Social Media Reaction: Giants Sign Johnny Cueto
The San Francisco Giants made a big splash Monday by agreeing to sign starting pitcher Johnny Cueto to a six-year, $130 million contract, as first reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney.
On Wednesday, Cueto passed his physical, and the Giants officially introduced him in a press conference Thursday morning.
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“To a person, when we went to Nashville and everybody had their war rooms, we said to one another, ‘What single move can we make to return to the World Series and win the World Series?’ And the one answer was ‘Cueto,” Giants president and chief executive officer Larry Baer said at the press conference.
Combined with the signing of Jeff Samardzija last week, the Giants have a significantly improved their rotation from last year, with three pitchers at the top who pitched over 200 innings in 2015.
Cueto seemed happy to don the orange and black Thursday morning.
“I like the team and this is a team of champions,” Cueto said at the press conference via Giants Spanish broadcaster and interpreter Erwin Higueros.
In 2015, Cueto went 11-13, with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.132 WHIP. Despite a miserable second half when he got traded to the Kansas City Royals (4-7, 4.76 ERA, 1,451 WHIP), he was dominant in the National League with the Cincinnati Reds (7-6, 2.62 ERA, 0.934 WHIP).
Overall, he had a strong season, with a 3.9 WAR, according to Baseball Reference.
Cueto is not that far removed from being a dominant pitcher. Cueto’s best season came in 2014, where he went 20-9, with a 2.25 ERA, 243.2 innings pitched, 242 strikeouts, and a 0.960 WHIP. Before 2015, he boasted ERAs below 3.00 in each year since 2011.
And according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, since 2011, Cueto holds the second-best ERA in baseball at 2.71.
Cueto’s deal is very friendly to himself, however. He can choose to opt out of his contract after just two years, as opposed to the standard three.
Cueto, who turns 30 in February, joins a rotation that also includes Samardzija, Madison Bumgarner, Jake Peavy, and Matt Cain. If Cain can get close to his 2009-2012 form, the Giants have potentially four power arms at the top of the rotation who could eat up 200+ innings. San Franciso ranked ninth in most-innings pitched by starters (939.1), so Cueto’s signing should help give the bullpen a bit more of a rest. And if Cain can get close to his 2009-2012 form, the Giants have potentially four power arms at the top of the rotation who could eat up 200+ innings. Also, Cueto throws strikes. He only gave up two walks per nine innings last year and had a 3.83 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Here is more social media reaction to the signing:
"#SFGIANTS SIGN CUETO: San Francisco Giants agree to 6-year contract with pitcher Johnny Cueto…What are your thoughts…Posted by KRON 4 News on Monday, December 14, 2015"