CINCINNATI — The Reds exercised Johnny Cueto's $10 million contract option on Thursday but decided to let outfielder Ryan Ludwick and infielder Jack Hannahan become free agents.
Cueto also made $10 million last season, when he went 20-9 with a 2.25 ERA, the Reds' first 20-game winner since Danny Jackson in 1988. Cueto had been guaranteed $27 million over four years and can become a free agent after next season.
Cincinnati had a $9 million option on Ludwick but chose to pay a $4.5 million buyout. Half will be paid by Nov. 15, 2015, and the other half by Nov. 15, 2016. Ludwick batted .244 with nine homers and 45 RBIs.
Hannahan played only 26 games because of injuries. The Reds declined his $4 million option and will pay a $2 million buyout, half by this Nov. 15 and half by Nov. 15, 2015.
Bell made two relief appearances and gave up five runs while getting two outs. Soto went 3 for 30 in 21 games with one RBI. Santiago batted .246 in 75 games with two homers and 17 RBIs.