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San Francisco Giants: Johnny Cueto Decision Coming Down to Wire

Jake Mastroianni
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Johnny Cueto #47 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the first inning at AT&T Park on September 19, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Johnny Cueto #47 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the first inning at AT&T Park on September 19, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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With possibly two starts left on the season for Johnny Cueto, his decision on whether or not to opt-out of his contract with the San Francisco Giants could come down to the wire.

On Tuesday Johnny Cueto tossed 6.2 innings for the San Francisco Giants, giving up two earned runs on seven hits and four walks with six strikeouts.

It was a very solid performance for Cueto, lowering his season ERA from 4.58 to 4.49. That would be the highest ERA of his career since his rookie season back in 2008 when he had a 4.81 ERA.

For those who aren’t aware, Cueto has the option to opt-out of his current contract after the season. If he did so, he would be turning down a guaranteed $87.3 million dollars over the next four years.

The San Francisco Giants hold a team option in 2022 of $22 million with a $5 million buyout.

In my honest opinion, it would be quite dumb for Cueto to turn down that guaranteed money at 32 years old.

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Of course, the money in baseball is stupid right now, and teams may be willing to give up 100-plus million for the next five years. I just certainly wouldn’t want to take that risk coming off his worst season in a long time.

But on that point, most people will only remember his last few starts of the season, which is why his last two starts are so important.

After posting a 8.10 ERA in two July starts, he missed all of August before returning in September. Things haven’t been great this month, but a 3.92 ERA in September isn’t terrible. However, the start on Tuesday was his first quality start since June 24.

If things stay the way they are, Cueto could get a start at Arizona early next week, and then he could end the season at home against San Diego.

Next: What Should the San Francisco Giants do with Hunter Pence?

Those two starts could be huge. If Cueto puts together back-to-back quality starts to end the season, I think it makes his decision a little more interesting in the offseason.

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