The Reds officially signed Jay Bruce to a six-year, $51MM extension today. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick broke the story on Thursday. The extension will keep Bruce in Cincinnati through at least 2016 - longer than any other member of the Reds is under contract for - and pay him $50MM in salary over the next six years. The deal includes a $1MM buyout for a $13MM option in 2017, plus a partial no-trade clause and the chance to earn more money with award bonuses. Agent Matt Sosnick represents Bruce.
The 23-year-old batted .281/.353/.493 with 25 homers as Cincinnati's everyday right fielder in 2010. His 5.3 Wins Above Replacement placed him tenth among MLB outfielders last year and even if that stat doesn't impress you, this will: Bruce's September 28th walk off home run clinched Cincinnati's first playoff berth in 15 years.
A super two player, Bruce would have been arbitration eligible for the first time this winter and was on track to hit free agency after the 2014 season. Reds GM Walt Jocketty has discussed locking up Bruce for a while and this deal will keep the outfielder under contract until he's 29 or 30.
Justin Upton, who is four months younger than Bruce, signed a comparable extension with the Diamondbacks before the 2010 season. Upton's six-year, $51.25MM deal will keep him under team control for all of his arbitration seasons and what would have been his first two years of free agency.
Next up for the Reds - extending Joey Votto. Like Bruce, the 2010 NL MVP is arbitration eligible for the first time and open to discussing an extension. Jocketty has already signed Bronson Arroyo to an extension this month.