Oh, baseball. You’re so delightfully predictable. And then unpredictable. And then predictable again. But mostly it’s the unpredictable one.
As of today, almost all of us could have predicted that 31-year-old Johnny Cueto, coming off a season with injuries, a 4.52 ERA, and peripherals to match, would not be opting out of the remaining four years on his contract with the Giants:
Johnny Cueto’s agent, Bryce Dixon, confirms that Cueto will not opt out of the final 4 years of his contract with #SFGiants.
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) November 5, 2017
But just seven months ago, it would have been almost completely UNpredictable that it would come to this. After all, Cueto was coming off the best season of his career (5.5 WAR!), and looked primed to continue to roll.
And then 2017 happened, as it did for Masahiro Tanaka – another pitcher who was sure to opt out just six months ago – and Cueto made the wise decision to stick with his contract. (And to remind folks that opt outs are player-friendly provisions. Had Cueto been great again, he opts out and the Giants have to pay more to keep him. But, since he’s now a big risk on his current deal, he doesn’t opt out, and the Giants get to keep paying that suddenly risky-looking contract.)
The free agent class takes another hit, though if we’re being honest, I don’t see the Cubs as having gone after Cueto in any case, and his market may have been limited to a bounce-back-type deal anyway.
Presumably, though, Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish are pleased with their current standing.