The Chicago White Sox are in need of a 5th starter right now. We know that (unless there is a trade) Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Michael Kopech, and Dylan Cease are slated to be the four in the rotation but they need one more.
Johnny Cueto was that guy for them in 2022 and he was amazing. You can make a case for him as the second-best pitcher in the entire rotation during his tenure. He didn't outplay Dylan Cease but he was next in line most of the time.
He wasn't the dominating power pitcher that he was in his early days but he found ways to get outs in different ways. It tells you how truly great he is because he has continued to find ways to be an effective pitcher as he ages.
The White Sox should seriously consider bringing in Cueto for another go around. He has proven himself as someone that the team can trust in big spots. Even if Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn bounce back in 2023, having Cueto as their fifth starter would be amazing.
The Chicago White Sox need to consider bringing back Johnny Cueto.
It would cost more than it did in 2022 but they need to spend some money on something. Bringing in a guy like this who has already pitched for them would be really nice. This team hasn't done a lot of smart things in recent years but they can with this kind of move.
in 2022, Cueto had a WAR of 3.5 because he was so good. That is without the first month of the season too as he was working his way back to Major League Baseball from a Minor League deal. He had an ERA of 3.35 and a WHIP of 1.225. He also had 102 strikeouts in 158.1 innings pitched.
If this production is repeated in 2023 while some of the aforementioned pitchers stay healthy and bounce back, he could really help them win.
Bringing him back is almost a must at this point unless they somehow sign someone that is guaranteed to be better. If they are serious about winning in 2023 (which shouldn't be considered to be for sure true), they need another starter.