SF Giants RHP Johnny Cueto Will Not Pitch In Winter Ball, Per Kapler

Johnny Cueto of the SF Giants. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Johnny Cueto of the SF Giants. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
SF Giants, Johnny Cueto
Johnny Cueto #47 of the SF Giants poses during Photo Day in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

Manager Gabe Kapler told reporters on Tuesday that Johnny Cueto will not be pitching in the Dominican Winter League this offseason.

In a video conference on Tuesday, SF Giants manager Gabe Kapler told reporters that starting pitcher Johnny Cueto will not be playing in a winter league this offseason. Back in November, a report by Juan Arturo Recio of ESPN claimed that Cueto had signed with the Estrellas Orientales of the Dominican Winter League and was planning to pitch for the team this season.

The Giants organization has many connections to Estrellas Orientales so it seemed plausible that the team was on board with Cueto’s participation. José Alguacil is the manager of the team and served as the Giants first-base coach from 2017-2019. Estrellas’ general manager, Pablo Peguero, is the Giants Latin American Director of Baseball Operations..

Alguacil was set to manage San Francisco’s Double-A affiliate, Richmond Flying Squirrels, in 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, where he managed in 2015 before managing the Sacramento River Cats in 2016. He’ll likely return to the organization’s managerial ranks next season.

At the time of Recio’s report, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters that the deal was not done yet. It appears that the final details never quite got hashed out.

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Set to be 35-years old in February, Johnny Cueto is owed $21 million next season with a $22 million club option for 2022. Barring something exceptional next season, the SF Giants will very likely pay a $5 million buyout to make him a free agent after next season. It would obviously be a boon for the organization if he could rekindle his early-career success. However, it appears he will not be working on his game at the Dominican Winter League this offseason.