Cincinnati Reds and Hunter Greene Agree to Six-Year Extension
The Cincinnati Reds have joined the recent wave of extensions, locking up young righty Hunter Greene on a new six-year deal.
Jeff Passan with the scoop:
Greene, 23, has thrown 142.2 big league innings between last season and this, posting a 4.42 ERA and 4.15 FIP. He has gotten off to a torrid start this year, though, pairing a strikeout rate above 30% with a walk rate below 8%.
Absent an extension Greene would’ve hit arbitration after the 2024 season, and then had three years of arbitration before free agency. So this deal appears to buy out two years of free agency, and also gets the Reds a team option after that. I would say the $53 million is a healthy amount of risk up front, but the reward of those two free agent years (and also some possible savings in arbitration) is definitely worth it. I kinda hate that I love this deal for the Reds.
The closest comp here for the Cubs is Justin Steele. He doesn’t come with the same prospect pedigree, and he’s a bit older, but with more big league success to his name so far, Steele is arguably right in the same tier of projected value as Greene over the next six years. The one main difference between them is that Steele came into this year with almost two years of service time, whereas Greene had just one. They would be scheduled to hit free agency at the same time, but Steele may qualify as a Super Two after this season, getting him an extra year of arbitration.
As we’ve discussed, though, it’s not clear that the Cubs will want to extend Steele, rather than just take him year by year as he approaches free agency (ahead of his age-32 season).