Rangers agree to terms with RHP Johnny Cueto on Minor League contract

Two-time All-Star will work at the club's Arizona facility before joining an affiliate

April 24th, 2024

Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Johnny Cueto on a minor league contract. He is expected to report initially to the club's complex in Surprise, Arizona.

Cueto, 38, went 1-4 with a 6.02 ERA (35 ER/52.1 IP) and 39 strikeouts/15 walks over 13 appearances/10 starts with the Miami Marlins last season. He spent the balance of the campaign in the minor leagues with Triple-A Jacksonville and Double-A Pensacola, combining to go 0-1, 10.24 ERA (7 ER/29.0 IP) across 7 games/starts.

The two-time All-Star selection (2016, 2014) ranks among Major League Baseball’s active leaders in complete games (3rd, 18), starts (4th, 363), innings (4th, 2245.0), wins (5th, 144), baseball-reference WAR (7th, 36.4), and strikeouts (9th, 1851). His 144 career wins are 5th-most all-time among pitchers hailing from the Dominican Republic, trailing only Bartolo Colon (247), Juan Marichal (243), Pedro Martínez (219), and Ervin Santana (151).

Cueto produced career highs in wins (20), innings (243.2 IP), starts (34), and strikeouts (242) with the Cincinnati Reds in 2014, finishing in second place in voting for the National League Cy Young Award to Los Angeles-NL’s Clayton Kershaw. That season remains the most recent 20-win campaign by a Reds pitcher or Dominican-born hurler.

A 2015 World Series Champion with the Kansas City Royals, Cueto has appeared in 8 games (all starts) in the postseason. He owns a career 2-4 record, 4.54 ERA (21 ER/41.2 IP), and 32 strikeouts in postseason play, and has thrown complete games in each of his last two playoff outings on 2016 NLDS Game 1 at Chicago-NL with San Francisco (L, 8.0 IP, 1 R-ER, 10 SO) and 2015 World Series Game 2 vs. New York-NL with Kansas City (W, 9.0 IP, 1 R-ER, 4 SO). According to STATS LLC, Cueto joins Justin Verlander (also 2 CG) as the only active Major League pitchers to have thrown at least one complete game in the postseason.

The 16-year Major League veteran owns a lifetime 144-111 record, 3.50 ERA (874 ER/2245.0 IP), and 1851 strikeouts in 368 appearances/363 starts with Cincinnati (2008-15), Kansas City (2015), San Francisco (2016-21), Chicago-AL (2022), and Miami (2023). He was originally signed by the Reds as a non-drafted free agent out of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic on March 16, 2004.