MLB team signs all employment contracts but 1, pitcher holds out

Spring is rapidly approaching, much to the delight of many Illinois residents who are ready for winter to end. However, warmer weather may not be the only reason people are anxiously waiting for spring -- Major League Baseball will soon return. In preparation for the baseball season, teams are finalizing employment contracts with their players.

One pitcher, Homer Bailey, has yet to sign his contract. Everyone is gathering for spring training, and Bailey even arrived early. Reports indicate, however, that the team and Bailey do not yet see eye-to-eye on the terms of the contract.

The Cincinnati Reds want to sign Bailey for several years in order to keep him from being a free agent next year. If he becomes a free agent, a bidding war could break out next year for his services. The Reds are offering $8.7 million annually to Bailey, but he wants $11.6 million.

The Reds are hoping the situation does not end up in arbitration, though a hearing is currently scheduled for Feb. 20. It will be interesting to see whether the team can achieve an agreement with Bailey before that deadline. The team has avoided arbitration since 2004, when a dispute with Chris Reitsma arose.

Many Illinois employers have found themselves in a position similar to the Reds when negotiating employment contracts. Coming to an agreement with an employee could multiple different negotiating sessions. Ultimately, both sides need to determine what is most important to them and what can be compromised upon. Once an agreement is made, it can be executed and business can resume for both the employee and employer. In this case, both the team and Bailey can get back to preparing for the season with playing statistics being the only numbers to worry about.

Source: mlb.com, Bailey, Reds hope to settle contract dispute, Mark Sheldon, Feb. 12, 2014

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