Rangers reportedly sign former All-Star pitcher Johnny Cueto to minor-league deal

The World Series champions are adding a familiar name to their pitching staff.

Per multiple reports, the Texas Rangers have signed two-time All-Star Johnny Cueto to a minor-league deal. Terms of the deal were not initially reported.

Cueto, 38, last pitched for the Miami Marlins in 2023. He was a free agent until his reported deal with the Rangers on Tuesday. The deal reunites him with Rangers manager Bruce Bochy, who managed the Giants in four of Cueto's seasons in San Francisco. MLB Network's John Morosi reports that Cueto has a strong relationship with Bochy and wanted to play for a contender.

Johnny Cueto is reuniting with manager Bruce Bochy in Texas. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Johnny Cueto is reuniting with manager Bruce Bochy in Texas. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

At his best, Cueto was a Cy Young candidate and one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball. He made All-Star teams in 2014 and 2016 with the Cincinnati Reds and Giants.

Cueto was last a regular starter with the Chicago White Sox in 2022, when he posted a 3.35 ERA and 1.23 WHIP while striking out 102 batters across 158 1/3 innings in 24 starts. Last season, he was limited to 52 1/3 innings with the Marlins, posting a 6.02 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 39 strikeouts.

Johnny Cueto headshot
Johnny Cueto
SP - TEX - #47
2023 - false season

The Rangers are off to a 12-11 start, which was good for first place in the AL West as of Tuesday. They've started the season with multiple starters on the injured list, including Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Tyler Mahle.

Mahle and deGrom are both recovering from Tommy John surgery and aren't expected back until midseason at the earliest. Scherzer is recovering from December back surgery and recently threw 40 pitches in a simulated game. Per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, he's scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday.

"I have felt normal," Scherzer told Grant. "I turned the corner here a couple of weeks ago. Everything I'm doing, in terms of throwing, I'm recovering from it normally.

"My body feels good. So I'm just ramping up like normal right now. This is not me pushing anything. I'm not trying to cut a single corner."

Scherzer was initially expected back sometime in June, but his rehab schedule has him on pace to return sooner.