Right-handed reliever Jared Hughes is joining the Reds on a two-year deal, the club announced Tuesday. The deal is worth $2.125 million for both 2018 and '19, with a $3 million option for '20 that comes with a $250,000 buyout, according to SB Nation.
Hughes, 32, was non-tendered by the Brewers earlier this month to avoid his salary increase through arbitration. Brewers general manager David Stearns indicated the club was interested in bringing him back free of the arbitration parameters after Hughes posted a 3.02 ERA in 59 2/3 innings last season.
Instead, the right-hander will receive the financial cushion of being locked up through at least his first year of free agency in 2019, and he will join his third team in the National League Central. Hughes pitched six seasons for the Pirates, including three postseason runs from 2013-15, with a 2.82 ERA, before he was released on the final day of Spring Training last season. For his career, Hughes is 20-16 with a 2.85 ERA over 369 innings in 380 outings, having primarily been a setup man -- which could be the role he'll fill in Cincinnati.
Reds relievers last year compiled a 4.65 ERA, the fourth-worst in the Majors, while also pitching 610 innings, the second-most, thanks in large part to instability within their starting rotation. The club has primarily bolstered its bullpen internally, with a cast of many former starters, including closer Raisel Iglesiasand setup specialists Michael Lorenzen and Wandy Peralta.
Hughes doesn't boast elite velocity or high strikeout numbers, but he has a career 62.3 percent ground-ball rate, which may prove beneficial at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park.