Reds avoid arbitration with Leake, LeCure, Simon
LeCure's deal good for two years; Bailey, Chapman remain unsigned
CINCINNATI -- The Reds avoided arbitration with two of their valued relievers and a member of the rotation on Friday, when they reached deals with right-handed relievers Sam LeCure and Alfredo Simon and right-handed starter Mike Leake.
LeCure agreed to a two-year contract, while Simon and Leake agreed to terms on one-year contracts. Leake's deal was announced on Twitter by his agency, the Beverly Hills Sports Council, but the Reds have yet to verify.
The 30-year-old LeCure will earn $3.05 million over his two-year contract through 2015 that will leave him with one year of arbitration-eligibility remaining. Leake, 26, will earn $5.925 million in 2014 with the ability to get more via incentives. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.com and MLB Network, the 32-year-old Simon will earn $1.5 million.
These deals came before the 1 p.m. ET deadline for teams and players to exchange salary figures on one-year contracts ahead of an arbitration hearing.
Cincinnati now has two arbitration-eligible players left in Homer Bailey and Aroldis Chapman. Outfielder Chris Heisey avoided arbitration on Thursday by agreeing to a one-year, $1.76 million contract.
Leake avoided arbitration last year for the first time by signing a one-year, $3.06 million contract. He posted a 14-7 record and 3.37 ERA in 31 starts and 192 1/3 innings in 2013. All were career bests.
Lifetime in his three seasons since he was the Reds' first-round Draft pick in 2009, Leake has a 42-29 record and 3.99 ERA in 114 games, including 109 starts.
LeCure made $510,000 for Cincinnati last season and will make $1.2 million in 2014 and $1.85 million in 2015 with some escalators and performance bonuses possible in the second year of the deal.
In a career-high 63 games last season, LeCure was 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA. He allowed 50 hits and 24 walks while striking out 66 over 61 innings.
Eligible for arbitration the second time, Simon had a 2.87 ERA in 63 appearances while earning $890,000 last season. Of his 25 inherited runners, four scored.
Because of injuries to setup men Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton in the bullpen last season, LeCure and Simon saw their roles and profiles increase in 2013. Both went from working the middle innings to more late-inning situations.
LeCure has been one of baseball's best at stranding inherited runners. Only three of his 27 inherited runners scored last season. For his career, he has inherited the bases loaded 14 times but stranded 40 of those 42 base runners.