It’s another slow news day for the Nation as Walt Jocketty works his behind-the-scenes magic. Here are a couple items for discussion:

Homer Bailey has earned a $4 million raise, give or take $100,000 or two. Matt Schwartz at MLBTR analyzes Homer’s situation and explains that Bailey’s arbitration-based salary will be in the zip-code of $9.3 million. Nothing controversial, but the article does provide insight into how baseball arbitration works in a specific case.

The Cardinals have signed Jhonny Peralta, presumably to play shortstop. The size of his $53 million/4 year contract is surprising, especially coming off a PED suspension. Eno Sarris discusses the pros and cons of the deal. Steve Adams at MLBTR double-checks his initial reaction that the contract was an alarming overpay. The signing says more about the market for established players than it does the specific case, according to Dave Cameron. Ken Rosenthal writes that the Cardinals have provided incentive for players to cheat. You have to wonder if the signing would be receiving more criticism if it weren’t made by the media-darling “smart” organization. 

I’m thinking of spending a week in Arizona this March watching spring training.

Are the Kansas City Royals a good trade partner concerning Brandon Phillips? Reports of interest from the Royals’ side. Kansas City has a relative surplus of young, major-league-ready pitching. Mark Sheldon wrote a long pros and cons article about trading BP. Keep in mind, the trade may not be about what the Reds can get in return for their 32-year-old second baseman, instead it could be a way to free up payroll space to help sign a player like Shin-Soo Choo or extend Homer Bailey. In possibly related news, Billy Hamilton played 55 games at second base his rookie-league season in 2010.

If you missed it yesterday, our own Richard Fitch was interviewed about Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips on the Hot Stove show on the MLB network.