Report: Marlins, Cueto agree to 1-year deal with option

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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MIAMI – The Miami Marlins and right-hander Johnny Cueto have agreed on a deal that guarantees him $8.5 million for 2023, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.

That includes a $2.5 million buyout if the Marlins do not exercise a club option for 2024, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the contract won’t be signed until a physical is completed.

If the option is picked up, the total contract would be $16.5 million, the person said. The New York Post first reported the agreement between Cueto and the Marlins.

The move, for now, would appear to create even more of a logjam in the Marlins’ rotation. NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara leads that group, with Pablo Lopez, Trevor Rogers, Edward Cabrera, Braxton Garrett and Jesus Luzardo all coming off a year when they made at least 14 starts.

Cueto, who turns 37 in February, was 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA for the Chicago White Sox in 2022. He logged 158 1/3 innings, his most since throwing 219 2/3 innings for San Francisco in 2016, the second of his two All-Star years.

Cueto also was an All-Star for Cincinnati in 2014, when he won a career-best 20 games.

In 15 seasons, he has gone 143-107 with a 3.44 ERA, having pitched for the Reds, San Francisco Giants, White Sox and Kansas City Royals. He went 1-0 in the World Series with the Royals in 2015, helping them beat the New York Mets in five games.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.