Earlier in the week we proposed a similar question regarding David Price, in wondering whether the Red Sox should consider a serious run at a major free agent in their search for an Ace for the starting rotation. Johnny Cueto is a very, very similar player to Price, and will most likely cost just almost as much to sign, in both years and dollars. The Red Sox, as a major market team, have the capability to acquire either player off of the free agent market, but there is merit in wondering if they actually should take the plunge. Free agent megadeals almost never work out for the signing team, so there is legitimate reason to speculate on the wisdom of making a splash just for the sake of spending to capacity. A deeper look into the situation reveals that the Red Sox should probably look elsewhere to find their Ace.
As stated above, Cueto is a very similar pitcher to Price, and that is why he will get paid at the top of the market this offseason. Cueto is only 29 years old, has averaged about 178 innings per season in the Major Leagues, and has a 3.30 career ERA, with only 2.60 BB/9, and a .236 Average Against for his career. So we can agree, solid marks all around. He has been good, he has been relatively durable, and he limits walks. This sounds like a solid pitcher that would be worth a decent investment in, especially since Cueto’s numbers are slightly worse than Price’s and would therefore mean a cheaper contract in signing him. And to be sure, Cueto would easily be an upgrade over any starter the Red Sox currently possess.
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