The Cincinnati Reds signed Homer Bailey to a six-year, $105 million contract on Thursday, avoiding arbitration. Bailey decided to make a deal with the club because of the winning culture surrounding the team. Early in the offseason, he talked to new manager Bryan Price and told him he wants to be part of a team that is winning divisions and going deep into the playoffs on a consistent basis. He feels that his team has enough talent to do that, and he will not be happy with anything less.
Bailey is one of many Reds players that has been drafted and developed by the Reds. The Reds have been able to develop and retain some of their key players, such as Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, and now Bailey. The fact that they have been able to hold onto their players says something about what the organization is trying to accomplish. They have developed a strong core of players who have been able to play with each other for multiple seasons now and develop a great team chemistry. It’s that chemistry and talent that has made each of these players want to stay around and go out and perform for an organization that has been a strong contender in the past few seasons.
The young arms in the Reds rotation should look up to Bailey. Tony Cingrani and Mike Leake are both young pitchers with great potential. Cingrani had a strong showing last season when he filled in for Johnny Cueto when he went on the disabled list multiple times. Leake has shown that even though he did not spend anytime in the minors he can be a reliable starter going forward for the Reds. Mat Latos signed a 2-year extension to keep him with the club until the end of the 2015 season and a free agent starting in 2016. If he continues to perform and be another ace on this club, then he should expect a deal like Bailey’s coming to him in the next few years.
The Reds have made it clear in the past few seasons the direction they are trying to go with this team. They have signed Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and now Homer Bailey to big multi-million long term contracts. These players have been the keys to success for this team as of late and the Reds front office is doing everything they can to put a world series winning team out onto the field.
With a new manager and star players signed to monster contracts, it is clear the Reds are in it to win it, and will not just settle for a division win and elimination in the first round of the playoffs. We’ll have to see if Bailey’s new contract will affect his performance on the mound, or if he’ll step up as a team leader.