Former Reds All-Star attempts one last gasp with injury-plagued World Series contender

He's going to give it one more try.
Miami Marlins pitcher Johnny Cueto
Miami Marlins pitcher Johnny Cueto / Jasen Vinlove/Miami Marlins/GettyImages

There was a time when Johnny Cueto was among the best starting pitchers in the game. But that was almost a decade ago. The former All-Star pitcher and Cy Young Award-finalist is making one last attempt to remain in the big leagues.

On Tuesday, Cueto signed a minor-league deal with the Texas Rangers. Cueto will be trying to find his way onto a major league roster for a 17th season. The right-hander spent last season with the Miami Marlins.

If you think the Reds have injury problems, go check out the Rangers roster. Max Scherzer, Cody Bradford, Jacob deGrom, and former Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle are all on the injured list. Another former Reds hurler, Michael Lorenzen, was just activated from the IL over a week ago.

Former Reds All-Star Johnny Cueto attempts one last gasp with injury-plagued Rangers

A few years back, there were whispers that Cueto was looking to rejoin the Reds. This was following the lockout in 2022 and Cueto eventually signed with the Chicago White Sox. Cueto proved that he still had something left in the tank that year, logging over 150 innings for the South Siders and posting a respectable 3.35 ERA at age 36.

Cueto parlayed that resurgent season into a major league contract with the Marlins in 2023. The results were not what the Fish nor Cueto expected. The right-hander went 1-4 last season with a 6.02 ERA and only started 10 games while appearing out of the Miami bullpen on three occasions as well.

Cueto is most well known for his tenure with both the Reds and the San Francisco Giants. Cueto was also part of World Series championship team in 2015 after Cincinnati dealt their ace to the Kansas City Royals in what will surely go down as one of the most lopsided trades in Reds history.

At age 37, Cueto will try to get back to the big leagues once again. The veteran will undoubtedly need a couple weeks in the minors to get up to game-speed, but Reds Country knows all too well how good Cueto can be when he's fully healthy. The Rangers are hoping that's the version of Cueto they're getting this season.

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