The New York Yankees have a contingency plan in case the team cannot sign Masahiro Tanaka. The plan relies on the Cincinnati Reds and it involves Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey. The Reds and Bailey could be far apart on a contract extension and if that is the case, Bailey could be headed east in a potential trade.
The Yankees, of course, are overcrowded in the outfield and Brett Gardner will be the odd man out. Gardner was put into trade talks for Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips last month, but the Yankees rejected the Reds’ offer. This time, it could be a different story with the Yankees not making any dent whatsoever on the free-agent pitching market. Waiting to talk to Tanaka could be waning and a Bailey trade could be the best option.
Bailey was 11-12 last season with the Reds and recorded a career-best 3.49 ERA marking another career-high in strikeouts with 199. His BB/9 stayed the same at 2.3 for the third-consecutive year and his K/BB ratio 3.69, another career best. Bailey is also still in his late 20s and will most likely not get a long-term deal with the Reds after their money is wrapped up in Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.
The potential trade will depend on Tanaka. New York is expected to pursue Tanaka, but there are some indications that the Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners could both outbid the Yankees for him. It will depend on the Japanese superstar if this Bailey domino falls.