Cueto gives Reds deadline

If the Reds would like to sign ace Johnny Cueto to a contract extension, they have a deadline of Opening Day to get it done. Otherwise, Cueto and his agent will stop negotiations and revisit it after the season — when Cueto is a free agent.

“I told the Reds that at the meeting we had during the Winter Meetings,” Cueto’s agent, Bryce Dixon, told MLB.com on Tuesday. “Nothing has changed. It’s not something that’s adversarial. Johnny said to me at the end of the season ‘to work something out but if not, I don’t want to the guy messing with contracts in the middle of a season.’

“His rationale is there is plenty of time to get worked out. If not, no hard feelings.”

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty was not available for comment.

Cueto, 28, will make $10 million in 2015 – the option year of his contract – and will become a free agent for the first time after the season if he is not signed by Cincinnati.

— Mark Sheldon

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