Continuing their push for payroll cost certainty, the Reds have avoided arbitration with starter Johnny Cueto by agreeing with him on a four-year, $27 million extension, according to ESPNDeportes.com (link in Spanish).
The deal buys out all of Cueto's abritration years and covers the first season he would have been a free agent in 2014. The Reds want to avoid any financial surprises in arbitration, and take the risk that he bottoms out, while Cueto takes the risk that he wins three straight Cy Youngs and ends up grossly underpaid.
On Tuesday, Cueto, 24, filed for arbitration and submitted a salary number of $3.9 million, while the Reds countered at $3 million. This reported deal would be worth an average value of $6.75 million per year.
Cueto went 12-7 with a 3.64 ERA last season, his third in the majors. His career mark is 32-32, 4.27.
-- David Andriesen