Johnny Cueto will start the second year of his six year contract tonight, but since it was really a frontloaded two year contract with a four year player option, it’s probably more accurate to say he’ll start year two of his two year contract. In other words, he’s extremely likely to opt out of his deal after this year. This is not a complaint about Cueto or his likely behavior; when a baseball player can either make Lots Of Money or Even More Money Than That, it is never a moral failing of his to choose the latter option. It is simply overwhelmingly likely that Johnny Cueto will have a new contract next year, and we shouldn’t expect it to be with the Giants.
Inherent in this article is the assumption that Cueto will be reasonably healthy and reasonably good this year, and if that doesn’t turn out to be the case, you should definitely blame
me the WBC Bryan. It’ll be his fault somehow.
So let’s talk about Johnny Cueto. When the Giants signed him two offseasons ago, solely to spite Grant, you, the Giants fan, could be forgiven for being equal parts excited and trepidatious. He had been an excellent pitcher for a long time, but there were also warning signs in his 2015 that maybe it wouldn’t last.
Instead, the Giants got an All-Star. Cueto was everything they could have hoped for on the field, and an absolute delight to boot. He was pure fun in a way that we hadn’t seen from a starter since Tim Lincecum’s Cy Young days, and he did it with nine different arm slots coming out of forty different deliveries, an infectious joy for playing the game of baseball, and hair that, when he whips his head around, looks pretty damn cool. He threw three complete games against the Padres by the end of May last year, allowing just one run. He started the All-Star Game and carried on a not especially proud Giants tradition of pitchers doing poorly in the All-Star Game, proving that he truly does respect the history of the organization.
Also, he’s a master of social media.
Cueto's comment on Buster's Instagram picture pic.twitter.com/nP7MsmAwCv— Taylor Wirth (@taylorwirth123) August 30, 2016
So when you’re watching Johnny Cueto pitch today and throughout the season, take some time out to just enjoy what he’s doing. There isn’t another Johnny Cueto in the Giants farm system; there isn’t another Johnny Cueto in baseball right now. We get to spend another year enjoying shimmies and Luis Tiant comparisons, great pitching and Instagram photos of horses. We’re lucky to have Johnny Cueto, and let’s remember that during every start he makes.
That’s the end of the article. You’re welcome for letting you not think about the bullpen for three minutes.