Reds ink Johnny Cueto to a four-year, $27M extension

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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.

Report: Red Sox expected to hire Alex Cora after World Series

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox have offered a contract to Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora, though the deal won’t be officially announced until the conclusion of the World Series later this month. Cora has long been a favorite for the Sox’ managerial vacancy, and despite reports that he was being pursued by the Tigers, Mets, Phillies and Nationals, he’s expected to land in Boston after all. The team has yet to verify the report.

The deal is for three years, per the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Cora is coming off of a one-year gig with the Astros and has no prior managerial experience. More importantly, however, he stands out for his familiarity with the Red Sox’ organization, strong connection with players and analytics-driven approach.

The Red Sox are the second team to replace their manager this offseason after the Tigers snatched up Ron Gardenhire on Friday. The Mets, Phillies and Nationals are still hunting for replacements.