Giants’ right-hander Johnny Cueto has decided not to opt out of the remainder of his six-year, $130 million contract with the team, a decision that was made official when the opt-out deadline came and went late Saturday night. Cueto still has four years and $84 million left on his contract, with an additional $22 million club option (and $5 million buyout) for the 2022 season.
It hasn’t been the finest year for the righty, who went 8-8 in 25 starts with the Giants and delivered a 4.52 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.3 SO/9 over 147 1/3 innings. Part of his decline can be attributed to a forearm injury and a nasty case of blisters on his right hand, decommissioning him for 48 days while the club struggled to rise above last place in the NL West. When he returned in September, it was only to round out a year that saw him compile just 1.2 fWAR — his lowest mark since an injury-laden run with the 2013 Reds.
While Cueto hasn’t looked like the ace the Giants hoped he would be, he’s hardly the worst offender on a pitching staff that ranked among the worst in the league in 2017. There’s still some hope that 2018 will give the team the fresh start they need, one that features a healthy Madison Bumgarner, a successful bounce-back effort from Cueto and something resembling an offense.
As for the future? There’s no telling what Cueto’s performance will look like in four years, but the veteran righty seems open to staying in San Francisco for the foreseeable future. “I feel like we have a winning team,” he told reporters in October. “I like how the fans support us, and obviously I like the front office and everybody that’s involved with the Giants. I would like to stay here and finish my career in San Francisco.”