Trade Target: Homer Bailey

Doug Pensinger

I am going to take a little different tack from the normal trade chatter around these parts at the moment and
instead of targeting a hitter, I want to target a possible ace pitcher.

First a few stat pages on my target:

2013- 3.7 fWAR (#24) MLB 2012-2013 (#29) MLB

Scouting Report/Injury History:

Fangraphs has him throwing two fastballs 61% of the time.
He has four other pitches according to Fangraphs breakdown.
Slider-16% Change-11% both in the low 90mph
Curve- 7% Knuckle Curve- 4% both in the mid 80mph

Mechanics (2010):

Fastball Velocity Charts:

He was averaging 91.7 with his fastball, maxing out at 96.7 when he came up in 2007.
He has made incremental but steady progress in his velocity each year since.
In 2013, his best, he averaged 94.1 with his fastball, maxing out at 98.9. Success has followed.

Workhorse. 417 innings in 2012-13 (#12 MLB)
Age 27. (#366)
Could be our #1 starter, a solid #2 at worst.

One year left on his contract. Arb-3 at $8-10 million.

Pitched well in limited playoff action.

1.00..2..9.0... 1. 1.... 0..1.. 0.444..12.0

The A's should be getting one year of a healthy dominate pitcher in his prime.
They also will get a comp pick. This is why:

There is a good chance Homer receives a qualifying offer or (QO) from the A's if he pitches as he has
the last few years. And the amount of the QO will be around $15 million dollars next year. With the price
of a win around $6.5 million dollars and going up, even a 2 WAR season with no injury, coupled with his
age and recent durability will probably get him signed on the free agent market on a 4-5 year deal for $15 million a year. At a minimum. Another 3+ WAR year should get him 5-6 years at $20 million a year.
So chances are, Comp A pick for us as multiple teams should be more than happy to offer multiple years.

For a breakdown on how QO and comp picks work now:

Ok, now that I have buttered you up, we shall see that at the very least, some Reds sports writers
are looking to move him. Some links and rumors, each one is different:

"An AL evaluater tells Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger that the Reds
should consider dealing Homer Bailey to the Yankees for Brett Gardner and a lower-level prospect.
Both players will become free agents following the 2014 season."

For your consideration. Gardner:

"The Reds haven’t given up on re-signing Shin-Soo Choo, but they probably would need to trade Brandon Phillips
and possibly Homer Bailey to create the necessary room, sources say."
And a few days later: At a fan event today, Reds GM Walt Jocketty said that he felt the rumor about Brandon Phillips
being available via trade and of interest to the Yankees was a ploy to put pressure on Robinson Cano, according to
Mark Sheldon of "It didn't work," the GM said.

Ok. As Lloyd Christmas would say, so there's a chance! What should we offer in trade?

Easiest trade for us would be Brett Anderson of course.

Strait up won't work for Cincinnati. After all Homer has thrown two no-hitters the last few years and earned a
double-bobble-head. One of those no no's IN Cincinnati against the Giants bless his heart.

Two years of Anderson is a nice start. The A's need a big bump to add to Anderson IMO because of the comp pick.
I'm going to mix and match some options the A's should be able to easily live with. There are no obvious ML caliber secondary hitters the Reds would want or need looking at their lineup so I am going to target pitcher depth primarily.

Oakland's #7 starter Tommy Milone. 2014-17. (He seems to be one step above Josh Lindblom)

Oakland's #8 starter Josh Lindblom. 2014-17. (He may be more valuable than you thought)

One or two of our DFA reliever candidates:
Evan Scribner, Jesse Chavez, F- Rod, Pedro Figueroa

Or really any two relievers after our top four relievers, so include:
Jerry Blevins, Dan Otero, F-BAD.

An A/AA prospect or two.
One in the #2-10 range:

The other in the #10-20 range:

For the sake of argument, we will then get back someone worth less
than that if any of those secondary scenarios seem just too much for
your tastes. But remember, we are also trading for the #30-35 pick in the 2015 draft and that has value.

The main question is, do we have enough pitching depth to trade and it looks like we really have plenty to play with.

Quick Con to an Anderson/Homer trade:

I doubt we could trade for a C or 2B or 1B/? of any merit with the Anderson chip used.
We would also be buying high as 2013 is Homers career year by 1.2 WAR.
He does have a right shoulder strain injury history in 2010-2011. Missing out on approximately
100-120 potential innings those years combined.
He would be one of the leaders in GB% on the A's, and he is used to a superior infield
defense with three plus defenders inside the Reds diamond.

Additional Pros to a Homer trade:

He should love pitching for the A's as The Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati is
the second easiest place to hit a HR in MLB. He also would have a superior outfield defense from what he
is used to, and although four A's starters have a higher FB% than him, he still gets an above average
amount of them.

Park Factors compares the rate of stats at home vs. the rate of stats on the road. A rate higher than 1.000 favors the hitter. Below 1.000 favors the pitcher.
Park Factors page:

HR park factors:
(CIN #2) 1.338
(OAK #25) .818

Homer could also enjoy pitching in the A.L.West after being in the N.L.Central as two other stadiums in the Central
highly favor the hitter and three other stadiums in the A.L West favor the pitcher in HR rates.

(MIL #5) 1.259
(CUB#11) 1.185

(TEX #19) .903
(LAA #20) .902
(SEA #21) .885

* Home run park factors and runs park factors are different, and I
could have used those instead, but it still holds that N.L. Central ballparks are worse for
pitchers. For example the (CUB) runs park factor is second worst in MLB for pitchers.

Another Quick Pro: The A's top six starters would look like this-
Homer Bailey, Scott Kazmir, Jarrod Parker, Sonny Gray, Dan Straily, A.J. Griffin.
Four of them still under control for forever. This looks strong. Cano/Fielder busting strong.

Unfortunately, it may take some players the A's will not want to part with as easily. The Reds may not want Anderson at all. Perhaps a Josh Reddick, Dan Straily or A.J. Griffin would need to headline the trade. And perhaps one of our top young relievers (Doolittle, Cook) would be asked for as a secondary piece in either scenario. I realize I'm getting into more touchy territory, but it needs to be mentioned they do need an OF.

If not Anderson but someone else, Pros:
The A's could now trade or just keep Anderson to make up for a (Griffin, Straily, Reddick) loss. And the A's still have
Callaspo to maybe replenish a top reliever if needed. I mean if Seth Smith and his 4.8 WAR over four years at an easy
to find position gets Luke Gregerson, what does Alberto Callaspo and his 8.2 WAR over four years at a harder to find spot get you.

More on the Reds Intentions.

The Reds could certainly try rebuilding on the run. They still have a solid core. But they fired their Manager Dusty Baker.
Shin-Soo Choo (the #1 remaining free agent hitter left on the market) and Bronson Arroyo
(the #10 FA pitcher available this year) are likely gone. They have made only a few very minor moves
to date and maybe overpaying their window with $120+ million dollar payrolls is coming to an end.
The main free agent they showed interest in, Carlos Beltran, is now a Yankee and the team looks kind
of lost in this market at this time. In addition, they lost the NL Wild Card Game to the Pittsburgh Pirates
this year and also exited the playoffs early in 2010 and 2012. They may feel the window is closing and a
one for three trade could be in order if Homer does not sign an extension soon. And why would he, with
the price of even mediocre pitchers skyrocketing.

What do you think? Would gaining Homer for even just one year
be the type of upgrade an all in team should do? Is breaking the first round
playoff voodoo more possible with an ace upgrade?

One of the problems I had writing this piece was the more I researched Homer Bailey, the more I was impressed
and I wanted to give up more and more to make sure the proposal was fair. It went from strait up for Anderson,
to +1 other minor player, to +2 other expendable players, quickly to FRACK IT, just get it done as the music started up
softly but uncontrollably in my head:

I want you..(stop it) bam.bam...getting louder..
I want you so bad....(stop it please)...even louder.. bad its driving me mad its....(stop it NOW!) loud
full chorus as I blindly write the Reds everything I can get my words on.

And then I realize, I think I may want to overpay now because a World Series appearance is whats really dancing in my head.

Links: (6) (3), and the Beatles.

I want you
I want you so bad
I want you
I want you so bad
It's driving me mad
It's driving me mad

If you want the music into your head:

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