Former SF Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto is not ready to hang up his spikes after a disappointing 2023 campaign. The 16-year veteran is continuing a throwing program and hopes to pitch in this upcoming season, per Jon Morosi of the MLB Network.
Former SF Giants pitcher, 16-year veteran hopes to pitch in 2024
Cueto debuted as a 22-year-old prospect with the Cincinnati Reds in 2008 and has quietly been one of the better pitchers over the last 15 years. Of course, his best years came with the Reds as he tallied a 92-63 record with a 3.21 ERA in parts of eight seasons.
The right-handed hurler was shipped to the Kansas City Royals in a trade that sent three prospects to the Reds prior to the 2015 trade deadline. His time in Kansas City was brief, but he did help the Royals win a World Series that season. He allowed just one earned run in a complete game in Game 2 of the World Series against the New York Mets. The Royals would go on to win that series in five games.
Cueto departed via free agency and signed a six-year, $130 million pact with the Giants. His best year came in 2016 when he tallied a 2.79 ERA in 32 starts while earning an NL All-Star bid. Perhaps, his most memorable moment came in Game 1 of the NLDS where he completed eight innings, allowing only one earned run against the Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately, the Giants lost that game and eventually the series.
Over the next five seasons, the righty pitcher battled some inconsistency and injuries, including undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018. Overall, he had a solid 3.81 ERA with San Francisco before the Giants bought out his $22 million team option. He received a $5 million buyout.
Since then, Cueto had a solid season with the Chicago White Sox in 2022, posting a 3.35 ERA in 25 outings. The 37-year-old latched on with the Miami Marlins last year but missed substantial time due to a biceps and ankle injury. The Marlins declined his $10.5 million team option for 2024.
Given the rough season he had, the veteran pitcher might not be able to score much more than a minor league deal. However, Cueto proved that he still has a bit left in the tank as recently as 2022.