Greene inks six-year deal that could reach north of $95 million with incentives
Stevenson Ranch native Hunter Greene signed a six-year, $53-million contract extension with the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, locking himself to the team that drafted him until at least his age-29 season, the team announced on Tuesday.
The deal will buy out all three of Greene’s arbitration years and at least one year of free agency. Another year of free agency could be locked down should the Reds choose to exercise a club option for the 2029 season worth $21 million, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. The Reds could decline the option, instead giving Greene a $2 million buyout.
Feinsand reports that the contract, which begins this season, will pay Greene $1 million in 2023, $3 million in 2024, $6 million in 2025, $8 million in 2026, $15 million in 2027 and $16 million in 2028. It is the largest pre-arbitration contract the Reds have ever given out.
“The commitment we made to Hunter reflects his commitment to this organization and to our community,” Reds CEO Bob Castellini said in a statement. “He is part of the foundation of young players who will continue to help us build a successful Major League team.”
Feinsand also reports that the contract includes a number of performance-based incentives, including: $2 million for winning a Cy Young award (each season); $1 million for finishing second or third in Cy Young voting; $750,000 for finishing fourth or fifth in Cy Young voting; $500,000 for finishing fifth through 10th in Cy Young voting; and $200,000 for each All-Star team selection.
Drafted by the Reds with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 MLB draft out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Greene is famous for his overpowering fastball. He currently holds the MLB record for pitches that reach triple-digit velocity in a single game, hitting at least 100 mph 47 times during a Sept. 17 start against the St. Louis Cardinals last season. That broke his own previous record by eight pitches, set earlier last season.
Greene finished the 2022 season, in which he made the Opening Day roster and later made his Major League debut, with a 5-13 record and a 4.44 ERA in 24 starts. Including four games started in 2023, he has 188 strikeouts in 142.2 innings pitched at the big-league level.
Greene became the first Reds starting pitcher to start Opening Day at 25 years or younger since Frank Pastore did so in 1980 when he took the mound for the club’s season opener on March 30.
Greene has previously given back to the Santa Clarita community, donating cleats to youth baseball players at the Hart Pony baseball complex in January. At that event, more than 500 pairs of cleats were distributed, along with baseballs, jerseys, cards and other equipment and memorabilia.