Hunter Greene and the Reds agree to a six-year, $53 million deal.

The Cincinnati Reds and right-handed pitcher Hunter Greene have agreed to a six-year, $53 million contract, the team said Tuesday.

locking the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in baseball to a team that hadn't promised to pay him beyond this season.

Greene, who is 23 years old, made his start last year while Cincinnati was still rebuilding. Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft were brought in as starts.

Along with Greene, they have given some hope to a team that hasn't been in the playoffs since 2013, if you don't count the COVID-shortened season.

The deal starts this season and keeps Greene from becoming a free agent for two years. It also includes a $2 million buyout for a $21 million club option for the seventh year.

If the Reds use the option, Greene can sign with another team after his 29th season. With escalators, the contract can be worth more than $90 million.

It is the best deal the Reds have ever given to a player before arbitration."The promise we made to Hunter shows how much he cares about this team and our community,

Reds CEO Bob Castellini said. "He is one of the young players who will help us build a successful major league team for years to come."

Greene is one of the youngest pitchers to sign a contract. He is tied with Felix Hernández and Atlanta Braves star Spencer Strider as the youngest pitchers to do so.

This season, his fastball has gone as fast as 102 miles per hour. But he now throws his slider almost 40% of the time, and it may be his best pitch.