The Sox and right-hander Johnny Cueto have agreed to a minor-league deal, according to multiple reports. The deal, which is pending a physical, is worth a reported $4.2 million.
Cueto, 36, spent the last six seasons with the Giants, a tenure in recent seasons that was impacted by injuries. He made 13 starts total from 2018-19, missing extended time after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018.
He missed most of the final month last season due to an elbow strain, finishing with a 4.08 ERA and 1.369 WHIP in 114 2/3 innings (22 appearances, 21 starts).
Cueto will likely open the season in the minor leagues as he ramps up but soon should offer the Sox an experienced arm to help cover innings.
The Sox’ pitching depth has taken a hit over the last week. Lynn will undergo surgery this week for a slight tear in a tendon near his right knee that could sideline him the first two months of the season.
Garrett Crochet will undergo Tommy John surgery that will sideline him for the entire 2022 season.
The White Sox rotation picture features Opening Day starter Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech and Dallas Keuchel. Reynaldo López and Vince Velasquez are starting options who also could contribute in multi-inning relief roles.
Kopech has only made one start this spring, a two-inning outing, and there’s concern around early-season pitcher workloads across baseball following MLB’s lockout.
In 14 seasons between the Reds, Royals and Giants, Cueto holds a 135-97 record and 3.45 ERA. He’s a two-time All-Star (2014, ’16) and won the 2015 World Series with Kansas City.
He’s made eight career playoff starts, last with San Francisco in 2016.
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