MLB Rumors: 2 Finalists In The Running for Free Agent Johnny Cueto

36-year-old Johnny Cueto proved he could still get it done at the major league level in 2022, and he's now one of the top starting pitchers remaining on the free agent market. According to the latest report, two teams head up the bidding for Cueto's services.

MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal says the San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins are the finalists vying for Cueto, with the Cincinnati Reds a third team interested. 

The Padres haven't finished retooling yet (do they ever?), hoping to add some depth to their starting ranks, after losing Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaea in free agency. 

Earlier, they signed Nick Martinez and Seth Lugo, but neither are guarantees to last a full season in the rotation. Cueto would provide much-needed depth.

The Marlins are an interesting case: they are stocked with talented young arms in their rotation. Their interest in Cueto could be a sign that they're about to trade one of their young studs for offensive help, or could just be a desire to bring in a grizzled veteran to help mentor them. 

The Reds were Cueto's first major league team, from way back when. He spent the first eight years of his career in Cincinnati, putting together a number of tremendous seasons from 2008 to 2015.

Cueto posted a 3.35 ERA with the Chicago White Sox last season, his 15th year in the big leagues.

 Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports