Gonzo: D-backs still in running for Johnny Cueto

Posted at 5:31 PM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-01 19:31:29-05

Last weekend, star free-agent pitcher Johnny Cueto reportedly rebuked the Arizona Diamondbacks' bid to bring him to the Valley.

But according to Luis Gonzalez, special assistant to D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall, the Snakes are hardly out of the running for Cueto's services.

"I think until he finally commits and signs (with) anybody, it's an open market out there, so you never know what can happen," Gonzalez said Monday.

Last weekend, the Arizona Diamondbacks reportedly made a six-year, $120 million offer to Cueto, who helped lead the Kansas City Royals to a 2015 World Series title. The 29-year-old is 96-70 with a 3.30 ERA in seven MLB seasons.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported Cueto "wants to explore (other) free-agent options," meaning the door may remain open the for the D-backs to sign Cueto before the 2016 season begins.

In the meantime, "We're continuing to pursue other guys to see if somebody's in play for us to help make our team better," he said.

Hall isn't thrilled that the team's bid to acquire Cueto was made public last weekend -- but on the plus side, it lets fans know that the team is intent on improving on its .500 record and bolstering a starting rotation that struggled through injuries and ineptitude last season.

"It does show that we are obviously serious about improving the ball club," he said. "Pitching is an area that we've been focused on. It's a top priority for us.

"I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, showing the fans that we are very serious about pursuing free agents in a very active market, and we realize that the one glaring area of improvement for us is pitching."

Hall agrees with Gonzalez that the final chapter in the D-backs' quest for Cueto is yet to be written -- and while the rightie is making up his mind, Hall said the team will continue to look to improve in other ways.

"There's tremendous free agents and a lot of trade talk at this point, too," Hall said.

"I think there's obviously more to come. It's a very competitive market, though, out there."