Rangers sign former Cy Young contender in latest attempt to salvage pitching depth

Texas added a former ace starter on a minor league deal, but don't expect him to save the day.
Miami Marlins v New York Mets - Game Two
Miami Marlins v New York Mets - Game Two / Elsa/GettyImages

The Texas Rangers are in full-on survival mode at the moment. They currently sit with a .500 record after the Mariners shut them out on Tuesday and don't look much like the team that blasted their way to a World Series title in 2023. Slow starts at the plate from guys like Corey Seager Evan Carter, and Wyatt Langford have played a big role, but the biggest problem for the Rangers has been injuries.

Aside from the position player side that has been banged up as well, the Rangers' pitching staff has been savaged in 2024 by injuries with Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Tyler Mahle, and Cody Bradford all currently sitting on the IL. Few teams could absorb that kind of hit to their rotation and, unfortunately, the Rangers are definitely feeling it early in the 2024 season.

In order to try and stop the bleeding while also guarding against future issues, the Rangers have been surprisingly busy during the season in adding minor league depth. After adding a couple bullpen arms recently, Texas has now gone out and signed Johnny Cueto to a minor league deal to hopefully give them another starter option.

Rangers News: Texas adds former All-Star Johnny Cueto on a minor league deal

Before Rangers fans go into full panic mode, it is extremely unlikely that Texas is going to hinge their hopes and dreams on Cueto turning back the clock one last time. Cueto was one of the best pitchers in baseball for the better part of a decade, but injuries and Father Time did finally catch up with him. However, his fastball still graded out pretty well last year with the Marlins even if his numbers weren't great and he couldn't stay on the field.

This move is as much about the rest of the season as it is about the Rangers' current issues. If Cueto somehow is already stretched out and in game shape, he might make a spot start here soon. However, Cody Bradford shouldn't be out too long if reports are to be believed and the Rangers' presumptive ace Max Scherzer is about to start his rehab assignment. Adding Cueto and getting him in a good spot should, in theory, make any future injuries or absences in the rotation a lot easier to weather instead of hoping that Jack Leiter can figure things out on the fly again.

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