Reds lock down ace Hunter Greene with 6-year extension
The deal will keep Greene in the Queen City until at least 2028.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Reds ace Hunter Greene does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
The 23-year-old pitching phenom and the Reds on Tuesday reached a six-year, $53 million contract extension. There’s a $21 million club option in 2029 with a $2 million buyout.
The deal locks Greene up in Cincinnati through his arbitration years.
“The commitment we made to Hunter reflects his commitment to this organization and our community,” said Reds CEO Bob Castellini. “He is part of the foundation of young players who will continue to help us build a successful Major League team.”
The deal is the first guaranteed salary for the Reds beyond the 2023 season, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Fox Sports MLB Analyst Ben Verlander tweeted it’s “quite the team-friendly deal for the Reds. Wow.”
“I think this is a great move for the organization. It’s a great move for the city, the timing, the fan base... everything that’s happening in this organization, and the fact that Hunter Greene wants to be the face of baseball in Cincinnati. He wants to be the face of baseball in the African American community. I think this is an outstanding move by the organization,” Barry Larkin said Tuesday night.
“These are the moves the Reds need to make,” added Sam LeCure.
Jim Day said pregame Greene wants “to be a part of bringing back winning baseball to Cincinnati.” He also noted Greene’s frequent mention of the young nucleus of talent on the Reds and in Cincinnati’s farm system.
Greene, 23, was the Opening Day started in Cincinnati last month.
Drafted by the Reds in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Greene has impressed fans and the front office in a little more than a season in Cincinnati.
|162 Game Avg.||6||16||.278||4.42||34||34||0||1||1||0||173||151||87||85||30||66||0||228||13||0||5||739||102||4.15||1.248||7.8||1.6||3.4||11.9||3.48|
“[Cincinnati] is a baseball city. We know that we got to go out there and win,” he said during spring training. “We’re working extremely hard. We want to win just as much as the fans. We want to bring that atmosphere back to the city. That’s the most exciting part, knowing the potential.”
Greene has a 3.29 ERA through two full starts and one abbreviated outing in 2023. He pitched three innings of scoreless ball on Monday but exited with a lower-leg contusion that doesn’t appear serious.
The 23-year-old occasionally dazzled during his rookie season but struggled early with consistency, going 1-5 with a 7.62 ERA and allowing 11 home runs in his first six starts.
He improved over the next few months and was lights-out to end the year after sitting all of August and part of September with a right shoulder strain.
Greene had the highest average four-seem fastball velocity (98.9 mph) in the MLB last year. [More]
Greene used spring training to work on his changeup and slider. He spoke about trying to draw more weak and early contact in at-bats while being mindful of his pitch count.
He has also said he added endurance training to his off-season exercises to improve his chances of getting through a full season.
“I think the most exciting part is my work ethic, knowing I’m putting the work in [so] when I do step in between those lines, there is no doubt that I’m going to be able to dominate and make an impact on the game. All of that comes into play with your preparation in the offseason and spring training,” Greene said during a Bally Sports Cincinnati interview. “I always stay this: If you work your butt off, if you put all the reps in and time in, when you get on the field, it should be the easy part. You should be able to look to your right and left and say, ‘I’m better prepared than you, and I’m going to go after you.’”
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