Free agent right-hander Johnny Cueto has found a new home, agreeing to terms with the Giants, per ESPN's Buster Olney. It's a six-year, $130 million deal with an opt-out after 2017, according to Jerry Crasnick.
The deal is still dependent on Cueto's physical. While that's normally a formality, Cueto did have some elbow trouble in 2015.
With Boston landing David Price, Zack Greinke signing with Arizona, and Jordan Zimmermann joining Detroit, Cueto was left all alone at the top end of the starting pitching market, and he cashed in with the Giants. San Francisco beat out a bevy of suitors, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Chicago Cubs among others reported to have shown interest in the right-hander. The Giants were the last of those three still searching for a pitcher at Cueto's price tag, though, after missing out on Greinke and failing to use the money for an outfielder like Jason Heyward.
Cueto had a 3.44 ERA in 32 starts between the Reds and Royals in 2015, with 176 strikeouts and 46 walks in 212 innings, his third season in the last four with at least 212 innings.
Acquired at the trade deadline by Kansas City, Cueto struggled down the stretch for the Royals, going 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA in 13 starts. He had a 5.40 ERA in four starts in the postseason, though the damage was mostly isolated to one eight-run disaster in the ALCS.
The ace in Cueto, the one who put up a 2.71 ERA and a 145 ERA+ in 134 starts from 2011-2015, showed up twice in October for the Royals. In Kansas City's Game 5 clincher of the AL Division Series against the Astros, he pitched eight innings and allowed only two hits and two runs while striking out eight. Two weeks later, he allowed one run on two hits in nine innings in Game 2 of the World Series against the Mets, the first postseason complete game for the Royals since Bret Saberhagen in 1985.
Cueto was rated as the sixth-best free agent of this offseason back in October by Grant Brisbee of SB Nation.
Since he was traded midseason, Cueto was not extended a qualifying offer, and as such the Giants will not have to forfeit a draft pick for signing him.
Cueto, who turns 30 in February, is 96-70 with a 3.30 ERA in eight major league seasons, with 1,171 strikeouts and 410 walks in 1,420⅓ innings.