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01/26/2011 2:07 PM ET
Reds sign Johnny Cueto to long-term deal
Young right-hander agrees to 4-year contract
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Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty today announced the signing of RHP Johnny Cueto to a 4-year contract through the 2014 season, with a club option for 2015. Cueto was eligible for arbitration for the first time.

"We're continuing our efforts to keep our good young nucleus together," said Jocketty. "We were able to work out long-term deals with the position players, now we're focusing on the pitching staff."

Earlier this winter, the Reds signed to multi-year deals OF Jay Bruce (6 years, plus a club option) and National League Most Valuable Player 1B Joey Votto (3 years). Both were eligible for arbitration.

At just 24 years old, Cueto already has accumulated 32 career wins and 428 strikeouts in 92 starts over 3 seasons. Among all active players in that age group, he ranks fourth in wins (Felix Hernandez 71, Jair Jurrjens 37, Yovani Gallardo 36) and fourth in strikeouts (Hernandez 1042, Gallardo 525, Clayton Kershaw 497). Cueto's 428 strikeouts are the sixth-most by any Reds pitcher under age 25, trailing only Gary Nolan (617), Don Gullett (713), Jim Maloney (689), Noodles Hahn (508) and Pete Schneider (476).

Last season, Cueto established career highs in wins (12) and innings pitched (185.2) and tied his career high with 31 starts. With a 12-7 record, his .632 winning percentage was 10th-best in the National League, and he led the Reds' staff in strikeouts (138). He made 18 quality starts, including 6 of his last 7 appearances as the Reds battled for the NL Central Division championship.

Cueto was the victim of blown saves 6 times, the second-highest total for any pitcher in the Major Leagues (Fla's Josh Johnson, 7bs), and the Reds were shut out in 3 of his 7 losses. He started Game 3 of the National League Division Series vs Phi but suffered the 2-0 loss when Phillies starter Cole Hamels threw a 5-hit complete game.

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