3 former SF Giants players we'll be glad are gone, and 2 we'll wish stayed
By Eric Treuden
Former SF Giants player we're glad is gone: Johnny Cueto
Johnny Cueto, much like Longoria and Bryant, came over to the Giants after establishing himself as one of the best in the league at his respective position. Cueto, the first pitcher to crack this list, was the Cincinnati Reds' ace for many years before spending half a season with the Royals, winning a World Series in the process.
He then signed a huge six-year, $130M contract with San Francisco that included a club option for a seventh season. At first, this deal actually seemed to be a bit of a steal, as Cueto somehow hit a whole new level on the mound. In 32 starts during the 2016 season, he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA, 2.95 FIP and 144 ERA+. His five complete games led the National League and he finished sixth in the NL Cy Young voting that year.
In essentially every year after this through the end of his contract, Cueto struggled with staying healthy for long periods of time and had troubles getting outs consistently when he was healthy. The vast majority of his contract wound up hurting the Giants far more than helping them.
In the five years after that 2016 season, Cueto made just 72 appearances with a 4.38 ERA and 95 ERA+, a far cry from where he had been prior to the injury bug.
Now, Cueto did make a triumphant return in 2022 to the Chicago White Sox, and performed admirably for them. His 118 ERA+ was the highest he had since 2016 and he gave the White Sox something they desperately needed: innings and depth out of their starters. He signed a one-year deal with the Marlins in the 2022-2023 offseason and has a 36.00 ERA in one inning of work.