4:52pm: The Giants have placed Cueto on the 10-day DL, Shea tweets. It’s still possible Cueto could make it back before the non-waiver deadline, of course, but his presence on the DL with further complicate any attempt on the Giants’ part to trade him, particularly if he stays there long. His DL placement will make room for the activation of ace Madison Bumgarner, who hasn’t pitched since April 19 after injuring his shoulder in a dirt bike accident. Bumgarner will make his long-awaited return to San Francisco’s rotation Saturday.
9:34am: Giants righty Johnny Cueto is dealing with blister issues and could miss his next start, as various reporters, including John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, have noted. Cueto pitched just four innings in his start against the Padres last night, throwing 82 pitches, then had tape on his index finger, middle finger and thumb after the game.
“It feels like they’re cut,” Cueto said, suggesting that a tighter texture of the baseballs this year as compared to last might be to blame for the problem. Various pitchers have commented on the textures of the baseballs this season.
“I think the best thing for me to do is take some time off,” says Cueto. “I can’t tell you whether or not I’m going to skip (my next start). It depends on how I feel. Right now, it feels bad.”
Missing a start this close to the non-waiver trade deadline could, of course, affect Cueto’s trade market, which was already complicated due to a variety of factors. (There have been few recent indications that the Giants are looking to trade Cueto despite their 35-56 record this year, although it stands to reason they would at least be open to making a deal under the right circumstances.) Cueto hasn’t been outstanding this season, with a 4.59 ERA, 8.0 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 over 115 2/3 innings. And while his current deal calls for him to be paid $21MM per year through 2021, plus a $5MM buyout on a $22MM option for 2022, he can opt out of the deal after this season and collect the $5MM buyout while becoming a free agent. He’ll also receive a $500K assignment bonus if he’s traded. Those factors make Cueto’s value “lower than a rental’s,” as one GM told FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal even before the blister issues emerged.