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.