Who in their right minds would turn down a guaranteed $120 million dollar contract?
Well, Johnny Cueto. He just slammed the six-year, multi million contract laid at the table by the Arizona Diamondbacks last week.
Reports about the said negotiations were confirmed by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal last Monday.
Arizona is in dire need of a front-line starter, and if only Cueto accepted the offer, he would have been the highest-paid right-handed in MLB. The contract of the 29-year-old Dominican with Kansas City has expired. He was acquired by the former in a trade with Cincinnati also this year. He finished with a combined 11-13 with 3.44 ERA.
It was not a smooth sailing ride all throughout the season after the trade. He went 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA but went 2-1 in the post season. Cueto is the first American League pitcher to throw a complete World Series game, a two-hitter against the New York Mets in Game 2, when he retired 16 of the last 17 batters he faced.
The deal with the Diamondbacks would have been the largest offer ever made by Arizona. Last year, the Diamonbacks signed Cuban Yasmany Tomas to a six-year, $68.5 million deal. The offer to Cueto is almost double that amount.
Two year ago, Cueto went 20-9 with the Reds, leading the National League in strikeouts (242), starts (34) and innings pitched.
Arizona Diamonbacks General Manager Dave Stewart conferred with Cueto in the Dominican Republic and talked to his agent in Phoenix before turning down the lucrative offer.
The Diamondbacks sorely needs a starting pitching. After this Cueto chapter, they have their eyes set on Japanese star Kenta Maeda. According to an ESPN report, Arizona is most likely to pursue Maeda then other mid-level pitchers. The Japanese star currently ranks 21st on the Passan’s free-agent list.