01/17/13 8:36 PM ET
Reds, Ondrusek agree to two-year deal
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
The deal comes before Friday's deadline for clubs and arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary figures. Ondrusek, who was first-time arbitration-eligible as a "super two" player with enough service time to qualify, earned $492,000 in 2012.
"It feels good," Ondrusek said. "They talked to my agent and there wasn't a lot of disagreement. It all went really smooth as far as I was concerned. It was nice to be able to sit back and focus on what I need to do for this upcoming season and not be worrying or having to go through arbitration. It took away a lot of pressure."
In 63 games last season, Ondrusek was 5-2, with a 3.46 ERA. In 54 2/3 innings, the 27-year-old gave up 51 hits and 23 walks while striking out 39.
Overall, Ondrusek stranded 38 of his 42 inherited runners, including a season high 17 straight from June 9-Aug. 8. But he struggled for much of the month of August and was optioned to Triple-A Louisville for 10 days during a roster crunch.
If all goes as planned this spring, Ondrusek should return to a seventh- and eighth-innings role that he's had the past couple of seasons. The recently married Texas native and his wife live in Cincinnati year-round. Ondrusek, who has already started his throwing program, has been working out at Great American Ball Park with fellow reliever Sam LeCure for much of the offseason.
The two-year deal was something Ondrusek was hoping to sign this winter. It not only wipes arbitration next season, it also lets the right-hander know he is in the team's plans for a while.
"It definitely helps a little with security for a couple of years," Ondrusek said. "I still have to do well and earn my spot but it's nice to know something is guaranteed and it's not that a terrible year means I won't be back. I have the two years to work and then I can go for the next deal."
In 189 games for the Reds since 2010, Ondrusek is 15-7 with a 3.45 ERA.
Still eligible for arbitration from the Reds are Homer Bailey, Shin-Soo Choo, Chris Heisey, Mat Latos, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon.