Reds investigating multiyear deals for Latos, Bailey
Pitchers represent two of club's seven remaining arbitration-eligible players
CINCINNATI -- The holidays are now over, so 'tis really the season for younger arbitration-eligible Major League players to add some zeros to their paychecks.
The Reds are starting to focus their attention toward signing their remaining arbitration-eligible players -- pitchers Homer Bailey, Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Logan Ondrusek and Alfredo Simon and outfielders Chris Heisey and Shin-Soo Choo -- before ever getting close to a hearing.
"We've talked to a couple of them," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "Nothing has gotten really serious yet. With it having been Christmas, and a couple of guys were on vacations, we didn't expect to get going until after the holidays."
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Like ace Johnny Cueto, who was signed to a four-year, $27 million deal before the 2011 season, the Reds wouldn't mind locking up the power arms of Latos and Bailey with multiyear contracts.
"We've discussed that," Jocketty said. "We're taking a look to see if it works. If not, we'll go year to year. We'd prefer something long term eventually."
The 25-year-old Latos was 14-4 with a 3.48 ERA over his career-high 33 starts that also tied for the National League lead. His 209 1/3 innings were also a career high, and he threw two complete games.
Latos, who earned $550,000 in 2012 and is represented by the Bledsoe Brothers agency, is eligible for arbitration for the first time. He was the Reds' biggest acquisition of the previous winter, when he came over in a trade with the Padres for Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger.
This will be Bailey's second experience with the arbitration process after he avoided the hearing last year by signing a one-year, $2.4 million contract.
Bailey, 26, was 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA and also made 33 starts in 2012. After a checkered beginning to his big league career, he established highs last season in wins, innings (208), starts, strikeouts (168) and quality starts (21) and led the NL with a 2.32 road ERA.
On Sept. 28, Bailey made history by throwing the first no-hitter of his career against the Pirates. He is represented by the Hendricks Brothers.
The deadline for clubs and arbitration-eligible players to exchange figures is Jan. 18, and the period for hearings is slated from Feb. 4-20. The Reds have not been pitted in a hearing against a player since winning a case over reliever Chris Reitsma in 2004.