San Francisco Giants: How They Can Contend in 2016

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Sign Johnny Cueto

Oct 28, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) reacts after throwing a complete game to defeat the New York Mets in game two of the 2015 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014, the Giants ended the Kansas City Royals chances of winning their first World Series since 1985. The following season, the Royals got back to familiar territory and finished it off. And Johnny Cueto was a helpful part of achieving that World Series title.

The Cincinnati Reds were in full on fire sale mode as they sent Mike Leake, Marlon Byrd, and Cueto away at the trade deadline and waivers deadline. The Royals gave up a lot to get him and some have said that he underperformed and didn’t pitch like the starter he’d been in Cincinnati.

He had two great starts in the playoffs — and both of those games happened to be at home at Kauffman Stadium. While that appears to be scary that he struggled in the American League’s vast ballparks, he seems to thrive in National League stadiums. And AT&T park is one of those pitcher friendly parks with a difficult wind to break at times.

With the Dodgers loading up and a rotation the Giants are attempting to reload, Cueto is the last big name out on the pitching market who has yet to sign. It would be interesting to see the Giants entertain the idea of bringing Cueto back to the National League.

Another thing to note is Cueto’s back — which could be an issue sometime down the road. It might affect the length of the deal teams are looking to sign him to. Over the last two years though, Cueto has had a good bill of health and only struggled when he entered the hitters league.

But pairing him up with Bumgarner, and having Jeff Samardzija and company behind them, should make the Giants a threat in the National League West again.

Next: Danny Salazar