Cincinnati Reds wise to lock up catcher Devin Mesoraco
Are the Reds looking to contend in 2015, hoping for bounce-back years from Joey Votto and Jay Bruce and another Cy Young-caliber season from Johnny Cueto before he hits free-agent pay dirt? Or are they rebuilding, stockpiling youth for a looming talent war with the Cubs, Pirates and Cardinals? Either way, Cincinnati's recent four-year, $28 million contract extension for catcher Devin Mesoraco makes perfect sense.
Mesoraco looked like a rare first-round misfire by the Reds early on, making outs in bunches and getting benched for long stretches from 2011-13. But the 26-year-old busted out during the 2014 season, leading all catchers with 25 home runs and making his first All-Star team. Considering his youth, pull-side power and sharper strike-zone judgment, Mesoraco could earn the starting nod for the 2015 Midsummer Classic at Great American Ball Park -- and cement his place as the Reds' most potent backstop since Johnny Bench.