Royals Swing Trade For Johnny Cueto
The next big MLB trade domino has fallen. It may not only be a matter of time before a flurry of big name MLB stars start switching teams before the 2015 MLB trade deadline hits.
Cueto to Kansas City
For now, Johnny Cueto is the name ruling the airwaves, as the Kansas City Royals have made a splash move by trading for the former Cincinnati Reds star ace.
Kansas City and Cincinnati had reportedly been in talks entering the weekend, and had almost completed a prior trade involving Cueto but got snagged on returning prospects. Per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, a deal is now in place to send Johnny Cueto to the Royals.
Worth the Price?
No word has broken yet on the exact compensation the Reds will receive for unloading Cueto, although one or more prospects are sure to be included. Brandon Finnegan was supposedly one name to be involved in a potential deal, while pitcher Sean Manaea and Raul Mondesi were both previously rumored to be part of trade talks.
Regardless of what Kansas City gives up here, it’s arguable worth it to land Cueto, who without a doubt becomes their top ace in their pitching rotation. His exact spot in the rotation won’t be seen immediately, but it’s likely the talented Cueto will slide in ahead of Jason Vargas, Edinson Vasquez, Jeremy Guthrie and Danny Duffy.
Increased World Series Odds?
The Royals were undoubtedly one of the best offensive teams in the league, and even after losing outfielder Alex Gordon to a groin injury (out for about a month), KC has done a terrific job staying well ahead of the Minnesota Twins (6.5 game lead) atop the AL Central.
Already a solid choice to win the 2015 World Series, the Royals should now be seen as a near lock to close out their division and make it to the playoffs again this season. With Cueto fixated atop a suddenly much deeper pitching staff, the Royals could now have the defense needed to make a deep run with a strong platoon of big bats.
For those who already rode the Royals’ 6/1 odds to win it all this season, the addition of Cueto is just assurance they made a pretty good call. With Cueto in tow, Kansas City now might be the most balanced team in the league, with the offense to overpower any opposing pitcher and the pitching to combat any offense.
One Year Rental
It still remains to be seen if Cueto can maintain the consistency he had earlier in his career, while the 29-year old is a mild risk in general given the fact that his contract ends after this season. That makes Cueto a one-year rental for a Royals team striving to win right now. If it doesn’t work out, it could be a failed trade that lost Kansas City some solid prospects. If it does work out, of course, the odds could ring true and we could be looking at this year’s World Series champs.
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