If you’re unfamiliar with pitcher Brandon Bailey, I cannot blame you.
After a brief 7.1 IP cameo with the 2020 Houston Astros, the former 6th round pick by the Oakland Athletics was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds in November of 2020, and missed playing professional ball at any level at all in 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
The Reds non-tendered Bailey at the deadline to do so this evening, though they did tender contracts to everyone else on the 40-man roster - including all of their players who were eligible for arbitration. The club announced the news on Twitter.
The #Reds declined to tender a contract for the 2022 season to RHP Brandon Bailey, making him a free agent. Contracts were tendered to the other 10 arbitration-eligible players. The 40-man roster is now at 38.— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) December 1, 2021
There’s certainly the chance the Reds choose to pursue Bailey again on a minor league deal, one that will keep him within the organization without occupying a 40-man roster spot. He’s not anywhere close to having enough service time to be arbitration eligible, so it’s not the kind of move that was ever about money, anyway.
Speaking of money, there was some scuttlebutt that the Reds might non-tender the likes of Amir Garrett and/or Jeff Hoffman after iffy displays last season, moves that would’ve likely saved them some $3+ million in salary obligations for next year. That didn’t happen, though, which is the first indication from this club in quite some time that they are anything other than completely broke.
You’ll recall their dumping of Raisel Iglesias for essentially nothing last winter in a move to save every dollar they could, a move that was followed by the non-tendering of perfectly good reliever Archie Bradley (among others). That was followed up by the moves this winter to simply jettison Tucker Barnhart and Wade Miley to save the most cash possible, moves that continue to look as cheap as professionally possible by the day.
There were no contract agreements today, however. Each of their arbitration-eligibles is still within the system, but the dollars they’ll be owed is still a nebulous concept that will be decided later in the winter - after the expiration of the current CBA and inevitable lockout, at that. There was also nothing to suggest any of them would not be moved later this winter, either, as no long-term contracts were struck.
The Reds 40-man roster is now at 38, meaning they’ve got space for any additions ahahahahahahahahahahahahah right, that’ll happen.