Hunter Greene and the Cincinnati Reds are in agreement on a new 6-year contract worth at least $53,000,000. Jeff Passan of ESPN reported the news later this afternoon.

The deal starts in 2023 and will run through 2028. There is also a $21,000,000 option for the 2029 season that has a $2,000,000 buyout. The extension for Greene is rare for how young he is. Greene is just 23-years-old.

C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports that the deal could be worth as much as $91,200,000. There are escalators in the deal that could really move upwards the money towards the end of the contract.

Mark Feinsand of reports that this is the breakdown of salary each season of Hunter Greene’s deal:

  1. 2023: $1,000,000
  2. 2024: $3,000,000
  3. 2025: $6,000,000
  4. 2026: $8,000,000
  5. 2027: $15,000,000
  6. 2028: $16,000,000
  7. 2029: $21,000,000

The deal also includes a $2,000,000 signing bonus.

Jeff Passan noted in his report that only Felix Hernandez and Spencer Strider signed extensions at an earlier age than Greene. The deal could potentially buy out two years of free agency for Greene. That is similar to what the organization did when they signed Johnny Cueto to an extension early on in his career and bought out his first year of free agency, though Cueto had already pitched three full seasons in the big leagues when he signed his deal with the club.

While Cincinnati most certainly has players on their roster who will be on the team in 2024, Hunter Greene is the only player in the organization that the team owes money to beyond the 2023 season. Everyone else is someone who could, in theory at least, be released and owed nothing moving forward.

Cincinnati selected Greene with the #2 overall pick in the 2017 Major League Baseball draft. At the time he received the largest signing bonus in the draft’s history since it moved to a slot system. It would not be until 2022 that Greene would reach the big leagues, missing time in the minor leagues after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Since making his debut, Greene has made 28 starts for the Reds and posted a 4.42 ERA while striking out 188 batters in 142.2 innings pitched, giving up 124 hits, and walking 54 batters.

He, along with Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft are viewed as the future of the rotation for the Reds. They are part of the “rebuild” that has shown up a little earlier than some of their positional player counterparts – though Tyler Stephenson and Jonathan India did arrive a little sooner than the big three pitchers. It’s Cincinnati farm system that many are waiting on to provide several more players to step in to help get the organization out of the basement.

56 Responses

  1. Melvin

    That’s surprising. I bet Big Bob is holding his wallet right now moaning and groaning. lol

    • Jedi Joey

      LOL!!! The visual in my mind of that makes me smile

    • Votto4life

      Credit where credit is due. I didn’t think the Reds would extend anyone. Pleasantly surprised!!

      • Mario

        After Phil’s comments at the Rosie Reds luncheon, I was also doubtful. This is good news. I am totally ok with them mostly staying away from the big free agent market, just want to see more extensions.

  2. MBS

    Seems like a great deal for the Reds, let’s hope they are in talks with a few other guys! Very exciting deal!!

    • Michael E

      Great deal for both, at least for now.

      Greene gets lots of guaranteed money. If he hits all-star level pitcher, he’ll leave money on the table. If he gets injured and has a couple of lost years (even if he rebounds) the Reds will come up a bit short.

      If I were Greene, I’d have signed this too. Get a few 10s of millions locked in before life happens.

      Lets hope this turns out well and not Homer Bailey-ish.

      Greene has tons of arm talent, young, works hard, but hasn’t learned to locate his pitches. He needs to maybe take something off the heater and locate it just off the plate, inside, outside, high, low. If consistency increases into 2024, Reds got a potential bargain.

  3. Jedi Joey

    This is an excellent move! I will give credit where credit is due. Good job, Redlegs!

  4. PTBNL

    Take that LA Dodgers…….at least for the next 6 years.

  5. RedsGettingBetter

    It is exciting and surprising at the same time. I could have expected this deal during 2024 season maybe. It is remarkable this dealing comes just after Greene’s velo dip in last game however there is a physical still pending .
    Lodolo is going to look for a no-no tonight for sure after he realized this Greene’s deal.

    • redfanorbust

      Not today anyway. Reds down 4-0 Lodolo gave up two bombs. 🙁

      • Westfester

        Against the best team in baseball.

  6. RedBB

    Great signing. I am a bit surprised that Greene signed the extension though as he seems like the type who has no problem betting on himself. Although his previous TJ surgery may have pushed him to do it.

    Reds now have Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft locked up through their age 30 year. Would love to see them extend the other 2 but they may not need to based on age. Greene extension definitely makes more sense based on his younger age.

    • Doc

      If Lodolo and Ashcraft are locked up through age 30, then Greene would also have been locked up for the same number of years. This contract covered his first two years of arbitration, but he was already locked up for those years, and one more, anyway, as are Lodolo and Ashcraft.

      The deal gives Greene security and shows him the Reds support him. Plus, he already banked around $7MM signing bonus. The Reds gamble is that $53MM is less than they would have had to pay him total through two years of arbitration, that he refines his craft and becomes the dominant ace his ceiling projects, and that he doesn’t suffer another season ending or career ending injury.

      • MK

        Think Greene is kind of frugal even though he doesn’t need to be. I used to kind him in Dayton as he constantly wore a Cabella Fishing hat. I asked him if he was a big fisherman. He said only occasionally. When asked about the hat he said when in the store they had a whole bin of them for $1 and he bought one of each color. I harassed him about his dollar hats the rest of the year. So not a big spender.

  7. docproc

    Love this. Hope it’s the first of several long-term extensions offered to our top young talent.

  8. Klugo

    Hunter Greene is special. Glad to see this.

  9. Soto

    I like it. Hopefully he can develop that change-up and become a generational pitcher. He’s got the heat and the slider, but needs to develop a go-to, off-speed pitch and some better movement on his fastball. Here’s hoping he has a long and successful career as a Red.

  10. Stock


    1 down 6 to go.

    I would love to see India, Stephenson, Ashcraft, Lodolo, Fraley and Friedl signed to long term deals. You could add in Steer and Barrero. Fraley, Friedl, Steer and Barrero could be very cheap. If the Reds can keep their stars 2025-2030 could be fun.

    • Votto4life

      I would be surprise if the reds extend India or Stephenson. They have a boatload of middle infielders and frankly, Tyler Stephenson isn’t worth an expensive extension if they intend to play him at first base.

  11. Jeff

    Now do Lodolo, Ashcraft, India and Stevenson.


    Wow!!! This is a very team friendly deal given Hunter Green’s potential. The GM gets an A+ for this deal! I almost could not believe my eyes. This pitcher throws the ball almost as hard as anyone ever has in the history of the game. He has to fine tune his other pitches, but his ceiling is potential superstar. He is not near the ceiling, yet. I am just saying. Good deal for Hunter Greene to know he has this amount of money going to the bank account in the future, but if this young man reaches his ceiling, look how much the Reds could save with this extension. Great deal for the Reds!

  13. Chris

    I’m not sure I understand this deal from Reds perspective…..they had him locked up much, much cheaper thru 2027 anyways, correct? So they are paying more money for 5/6 years than they in theory would have to? The option year is just that, so really they are only buying just 1 year on top of when had team control already and cheaper?

  14. Jason Franklin

    This is a very good trade friendly sort of deal, too. If the Reds awesome front office decides to rebuild again, then swoosh! he’s off to some other team loaded with shortstop prospects.

  15. William

    Lodolo is the next best extension that the Reds could make. I do like Jeff’s list of names. I would be satisfied with three out of four.

  16. Optimist

    A very curious structure and sounds like a good deal both ways. If inflation keeps up, this is very affordable. Also not an issue in case of a new managing partner or ownership change. Finally, leaves Greene himself on the open market before he turns 30.

    Certainly sets a marker for the other younger talents.

  17. William

    The Reds made a statement to their fans that they are going to try to build a championship team. They have young prospects coming who are game changers. They are going to be very competitive in the near future. I read more than the extension in this move. Money has to be spent in a smart way by a small market team to build a contender. This deal is a good one. It is a step in the right direction. Keep developing the young prospects and the Reds may not have to spend near as much as other small market teams to reach the goal of a championship.

  18. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Alright, I will specify, it’s sort of a good/bad thing with me.

    My initial thought was “extension now”? No. I want to see more.

    Then, I thought, “Less than $10 million per”? That might have been a pretty good extension.

    Then, I saw the yearly output. Initially, I would think it’s a steal. If he keeps improving, I still think it would be a steal. But, he has to keep improving. I wouldn’t want to think we would be paying that much for a #5 man in 29.

    I still think I would have waited, overall, though. I normally prefer to see success past their first year of success. . .first, aka, well into their second year of success.

    • Votto4life

      Had they waited Greene may have decided to wait and test the market. There is risk to both parties. It Hunter has the type of career many believe he will have, he will leave some money on the table. If he is injury prone or underperform the Reds end up on the losing end. I think it’s very promising that the Reds are willing to take a risk.

      I have been super critical of ownership, but I think this is an excellent move and ownership deserves credit.

    • Chris

      I don’t get the excitement….they are committing as I read it 35m(including 2m signing bonus) to him thru 2027 when if had not done this pre-arb extension they would have spent much, much less. We then do get one year at 16m which might be great if he’s good/great at that time….with option for 2nd year at 21 m?? So WAY overspending for 5 years so that we MIGHT get two years of him for “only” 37m??

      • Optimist

        They spent 10m for 34 yr. old Mike Minor last year.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      The thing is, if Greene deserves this, I’m much more confident of Lodolo, at least right now. I would have to think Lodolo deserves this much as well.

  19. Melvin

    When it comes to India and Stephenson they might want to think about waiting until those guys play a full season injury free.

    • Votto4life

      Yeah India’s value if smushed because the team has so many up and coming middle infielders. If they plan to move Stephenson to first base, I am not sure he is worth a ton of money.

      • greenmtred

        I understand your point about Stephenson, but suppose he becomes a guy who hits .300ish, decent OBP, 15 or 20 homers a year? The Reds may well get good power production at shortstop (de la Cruz, but maybe Barrero) and reasonable power from Steer, Friedl, Fraley plus maybe CES, McClain and the other guys waiting in the wings. In addition, the rules changes may end up being small-ball friendly. Does it matter how the runs are produced or who produces them?

  20. Votto4life

    Reds rolling the dice a bit since Hunter has already had TJ surgery. But I am so happy to see the Castellini’s signing a multiple year contract. Gives me hope.

  21. John Jansen

    I am shocked hunter is the first one to be extended but makes sense at a risk sense. He is financially set. Hope he develops.

    I think it’s clear we are trying to replicate the rays/braves.

    The question is who is next? Trade India or extend him?

    Would be extremely smart to extend lodolo, ashcraft to similar deals.

    India I think shows that we our trying to win….

    Fridel, fraley, steer would be good candidates for 5 mil per year extension

    • Doug Gray

      Replicate which team, the Rays or the Braves? Because the Braves are spending about 3 times as much money as the Rays ($190M to $68M).

      • Redsvol

        Exactly, Braves are spending some big $ next several years. Of course they are really good too.

        I think the point is it makes much more sense to lock up your good players when they are young than it does to extend them closer to when they are on 2nd or 3rd arbitration years – see Mahle and Castillo. You let them get that close to free agency and they are going to want to try it. By then, it’s too late to get a decent deal. Braves locked up Alvie’s, acuna and strider well before then.

  22. AMDG

    Seems to be something that works out for both sides.

    Greene gets more $$$ now in his pre-arb & arb years, and in exchange, the Reds get him for a little less than what market value and inflation would likely get him in his first 2 years of free agency.

    • Votto4life

      Yeah and more importantly it’s a sign the Reds are open to extending their young players. The team’s future is brighter today than it was yesterday in my opinion.

      • DaveCT

        It’s also a sign Greene is happy in Cincinnati

      • TR

        The Hunter Greene extension is a good indicator the Red’s top management is starting to stabilize after the trauma of the pandemic and the disappointment of the recent CBC? major league agreement. The leadership of GM Nick Krall is evident. More extensions will follow. The Red’s leadership knows what they have.

  23. Larry Baker

    Surprised would be the key word.

  24. JayTheRed

    Do they offer Lodolo a similar deal maybe?
    Do they offer Ashcraft a 6 year deal worth maybe 10 million less?
    I only offer something to Stephanson and India if they can survive the year mostly healthy.
    Like several others I am not sure India remains a Red for his career.

    • greenmtred

      I’m not sure, either, but–early days though it is–he’s showing why he’s worth considering: a very good lead-off hitter and, evidently, a possible team leader.

  25. CI3J

    Guess all those people who thought Greene was headed to the Dodgers as soon as he his rookie contract was up have some crow to eat.

    • Doc

      As do all the people who opined the Reds would not do extensions and then berated ownership for being cheap based are their assumptions of what ownership would or would not do, as do all those who have been berating Krall from day one, thinking anybody could build a team the day after taking the job.

      Might put crows on the endangered species list.

  26. Bill

    I thought Bob was too cheap and wouldn’t give any long term contracts? Wasn’t the plan to trade everyone after four years for more prospects making league minimum?

  27. Still a Red

    1st thought was surprise…thought for sure Reds were committed to team-wide rule, 5 years and trade for prospects.
    2nd was…oh no, hope this isn’t Homer Bailey redux, committing to Bailey vs Cueto (though I see from above that the Reds did extend Cueto one year into his free agency).
    3rd was…other’s may be thinking “hey, what about me?” (Lodolo, Ashcraft, India, Stephenson). Interesting as stated above this locks Green through age 29 while Lodolo and Ashcraft already locked in to 30…but they’ll be getting pennies to Greene’s dollar…may not sit well. India too! p.s. Lodolo doesn’t come out and throw a no-no, quite the opposite, .
    4th…sounds like its bye-bye to Joey.

  28. Bill

    It sounds like you wouldn’t be happy with any decision made. They trade players during a rebuild and you decided they will trade everyone. They extend a players and you assume it will be a failed contract. Your next thought is Greene is the only player getting extended and will hurt the feelings of someone else. What makes you think the others don’t have offers or won’t get offers? Finally I have no clue what Votto has to do with any of this Greene getting a contract has zero connection to Votto who is playing on his last year

    • Still a Red

      Actually I’m quite happy. Just surprised, I’m not advocating a 5 and out strategy…it just seemed like that was how the front office was going to cope with its apparent budget constraints. Unless they start extending some others that may yet be their strategy. I don’t know if they’re trying to extend others…I just think there are others they should try to extend (like India and Stephenson…thought I understand the arguments above that you may want to wait and see if they both recover from last years woes). Finally, I suppose management could pick up Votto’s option since Greene’s big $$ don’t kick in until the outer years…but if they intend to extend others with similar dollars, I think they won’t pick up Votto’s option.