Well, the Red Sox are "at least considering making a serious push" for Johnny Cueto.
You will all remember Cueto's comments, translated through Hanley Ramirez, while Kansas City was in town in late August. In short, Cueto said that he would be very open to joining a "championship-caliber team" like the Red Sox (lol) and that he will "wait for Boston."
Well, fast forward two months and it looks like there is some mutual interest in the righty's services.
Unfortunately for Cueto, since being traded to the Kansas City Royals, his free agent stock has gone considerably down. He was once considered one of the premier free agent pitchers in the 2015-2016 free agent class, but now looks to be taking a back seat to Zack Greinke and David Price. In 13 games, Cueto went 4-7, with a 4.76 ERA.
I have never been on the Johnny Cueto bandwagon. Whenever a pitcher transitions from the NL to the AL, it is important to watch him and see if he is the same guy. Unfortunately, Cueto isn't the same pitcher. While teams such as Toronto, Kansas City, New York (Yankees) and Boston are in the market for starting pitching, they should stay away from Cueto if they indeed want him to be their ace.
I like Cueto, and, if he is the Red Sox #2, then I am a happy camper. However, if they pay Cueto $200+ million, chances are they won't be in the market for another front-end starter, unless they acquire him via trade.
Enter, Sonny Gray. Back in August, I talked about the idea of stealing Sonny Gray from Billy Beane and Oakland Athletics. It will take a lot, as we've already discussed, but his contract, which is up in the 2020 season, is more than doable for this type of player.
If the Red Sox want to dish out the money for Cueto and trade for a Sonny Gray-type, I am completely behind them. However, if they think that signing Cueto to a massive deal will disperse the "we need pitching crowd," then it looks like we are in for another long season.
We will get a better look at Cueto starting Tuesday, with the start of the World Series, and finally figure out if he is a "big game" pitcher.
By Pete Packowski