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Bailey Expected to Be Out 4-6 Weeks
Wednesday, Feb. 8
The Reds expect Bailey to be healthy enough to throw again in four to six weeks. The Cincinnati Enquirer's Zach Buchanan noted he avoided a more serious problem:
At this point, most Reds fans are likely counting the days remaining in the right-hander's current deal. In February 2014, he signed a six-year, $105 million extension with the team.
Since then, Bailey has pitched 180 combined innings and compiled a 4.20 ERA and 4.02 FIP, per Baseball-Reference.com. Cincinnati is still on the hook for $68 million over the next three-plus years, per Spotrac, assuming the team pays his $5 million buyout rather than picking up his $25 million mutual option in 2020.
The Reds are unlikely to be playoff contenders in 2017. According to Baseball Prospectus, PECOTA projects Cincinnati to finish last in the National League Central with a 75-87 record.
While the team is focused on the future rather than the present, another injury to Bailey is one of the last things the Reds will have wanted to see this offseason after the 30-year-old made eight starts between 2015 and 2016 and underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2015.
Should Bailey start the 2017 season on the disabled list, the Reds may turn to 23-year-old Robert Stephenson, who went 2-3 with a 6.08 ERA in eight major league starts in 2016. MLB.com ranks Stephenson as the 87th-best prospect in baseball.