The Reds announced a three-year extension with lefty reliever Sean Marshall, which runs through 2015. The contract is worth $16.5MM, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal notes there's $2MM in performance bonuses each year, $1MM for games started and $1MM for games finished. The 29-year-old has yet to throw a pitch for his new team, having been acquired from the Cubs in a December trade. Marshall, a client of Meister Sports Management, was already under control through 2012 due to a previous two-year deal.
With the new contract, Reds GM Walt Jocketty prevents one of the game's best relievers from reaching free agency after the season. Since converting to relief full-time in 2010, the lanky southpaw owns a 2.45 ERA, 10.1 K/9, and 2.5 BB/9 over 150 1/3 innings, allowing just four home runs in that span. Marshall's $16.5MM contract does not represent a discount, matching the high bar set for non-closing relievers by Joaquin Benoit, who signed as a free agent with the Tigers in November 2010.
As MLBTR's extension tracker shows, in recent times five other non-closer relievers have signed extensions heading into contract years: Ryan Madson of the Phillies, Rafael Soriano of the Braves, Dan Wheeler of the Rays, Matt Belisle of the Rockies, and Casey Janssen of the Blue Jays. That's not to say Marshall won't end up closing if Madson departs the Reds after the season; we'll be monitoring the situation on Twitter @closernews.
For a look at the remaining relievers in the 2012-13 free agent class, check out our list here.
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