two, as in the number of no-hitters Bailey's thrown over the past two seasons.

There are numbers 209 and 199 - the number of innings Bailey pitched and the number of K'S he threw last season.

But there are also the numbers 11 and 12 - Bailey's win/loss record last year.

So is a guy who lost more games than he won worth $105 million?

According to G.M. Walt Jocketty, Bailey's value to the team is a simple matter of comparing his future performance against the performance of his peers.

"There's a range there that he falls in as far as free agent pitchers and what the projections for those guys are, so I feel pretty good about it," says Jocketty.

When it comes to projecting future performance, there are stats that outweigh wins and losses. For example, Bailey's strike out average per nine innings is 8.6. Bailey's WHIP, or walks plus hits in innings pitched, is 1.2.

And then there's Bailey's average fastball - 95 miles per hour.

Jason Martinez, lead Major League Baseball writer for The Bleacher Report, says that given what other teams would have offered Bailey in free agency, the Reds got him at a bargain.

"I think they did get a discount," Martinez says. "If you look at him that way, this is what they think Bailey is. He's gonna' do it again. He might even get better in 2014 and at that point he's gonna be out of [the Reds] price range."

The bottom line is this: The Reds are betting that at age 27, Homer Bailey's numbers are only going to get better, making him worth every dollar.

And that's Reality Check.


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