2-Time All-Star Becomes Free Agent After Opting Out

Mark another starting pitcher down as "available" for teams looking for help in the rotation. After registering nine starts at Triple-A with the Texas Rangers' affiliate, two-time All-Star Johnny Cueto has decided to opt-out as no call-up to Texas was imminent. 

Cueto, now a free agent, is looking for a team that "needs more immediate starting or long relief help," per insider Jon Heyman.

Cueto was 2-1 with a 5.71 ERA in his nine starts for Round Rock, with a 34:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 41 innings. He had signed a minor league deal with the Rangers on April 24. 

Now free for the taking, it remains to be seen if another team around the majors decides to give him a look. 

The 38-year-old last had success in the majors just two years ago in 2022, when he posted a 3.35 ERA and a 122:33 K/BB ratio in 158 innings with the Chicago White Sox. Last season, Cueto struggled, going 1-4 for the Miami Marlins with a 6.02 ERA in 10 starts. He spent more than three months on the injured list last year with a biceps injury.

Cueto was a 20-game winner in 2014 with the Cincinnati Reds, going 20-9 with a 2.25 ERA and finishing as the runner-up for the Cy Young award. He was a World Series winner in 2015 with the Kansas City Royals, and was an All-Star again with the  San Francisco Giants in 2016, when he was 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA.

Overall, the Dominican right-hander with the funky delivery is 144-111 with a 3.50 ERA in over 16 big league seasons. 

Photo: © Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports