From the AP:
Jason LaRue agreed to a two-year, $9.1 million contract Tuesday with the Cincinnati Reds, solidifying his role as the starting catcher.
The Reds also added a left-hander to their bullpen by agreeing to a one-year, $800,000 deal with Chris Hammond.
LaRue will get $3.9 million next season and $5.2 million in 2007. If he’s traded after Oct. 15, his 2007 salary will automatically increase to $5.45 million.
Seems like a lot of money to me for LaRue, especially in ’07. I think this says a lot about how far away the Reds think any of their minor league catching talent is from being ML ready and how much confidence they have in Valentin being able to reproduce his ’05 numbers.
They allowed starter Ramon Ortiz and reliever Joe Valentine to become free agents, declining to offer them contracts for 2006.
No surprise here on Ortiz. A little bit of a surprise on Valentine.