GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Right-hander Homer Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds agreed Saturday to a $5.35 million, one-year contract, ensuring baseball will set a record low for salary arbitration hearings.
No cases have been argued before three-person panels this year among the 133 players who filed for arbitration last month and just two remain scheduled for hearings this week: San Diego left-hander Clayton Richard and Baltimore reliever Darren O’Day.
Baseball’s previous record low was three hearings, set in 2005 and matched in 2009 and 2011. The high was 35 in 1986.
Bailey, who pitched a no-hitter at Pittsburgh on Sept. 28, had asked for $5.8 million and had been offered $4.75 million when players and teams swapped proposed arbitration salaries last month.
Clayton Kershaw was selected as Los Angeles’ opening day starter and will become the Dodgers’ first pitcher to start three straight openers since Derek Lowe from 2005-07. Kershaw will take the mound on April 1 against the World Series champion San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.
In Tampa, Fla., Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia threw off a mound for the first time since arthroscopic surgery Oct. 25 to remove a bone spur from his left elbow. The left-hander made 29 pitches during Saturday’s session, which was watched by several team officials including pitching coach Larry Rothschild and spring training instructor Billy Connors.