According to various sources, the Red Sox and right-hander Johnny Cueto have reached an agreement on a minor-league contract. The transaction, which is subject to a physical examination, is reported to be worth $4.2 million.
Cueto, 36, has spent the last six seasons with the Giants, a tenure that has been hampered by injuries, particularly in recent seasons. 2018-19 saw him make a total of 13 starts due to an extended absence following Tommy John’s surgery that occurred in 2018.
Despite missing the final month of the season due to an elbow issue, his 4.08 earned run average and 1.365 earned run average in 112 2/3 innings were both good enough for second in the National League (22 appearances, 21 starts).
Cueto will most likely begin the season in the minors as he works his way up to the majors, but he should soon provide the Red Sox with an experienced arm to help cover innings.
Over the course of the previous week, the Red Sox’s pitching depth has suffered. Lynn will have surgery this week to repair a minor rupture in a tendon near his right knee, which might keep him out of the lineup for the first two months of the regular season.
Garrett Crochet will have Tommy John surgery, which will keep him out of the lineup for the entire 2022 year.
Right-hander Johnny Cueto and the Chicago White Sox are in agreement on a minor league deal, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN. He’ll make $4.2 million, prorated for days spent in big leagues. Sox need pitching with Lance Lynn injury, and Cueto was best free agent left.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 5, 2022
The White Sox rotation for Opening Day contains Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, and Dallas Keuchel, in addition to starter Lucas Giolito. López and Velasquez are two beginning alternatives who could also assist in multi-inning relief situations if the need calls for them.
Following the MLB lockout, Kopech has only made one start this spring, a two-inning appearance, and there is concern about early-season pitcher workloads around the league.
Over his 14-year career with the Reds, Royals, and Giants, Cueto has compiled a 135-97 record with a 3.45 earned run average. He’s a two-time All-Star (in 2014 and 2016) and was a member of the Kansas City Royals’ World Series championship team in 2015.
He has made eight career postseason starts, the most recent of which came with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.