The Reds and pitcher Johnny Cueto have agreed to a four-year extension worth 27 million dollars, according to ESPN.com. Cueto, 24, posted a 12-7 record with a 3.64 ERA and 138 strike outs in 31 appearances. He owns a career 32-32 record.
Cueto has proven to be a durable pitcher, amassing at least 30 starts in every season since becoming a major leaguer, and has seen his numbers improve on the previous years totals year after year.
The Reds are looking to take over the NL Central at a time when it is weak and lacking a real force. The NL Central could become a four horse race (sorry, Astros and Pirates), but it could just as easily come down to two teams, or one team like the Cardinals have done in recent years. The bottom line is that the Reds have produced an offense and now need their young pitchers to develop into aces so they can truly be competitive year after year in the Central.
In the end, the extension buys out Cueto's arbitration years plus one, and avoids a lot of potential strife between the organization and the star pitcher.