Tag:Johnny Cueto
Posted on: January 16, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2011 4:58 pm

Reds, Votto agree to 3-year deal

Joey Votto The Reds have agreed to a three-year deal with National League MVP Joey Votto worth $38 million, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports .

The Reds avoid arbitration with Votto, buying out all three years of his deal, but Votto doesn't give up any free agent years with the extension. The deal is pending a physical, which is expected to take place on Monday.

Votto, 27, led the National League in on-base percentage (.424) and slugging (.600), and was the overwhelming winner of the National League MVP, getting 31 of 32 first-place votes.

The Reds drafted Votto in the second round of the 2002 draft out of Canada and he made his debut in late 2007 before earning the starting first baseman's job in 2008, when he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, behind Cubs catcher Geovony Soto.

Votto was arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason and had been reluctant to discuss a long-term deal.

In December, Votto told reporters he couldn't fathom signing a 10-year deal like Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki.

"I don't know as far as beyond three years, I think it's a real unfair question to ask," Votto said (via Sheldon ). "This is not me saying I don't want to be here. But last year was a difficult year for me. This year was a better year for me. It's really hard for me to think three years ahead, five years ahead, seven years ahead or 10 years ahead. When Tulowitzki signed that 10-year contract, I was blown away. I can't imagine seeing myself 10 years from now saying I want to be here. It's an overwhelming thing to ask a young person like myself and say, 'here's a lot of money, be happy with this over 10 years, deal with it.'"

Votto's new deal will buy out his arbitration-eligible years. As a first-year arbitration-eligible player, the three-year deal will not affect his free agent status, he'll still be a free agent following the 2013 season.

For the small-market Reds, they now have payroll certainty -- they know exactly what they'll be spending for one of the game's best young players of the next three years.

Arbitration numbers are due this week, and it's possible Votto could seek to equal or top Ryan Howard's record $10 million judgement. He will now average more than that over the next three seasons, but with another MVP-type season, Votto could ask for even more.

It's not without risk for Cincinnati -- the team is essentially banking on the fact Votto will improve from his breakout season in 2010, when he hit .324/.424/.600 with 37 home runs and 113 RBI. In 2009, Votto missed chunks of time dealing with depression and panic attacks following the sudden loss of his father. He also suffered with vertigo-like symptoms.

Cincinnati also locked up its other young talent, Jay Bruce, earlier this offseason. Bruce, who was arbitration-eligible as a "Super Two", signed a six-year deal worth $51 million to avoid arbitration.

The Reds, who haven't gone to arbitration with a player since 2004, have three arbitration-eligible players remaining, left-handed reliever Bill Bray and right-handed starters Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: January 16, 2011 10:32 am
Edited on: January 16, 2011 10:35 am

Reds 'working hard' on deal with Votto

Joey Votto The Reds are "working hard" at a three-year contract for National League MVP Joey Votto, Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman tweets .

Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty has repeatedly said this offseason that he hoped to avoid arbitration and work out a long-term deal with his first baseman.

Votto is arbitration-eligible for the first time and Heyman suggests a deal would be for three years, buying out his arbitration-eligible years, and still allow Votto to be eligible for free agency following the 2013 season. Heyman tweets the deal would "likely" be for "about $37 million." That would give Votto a large payday, as well as give the Reds cost certainty for the next three years.

Earlier this offseason, the team signed Jay Bruce -- arbitration-eligible as a "Super Two" -- to a six-year deal worth $51 million, also avoiding arbitration.

Votto is one of four arbitration-eligible Reds remaining, along with left-handed reliever Bill Bray and right-handed starters Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez. Cincinnati hasn't gone to arbitration with a player since 2004, when the team beat Chris Reitsma.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 3, 2010 6:13 pm

Reds budget to increase for 2011

The Reds' budget will be "better" than last year's $72 million, general manager Walt Jocketty told CBSSports.com on Wednesday, but because of the team's large number of arbitration-eligible players, he's unsure how much money he has to spend.

"It's hard to predict what those numbers will be," Jocketty said. "We can't commit a lot of dollars right now."

The total budget, Jocketty noted, wouldn't rise dramatically, but will be more than he had for 2010.

He said that was one of the reasons the Reds declined their $4 million option on shortstop Orlando Cabrera, although the team has talked to his agent about returning to the Reds at a lower rate.

Walt Jocketty Jocketty said the team has yet to hear word if outfielder Jay Bruce will qualify as a Super Two, which would also affect the team's bottom line. Bruce, in his second full season, hit .281/.353/.493 with 25 home runs and established himself as one of the top defensive right fielders in the game (he was second to Ichiro Suzuki in the Fielding Bible Awards). Jocketty said he expects to hear sometime this month on Bruce's status as a Super Two, though it is expected he will qualify.

Bruce won't get the biggest bump from the arbitration process, though. Likely National League MVP Joey Votto is also eligible for arbitration for the first time. In addition, the Reds have Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Bill Bray, Jared Burton and Laynce Nix as arbitration-eligible players.

If the Reds do have some money to spend, Jocketty said he'd like to find a leadoff man.

We'd like to improve our offense," Jocketty said. "With our pitching, we like our rotation, we like our bullpen. One thing we'd like to improve upon is a leadoff hitter, I don't know that if that's possible or not."

Brandon Phillips and Drew Stubbs led off for the majority of the 2010 season.

If the team doesn't bring back Cabrera, Jocketty said he feels comfortable  with Paul Janish as the team's everyday shortstop. The Reds went into February with the plan of Janish at short last year before signing Cabrera.

Other notes from Jocketty:

• He said the team had talks with an extension for pitcher Bronson Arroyo, but hadn't reached an agreement yet, so the team picked up his option. Jocketty said they'd still like to get a multi-year deal done before 2011. Arroyo told CBSSports.com earlier today that they were working on a three-year deal.

• Sorry Louisville, Aroldis Chapman won't be back in the minors next year.

"He should be ready for the major leagues now," Jocketty said.

Whether he will be a starter or reliever in 2011, only time will tell. Longterm, the Reds believe Chapman will be a starter.

"Right now, when we get to spring training, if he's better suited for the rotation or the bullpen," Jocketty said. "It's very possible he could be back in the bullpen."

The Reds could have a crowded rotation with Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Mike Leake and Travis Wood.

• Jocketty said he talked to the agent for free agent utility man Migeul Cairo on Wednesday about bringing Cairo back to Cincinnati.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 3, 2010 12:21 pm

Reds set first-round rotation

Travis Wood Yesterday Dusty Baker announced Edinson Volquez would start Game 1 of the Reds' NLDS. On Sunday, he filled out the rest of the rotation -- Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto.

The names -- beyond Volquez -- weren't unexpected. Arroyo is 17-10 with a 3.88 ERA, while Cueto is 12-7 with a  3.64. The bigger surprise may have been that even if the Reds face the left-handed heavy Philadelphia Phillies in the first round, lefty Travis Wood (pictured) won't be used as a starter.

Wood had a perfect game into the ninth inning in his only start against the Phillies on July 10, a game the Reds ultimately lost. That was the rookie's third-ever start and came at Citizen's Bank Park.

"That was the first time they saw him, too. Not to take anything away from him," Baker told reporters (via MLB.com's Mark Sheldon ). "They didn't have [Chase] Utley. They didn't have [Placido] Polanco. They didn't have [Carlos] Ruiz. And they were scoring runs at the time. He's a gutsy kid, but he and Homer [Bailey] are probably the least experienced, too. If we can get him a game, he'd be more prepared to start the next time if there is a next time."

The Reds are going with 11 pitchers, with starters Wood and Bailey in the bullpen.

Baker said he wanted to break up the two hard throwers with Arroyo.

Cueto would get the Game 3 start at great American Ball Park, and Baker cited Cueto's 3.20 ERA at home and 4.10 ERA on the road as a deciding factor in that choice.

Baker said his rotation would be the same, regardless of which team the Reds face. They could face either the Phillies, Giants or Padres -- whoever the Reds get, they'll do it on the road.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: October 2, 2010 2:58 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 9:12 pm

Could be sad end for Harang in Cincy

Aaron Harang
The Reds are finally headed for the playoffs, but the man who's been in a Cincinnati uniform the longest might not be part of the picture.

Aaron Harang has been with the Reds since 2003 and has been the Opening Day starter the past five years. He's active in the community and well-liked by teammates and fans alike. But designating a playoff roster is cutthroat business, and it looks like there might be no room for the 32-year-old.

"I haven't heard anything," Harang told MLB.com. "There's nothing I can really do about it. It's up to Dusty [Baker], Bryan Price and Walt Jocketty to figure out the best possible players to take. ... Of course I want to be in there, and be on the field participating and helping out."

Harang made 19 starts this season, but lost his rotation spot in early September and has appeared just twice in relief since. He suffered a bruise when he took a line drive off his ankle in his last appearance September 22, but says he's fine to play.

His 6-7 record and 5.25 ERA, however, don't seem to make him a good candidate for the Reds' postseason roster, which will probably carry 11 pitchers. For the rotation, the Reds haven't announced who they'll take -- they have to choose from among Bronson Arroyo, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey and Travis Wood.

Not only is this likely the end of Harang's season, it's also probably the end of his time with the Reds. He has a $12.75 million club option for 2011 that won't be picked up, and the Reds are flush with other pitching options going forward.

Harang deserves better, but baseball is a business, and Reds have to give themselves the best possible chance to win.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 19, 2010 12:17 am
Edited on: September 19, 2010 1:20 pm

LaRue says concussion will end his career

Jason LaRue Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the concussion he suffered at the feet of Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto will end his career.

"I'm done," LaRue told the Post-Dispatch 's Joe Strauss. "It's a simple decision."

LaRue was kicked in the head during a fracas on Aug. 10. Cueto served a seven-game suspension for his actions. LaRue's cost was much higher.

LaRue estimates he's had "close to 20" concussions in his athletic career, dating back to high school football. He said riding in cars and watching TV have caused him "sensations that he likened to seasickness" as well as headaches and nausea. He said hasn't improved since the incident.

Apparently LaRue had contemplated legal action against Cueto, but has since decided against doing so.

"I was going to retire on my own terms," LaRue said. "It's unfortunate that the blow that decided it came from someone kicking me in the head with spikes. I wouldn't say I would change things if you could rewrite history. They say things happen for certain reasons. In this case, I couldn't tell you why. Does it suck that my career is over because Johnny Cueto started kicking me in the head? Yes, it sucks.

"I expected to walk away when I felt it was right. The bottom line: it's unfortunate."

LaRue will join his team in Pittsburgh on Monday to spend the final roadtrip with his teammates, as well as seeing a concussion specialist in Pittsburgh.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 3, 2010 6:46 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2010 6:47 pm

Cueto not in St. Louis with Reds

Johnny Cueto
The Reds knew Johnny Cueto wouldn't be safe in the batter's box during this weekend's series in St. Louis. Did someone decide he'd be better off not being in the Gateway City at all?

The pitcher, suspended seven games for his actions in the August 10 brawl between the Reds and Cardinals, is away from the team for an unspecified "serious family issue" and did not travel with the team to St. Louis, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Cueto is not scheduled to pitch in the series -- which, given the tension between these teams, is wise. There had been reports the Reds had planned to "limit his visibility" this weekend, which probably means they were going to stash him in the off-limits areas of the clubhouse and away from both reporters and the Cardinals.  

Now it looks like Cueto won't be facing the Cardinals on or off the field until 2011.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 27, 2010 10:33 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 11:15 pm

Reds' Cueto won't face Cardinals

Johnny Cueto CINCINNATI -- As people looked toward next week's rematch of the Cardinals and Reds, many had Johnny Cueto penciled in for the series-opener at Busch Stadium.

Dusty Baker wasn't one of them.

Cueto pitched Friday night against Chicago and will start next Wednesday in the finale of a series against the Brewers on regular rest, missing the showdown with the Cardinals.

Cueto was suspended seven games for kicking St. Louis' Chris Carpenter and Jason LaRue during an on-field melee on Aug. 10.

When asked if he was relieved if he wouldn't have to face the Cardinals, Cueto just shrugged.

"It doesn't matter, if I need to pitch there, I have to pitch," Cueto said through translator and Juan "Porky" Lopez. "If I have to go to the mound, I'll be on the mound."

Unless the teams meet in the National League Championship Series, it's unlikely Cueto will face the Cardinals until next season. Considering the ugliness of the fight and the severity of the injuries suffered by LaRue, it's hard to believe it'll be forgotten then -- the reunion just won't have the added drama of a playoff race.

For his part, Cueto returned to form on Friday, allowing one run on six hits against the Cubs, striking out eight without walking a batter in eight innings. Most telling was his rhythm, he was smooth throughout and pitched quickly, as the Reds wrapped up the 7-1 victory at Great American Ball Park in a tidy 2:14. The Cardinals kept pace with the Reds, earning a 4-2 victory in Washington.

Cueto said in each of his last two outings -- the game against the Cardinals and his post-suspension start in Los Angeles -- he was overthrowing. In those two games combined, he allowed 12 hits and nine earned runs, walking three and striking out six in 8 1/3 innings. He also saw his ERA jump from 3.24 to 3.62 on the season. With his performance against the Cubs, it was back down to 3.49.

"After I got that suspension, I was feeling too strong and I was overthrowing. I was working out between starts to get better rhythm back and better mechanics," Cueto said. "Today was on of the best days I had pitching in the big leagues, with my rhythm, I was locating my pitches well and I was comfortable with the pitches Ramon [Hernandez] was calling."

With question marks in their rotation, the Reds need this Cueto down the stretch -- no matter the opponent.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com