Boston Red Sox: Potential Free Agent Starting Pitchers

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Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The drop-off after Price and Greinke is sharp. Johnny Cueto is a solid starter but questions about his ability to lead a top pitching staff. Like Price, Cueto will be 30 years old when the season starts and will not cost the Red Sox their 12th overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft. The big question with Cueto is his ability to transition to the American League East.

Cueto was long a Cincinnati Red and won 92 games in 7 ½ years there. Kansas City picked him up at the trade deadline and he went 4-7 down the stretch with the Royals with a 4.76 ERA. Prior to the trade he sported a 2.62 ERA with 120 strikeouts in 130 innings. He did have an issue with elbow inflammation during the season but Kansas City was not deterred for trading for him.

In the playoffs, Cueto pitched effectively against Houston in the ALDS but was bombed by the Blue Jays in his only appearance in the ALCS. He rebounded with a complete game win in the World Series. Cueto may be a fit in Boston where his wind-up harkens fans back to legendary starting pitcher Luis Tiant.

Cueto is a bit of a wild card as the right-hander will not likely require the outlay of money like Price or Greinke, but his elbow injury and struggles in the American League could have the Red Sox shying away from him. If the medical issues checkout for Cueto, he could be an interesting fit at the top of the Boston rotation.

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