From Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes comes word that the Reds have agreed to a four-year, $27 million contract extension with young right-hander Johnny Cueto.
Cueto, 25 next month, was eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter. This new extension will allow both sides to avoid an often tumultuous arbitration hearing and will keep the talented Dominican native in Cincinnati through his first year of free agency.
Cueto posted a 3.64 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 31 starts last season for the National League Central champion Reds, fanning 138 batters and walking only 56 across 185.2 innings of work. He finished with a 4.41 ERA and 1.36 WHIP over 30 starts in 2009.
If his development continues as expected and he remains a reliable No. 2 or No. 3 starter over these next three seasons in Cincy, the extension should pay off greatly.
The Reds inked another one of their young talents, first baseman Joey Votto, to a three-year, $38 million contract extension just four days ago. It has been a busy little week for the Cincinnati front office.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.