Johnny Cueto “really wanted” to go to the Red Sox

AP Photo/David Goldman

The Red Sox signed lefty David Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract last week, which had an effect on current free agent Johnny Cueto. As Peter Gammons reports, Cueto’s agent Bryce Dixon said that Cueto “really wanted to go to the Red Sox” because his idol is Pedro Martinez.

Cueto is the best free agent pitcher still available. The Dodgers, Cardinals, Giants, and Nationals have shown the most interest in him thus far. The right-hander is believed to be seeking $140-160 million in total, according to a report from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick at the end of November.

Cueto, who turns 30 in February, compiled an aggregate 3.44 ERA with a 176/46 K/BB ratio in 212 innings between the Reds and the Royals. Most of his regular season success, however, came with the Reds as his ERA across 13 starts with Kansas City was a lackluster 4.76. Cueto had, until 2015, posted a 2.82 ERA or lower in four consecutive seasons.