Outside, on a cloudy afternoon, Johnny Cueto played catch with Nick Hundley in right field. Inside the clubhouse, Cueto regaled listeners with tales of riding horses and feeding 400 chickens at his ranch in the Dominican Republic. He laughed at the thought of being another Madison Bumgarner. “No,” Cueto said. “I’m not that kind of cowboy.” Cueto might be the smartest cowboy around, or at least the luckiest, because he was fully employed when pitchers and catchers reported to spring training Tuesday at Scottsdale Stadium. He had the right to opt out of his six-year, $130 million Giants contract after the 2017 season, but he elected to stay. Had Cueto decided otherwise, he still might be stuck in this Alice in Wonderland free-agent market with little or no shot of attracting an offer close to the four years and roughly $80 million remaining on his deal. This is not a good year to be a 32-year-old starting pitcher (he turns 32 on Thursday) coming off a rotten season. Common sense suggests Cueto had no real choice after his ERA jumped from 2.79 to 4.52 year to year while blisters and an elbow injury limited him to 25 starts. In his first public comments since deciding to stay in November, Cueto said at no point did he consider chucking his Giants contract.
Giants’ Johnny Cueto ready for a normal camp after wisely deciding to stay
San Francisco Gate | Feb 15