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.