Johnny Cueto is set to become a free agent next offseason, but the Reds have a small window of time to convince their ace to stick around for the long-term. Cueto’s agent, Bryce Dixon, told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that his client plans to cut off extension talks if a deal isn’t reached by Opening Day.
“He’ll give it until Opening Day,” Dixon said by phone. “Then he’s going to be focused on the season and trying to do what he can for Cincinnati. If something happens, we’re probably to keep it to this offseason. We’re not going to be looking to do something this summer.”
The Reds began extension talks at the Winter Meetings two weeks ago, but general manager Walt Jocketty said at the time that “it won’t be easy.” That’s understandable. Dixon has compared Cueto to Jon Lester, who recently signed a six-year, $155 million deal with the Cubs and Max Scherzer, who hopes to land a $200 million deal this winter.
Cueto turns 29 in February and owns a 2.48 ERA since 2011. While he was limited to just 11 starts in 2013 due to a lat injury, he bounced back this year with the best season of his career, posting a 2.25 ERA and 242/65 K/BB ratio in 243 2/3 innings over 34 starts. He finished second in the National League Cy Young Award balloting.
PITTSBURGH — The New York Mets will have to dig out of an early-season hole without star first baseman Pete Alonso.
The leading home run hitter in the majors will miss three-to-four weeks with a bone bruise and a sprain in his left wrist.
The Mets placed Alonso on the 10-day injured list Friday, retroactive to June 8. Alonso was hit in the wrist by a 96 mph fastball from Charlie Morton in the first inning of a 7-5 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.
Alonso traveled to New York for testing on Thursday. X-rays revealed no broken bones, but the Mets will be missing one of the premier power hitters in the game as they try to work their way back into contention in the NL East.
“We got better news than it could have been,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “So we take that as a positive. It could have been worse.”
New York had lost six straight heading into a three-game series at Pittsburgh that began Friday. Mark Canha started at first for the Mets in the opener. Mark Vientos could also be an option, though Showalter said the coaching staff may have to use its “imagination” in thinking of ways to get by without Alonso.
“I’m not going to say someone has to step up and all that stuff,” Showalter said. “You’ve just got to be who you are.”
Even with Alonso in the lineup, the Mets have struggled to score consistently. New York is 16th in the majors in runs scored.
The team also said Friday that reliever Edwin Uceta had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Uceta initially went on the IL in April with what the team called a sprained left ankle. He is expected to be out for at least an additional eight weeks.
New York recalled infielder Luis Guillorme and left-handed reliever Zach Muckenhirn from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets sent catcher Tomás Nido to Triple-A and designated reliever Stephen Nogosek for assignment.
Nogosek is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 games this season.