Author: Drew Silva

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No progress in extension talks between Reds, Johnny Cueto


Johnny Cueto is due to become a free agent five days after the 2015 World Series and he has said that he will not allow in-season extension negotiations. So the countdown clock is on in Cincinnati’s front office, and it sure looks like time is going to run out.

FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi tweeted Wednesday that there has been “no progress” toward a long-term deal between Cueto and the Reds. It’s April 1, and Opening Day for Cincinnati is Monday, April 6.

Cueto finished second in the National League Cy Young balloting last season after posting a 2.25 ERA (160 ERA+), 0.96 WHIP, and 242/65 K/BB ratio in 243 2/3 innings. The 29-year-old right-hander owns a 2.48 ERA (155 ERA+) in 102 starts since the beginning of the 2011 campaign. He’s probably looking for a Max Scherzer (seven years, $210 million) or Jon Lester (six years, $155 million) type of deal.

And that’s probably way too rich of a commitment for the Reds.

You can read HardballTalk’s 2015 Reds preview here.

Chris Sale strikes out 13 batters in minor league game

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As noted by’s Dan Hayes, White Sox left-hander Chris Sale struck out 13 batters over six-plus innings of one-run ball Wednesday in a game against a group of Reds minor leaguers. Sale yielded no walks and just two hits — one of them a solo shot by former second-round draft pick Taylor Sparks.

Sale suffered an avulsion fracture in his right foot in late February and hasn’t pitched in a Cactus League game this spring, but he’s been able to catch up rather quickly with throwing sessions on the side.

Sale is expected to make his 2015 regular-season debut on April 12 at home against the Twins. He finished third in the American League Cy Young voting last year after posting a 2.17 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 208 strikeouts across 174 innings.

Yankees acquire infielder Gregorio Petit from Astros

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From the official Twitter account of the Houston Astros …

Petit hit .278/.300/.423 with eight doubles and two home runs in 100 plate appearances last season for the Astros. He wasn’t going to make their Opening Day roster out of spring training, but the versatile 30-year-old infielder could be of immediate use to the Yankees, who just lost defensive whiz Brendan Ryan to a right calf strain. Petit has appeared in 27 games at shortstop, 16 games at second base, and 12 games at third base in parts of three major league seasons. He was signed out of Venezuela by the Athletics back in 2001.

Christian Vazquez to undergo Tommy John surgery

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As first reported by Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez will undergo Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on Thursday morning. The season-ending elbow procedure will be performed by Dr. James Andrews at the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Florida.

Vazquez began experiencing discomfort in his throwing elbow in mid-March and an MRI taken March 27 revealed structural damage in his ulnar collateral ligament. The rehab process doesn’t take as long for position players as it does for pitchers, so the 24-year-old should be ready to rock when camp opens next spring.

Ryan Hanigan is set to open the 2015 season as Boston’s starting catcher. And top prospect Blake Swihart can now be put on the fast track (if he wasn’t already). Vazquez may become a trade candidate in 2016.

Video: Carlos Martinez goes six scoreless vs. Mets

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Watch as Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez twirls six shutout frames Wednesday versus the Mets …

Martinez wraps up the spring with a 2.86 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 22 innings. He was officially named the Cardinals’ fifth starter on Monday and will wear No. 18 this season to honor his friend Oscar Taveras.