The Miami Marlins have one of the more impressive, young rotations and they have added one of the more accomplished veteran starters. According to multiple sources, the Marlins have signed former SF Giants hurler Johnny Cueto to a one-year deal.
Miami Marlins sign former SF Giants hurler to one-year deal
Craig Mish of SportsGrid and the Miami Herald reports that Cueto's deal is a one-year pact with a team option for 2024. The right-handed hurler will be paid $6 million in 2023 and $10.5 million in 2024 if the Marlins exercise the club option. This includes a $2.5 million buyout, so Cueto will receive $8.5 million in guaranteed money.
Cueto spent the first part of his career with the Cincinnati Reds where he established himself as one of the better young pitchers in baseball. He was shipped to the Kansas City Royals at the 2015 trade deadline in a deal that sent Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed to Cincinnati.
The righty helped the Royals win the World Series in 2015 before becoming a free agent and signing a massive six-year, $130 million pact with an option for a seventh season.
The early returns on this deal were fantastic as Cueto posted a 2.79 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 1.09 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, and a 4.40 SO/W ratio in 32 starts in 2016. He earned an NL All-Star nod while finishing in sixth-place in the NL Cy Young voting.
San Francisco reached the playoffs that season with Cueto recording eight innings of one-run ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Game 1 of the NLDS. The Giants took the loss that night, but Cueto put together a memorable performance.
Cueto struggled to replicate that performance in the ensuing five seasons as he battled injury and ineffectiveness. He underwent Tommy John surgery midway through the 2018 season but it took some time to find his footing.
He posted a 4.08 ERA in 22 appearances, including 21 starts, in 2021 with the Giants. They held a $22 million team option for 2022 that they bought out for $5 million.
He hit free agency and signed with the Chicago White Sox on a minor league deal. This proved to be a shrewd addition by Chicago as he posted a 3.35 ERA across 158.1 frames while showing that he still had plenty left in the tank.
He joins a rotation that features reigning NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara along with Pablo López, Jesús Luzardo, and Edward Cabrera. A young rotation like that could certainly benefit from the experience and guidance that Cueto can offer.