The Chicago White Sox signed a right-handed pitcher over the weekend named Mike Clevinger. Of course, Clevinger is a pitcher that has been amazing in his career but looking for a bounce-back type of season in 2023. He will certainly be one of the five starters.
That probably means that Johnny Cueto is as good as gone. After a fantastic 2022 season with the Sox, he might be looking for a bigger contract with someone that has a much better chance to win more baseball games. It is also possible that the White Sox just don't want to make that commitment.
All five of their project starters in 2023 (Dylan Cease, Mike Clevinger, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, and Michael Kopech) are right-handed just like Cueto. If they are going to bring in another starting pitcher, it is almost certainly going to be a lefty but even that isn't guaranteed.
So where is Cueto going to sign this offseason? He might be trying to tell us via his new profile picture on Twitter dot com.
The Chicago White Sox will not have Johnny Cueto again in 2023.
In the photo here, you see a picture of Cueto from his days with the Cincinnati Reds. You can probably rule out the Reds as a hint in this picture because of the fact that they are not trying to win right now. It would be a deal that makes no sense for either side.
You might notice that Dusty Baker is the manager of the Reds in the picture though. That is a very good hint for Cueto as Baker is currently the manager of the Houston Astros. Fresh off a World Series victory, they are looking for a new starter as Justin Verlander is likely headed out the door.
Earlier on Monday, it came out that Jose Abreu is headed to the Astros. That sure would be a good start to the offseason for Houston if they signed both Abreu and Cueto. Both of them can help them defend their crown in 2023.
Cueto will have to prove that he can be this good again at his advanced baseball age but he should be able to pitch well. That organization loves helping guys get the most out of their talents and Cueto would be no different. We'll see if this ends up being a legit hint at his future.