Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Cueto is probably the best option available. My gut tells me the Dodgers go hard after him after missing out on Price and Greinke. He will cost less than both of them and is still a very good pitcher. Cueto posted sub-3.00 ERA’s in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and the first half of 2015 before being traded from Cincinnati to Kansas City. He accomplished that pitching a majority of his games in the very hitter friendly Great American Ballpark.
His FIP has never really matched his great ERAs, but he’s only a year removed from finishing in second in Cy Young voting, behind Kershaw. Cueto will be 30 in February and reportedly turned down a six-year, $120 million offer from Arizona. Safe to say he’s looking for a bit more than that, especially considering Greinke’s and Price’s contracts.
Before being traded last July, Cueto had a 2.62 ERA in 19 starts for the Reds. After being traded to a much more hitter friendly ballpark and a much better defense in Kansas City, his ERA jumped to 4.76 in 13 starts. He had one nightmarish start in the postseason, but bounced back with a complete game two-hitter in game two of the World Series.
Cueto had his fair share of elbow scares in the last year, but never missed too much time and as far as I can tell, he hasn’t had Tommy John surgery. Giving him six or seven years is also an extreme risk, but with the pitching market emptying quickly, the Dodgers might need to in order to ensure another top-notch arm in their rotation.
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