Homer Bailey (26) is entering his second of three arbitration years. He is eligible to become a free agent after the 2014 season. Homer has submitted a 2013 salary proposal to the arbitrator for $5.8 million and the club has filed for $4.75 million. Either way, the 2004 first-round draft pick from Texas is set to receive a big raise, having made $2.4 million last year. Pitching a no-hitter can’t hurt. Arbitration hearings are scheduled between Feb. 4-20 and the arbitrator chooses one of the two amounts and that’s a binding decision.

Frequently, clubs reach agreement with players in the period between filing and the hearing. Once the two numbers are set it’s pretty easy to find the mid-point. Agreements also avoid what can be an unpleasant experience as the clubs generally present evidence as to why the player has less value than he thinks. The Reds haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004.

Mark Sheldon had a chance to talk with Homer Bailey in Hamilton at the caravan stop this weekend. They discussed the pitcher’s contract status, both short term and longer. It sounds like both Homer and GM Walt Jocketty expect to reach an agreement on 2013, possibly this week.

In a few weeks, representatives for the club and the player could be locking horns during arbitration. But both Bailey and Jocketty were hopeful that it wouldn’t come to that.

“The Reds had seven guys going through arbitration this year so it’s been a slower process,” Bailey said. “I can’t tell you a lot of details about it. It’s more between myself and the organization. It’s going to get done. We’re in no real hurry. It will all work itself out.”

Of greater interest to Reds’ fans are the prospects for a longer deal that would include some of Homer’s free agent years. On that topic, it sounds like not much progress has been reached to this point. But Homer seemed open to the possibility.

“Nothing has been mentioned at all,” Bailey said. “If it happens, it does. I don’t know what their thoughts on it are. If it was ever brought up or brought to the table to us, it would be something to consider. I haven’t really heard anything. I’m just getting prepared for the season. It’s all I can do.”

Read the entire piece by Sheldon, it includes a lengthy discussion with Homer about his 2012 season and new diet/training regimen and more of his thoughts about staying with the Reds long term.