Johnny Cueto rejects six year contract from Diamondbacks


Coming off of a World Series championship, free agent righty Johnny Cueto has services that are at a high demand in this offseason. With fellow free agent Jordan Zimmermann inking a five-year/$110 million contract with the Detroit Tigers, the price for starting pitching this offseason does not appear to be cheap.

This has been further corroborated, with’s Steve Gilbert reporting that Cueto has rejected a six-year/$120 million offer from the Arizona Diamondbacks, further proving that pitchers like Cueto will be looking for more than the $20 million annual pay that contract would have offered him.

The 29-year old is coming off of a year with mixed results, finishing with an 11-13 record, holding a 3.44 ERA with a 3.53 FIP and 212 innings pitched. Cueto also performed to mixed results in the postseason for the Kansas City Royals, yet finishing with a complete game, two-hit performance in Game 2 of the World Series against the New York Mets.

With Cueto’s rejection in hand, suitors for Zack Greinke, David Price and Cueto all must expect to open their checkbooks more than expected, as top of the line pitching is at a premium heading into 2016. Major competitors for the three aces include the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs, all who are expecting to spend money on starting pitching this offseason, even if overpaying is what it takes.

The Diamondbacks are not out of the running for Cueto, but with the price tag potentially being higher than initially thought, Arizona may have to lose out on a substantial starting pitching again, as an offer made to Masahiro Tanka prior to the 2014 season was also rejected.

Facing a situation with little top of the rotation strength, the Diamondbacks may very well be propelled to overpay for the right-hander, which may be in their best interest, certainly aided by a full season return of southpaw Patrick Corbin.

The market continues to grow in price, with Cueto’s rejection serving as evidence that teams may have to set themselves back more than usual for starting pitching prior to 2016. For teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks however, there may be no choice.