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Former All-Star SP Cueto opts out of minor league deal with Rangers

Johnny Cueto Miami Marlins Johnny Cueto - The Canadian Press

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Two-time All-Star pitcher Johnny Cueto opted out of his minor league contract with the Texas Rangers and was released Tuesday from Triple-A Round Rock.

Cueto was 2-1 with a 5.71 ERA in nine starts for Round Rock, including a win Sunday when he allowed three runs over six innings against El Paso. He had 34 strikeouts and eight walks in 41 innings since agreeing to a minor league deal with the Rangers on April 24.

The 38-year-old Cueto was 1-4 with a 6.02 ERA in 10 starts and three relief appearances for Miami Marlins last season, when the right-hander was on the injured list for more than three months with a biceps injury. He was left off the team’s postseason roster.

Cueto was part of Kansas City's World Series title in 2015, when he was teammates with current Rangers general manager Chris Young. Cueto spent the next six seasons after that in San Francisco, the first four with manager Bruce Bochy, who is now in Texas. Cueto was an All-Star in 2016, when he was 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 32 starts for the Giants.

He is 144-111 with a 3.50 ERA in 368 games (363 starts) over 16 big league seasons with Cincinnati (2008-15), Kansas City (2015), the Giants (2016-21), the Chicago White Sox (2022) and the Marlins. Cueto was the National League Cy Young Award runner-up behind Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014, when he was 20-9 with 242 strikeouts in 243 2/3 innings for the Reds.