GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — 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 one remains scheduled for a hearing next week: Baltimore reliever Darren O'Day.
O'Day and the Orioles have an agreement on a $5.8 million, two-year contract that is pending a physical. As long as that deal is completed, MLB will have no arbitration hearings this year for the first time since the process began in 1974.
Baseball's previous record low was three hearings, set in 2005 and matched in 2009 and 2011. The high was 35 in 1986.
Owners hold a 291-214 lead since arbitration began.
San Diego left-hander Clayton Richard had been scheduled for a hearing Tuesday before agreeing to a $5.24 million, one-year contract Saturday evening. Richard had asked for a raise from $2,705,000 to $5.5 million and was offered $4,905,000 after he went 14-14 with a 3.99 ERA in 33 starts covering 218 2-3 innings last year.
Bailey, who pitched a no-hitter at Pittsburgh last Sept. 28, had asked for $5.8 million and was offered $4.75 million when players and teams swapped proposed arbitration salaries last month.
His agreement was for the same amount as pitcher Jordan Zimmermann's settlement with the Washington Nationals a day earlier.
Bailey was 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA in 33 starts last year.