CINCINNATI -- At the Friday 1 p.m. ET deadline for clubs and eligible players to exchange salary figures, the Reds avoided arbitration by agreeing to one-year contracts with outfielder Billy Hamilton, reliever Michael Lorenzen and starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani. According to FanRag Sports, Hamilton will sign a $4.6 million contract, Lorenzen will get $1.31 million and DeSclafani $860,000.
That left Cincinnati with two players eligible for arbitration in third baseman Eugenio Suarez and second baseman Scooter Gennett. Negotiations can continue right up to the scheduled arbitration hearings, which will run from Jan. 29-Feb. 16. But in recent years, the club has instituted a policy of going to arbitration hearings once figures are exchanged.
Suarez filed for $4.2 million, while the Reds countered at $3.75 million. Gennett filed for $5.7 million and the club countered at $5.1 million. Both players would have their cases against the club heard before a three-person panel, which will choose between one side's salary proposal over the other's for a binding one-year contract.
The last time the Reds went to arbitration with a player was 2016, when they lost their case against reliever J.J. Hoover.
Suarez, who is eligible for arbitration for the first time, batted .260/.367/.461 with 26 home runs and 82 RBIs in 156 games last season. Claimed off of waivers from the Brewers at the end of Spring Training, Gennett emerged with a career year as he hit .295/.342/.531 with 27 homers and 97 RBIs in 141 games. Eligible for the second time, he signed a contract worth $2.525 million with Milwaukee in 2017.
Hamilton batted .247 with a .299 on-base percentage, 85 runs and a career-high 59 steals over 139 games in 2017. Eligible for arbitration a second time, he avoided the hearing last offseason by signing a one-year deal worth $2.625 million.
Lorenzen, who will compete for a rotation spot this spring, has worked exclusively out of the bullpen the past two seasons. He finished 8-4 with a 4.45 ERA in a career- and team-high 70 appearances in 2017 while earning $555,000. He was considered a Super Two player, which allowed him early eligibility for arbitration after two-plus years of service time.
DeSclafani missed the entire season with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. In a 2016 season shortened by a strained left oblique, the right-hander went 9-5 with a 3.28 ERA with one complete game in 20 starts spanning 123 1/3 innings. He made $585,000 in '17.