Johnny Cueto Is Gonna Get Paid

With Jon Lester getting $155 million from the Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds now know the floor of their potential next deal with ace Johnny Cueto, who is a free agent after 2015.

As C. Trent Rosecrans notes, Cueto likely won’t make it cheap on the Reds:

While the Reds are looking to move payroll from this year’s team, Jocketty has expressed an interest in extending Cueto. Cueto has also said he’d be open to an extension this offseason and is happy in Cincinnati, but it’s unlikely he’d take much of a “hometown discount” — especially since his hometown is in the Dominican Republic.

Cueto is coming off the best season in his career, finishing second in the National League Cy Young voting after unanimous winner Clayton Kershaw. Cueto went 20-9 with a 2.25 ERA, leading the National League in starts (34), innings (243.2) and strikeouts (242). Lester, meanwhile, was 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA between Boston and Oakland. In his career, he’s 116-67 with a 3.58 and a 121 ERA+. Cueto is 85-57 with a 3.27 ERA and 123 ERA+. …

Cueto is two years younger (28) than Lester (30), who has been more durable than Cueto, having started more than 30 games in each of the last seven seasons. Cueto has made 30 or more starts in five of the last seven years, but was limited to just 11 starts in 2013 due to injury.

If talks seem to be headed nowhere, the Reds could be looking to move Cueto at the deadline at the latest – lest they lose him for nothing after next season. And it looks like they wouldn’t have trouble finding interested parties:

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