Johnny Cueto was traded to the Kansas City Royals earlier today, but were the Royals the big winners?
All over Twitter people are upset that Johnny Cueto had been traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Kansas City Royals. Tweets along the lines of, “Stupid Move,” and “What are they doing?” were surfacing. Before we get into why the Reds were winners, how about we recap why the Reds had to trade Cueto in the first place.
Cincinnati Cannot Afford Him
Because of large contracts to Joey Votto and Homer Bailey, the Reds are figuratively handcuffed in what they can do with player contracts. If you cannot afford to buy something, you either need to trade it or trade other pieces to make room. Considered Bailey is hurt, and Votto has a virtually immovable contract, selling is the only way to go.
Get Something For Him
If you know you cannot keep something, in this case Johnny Cueto, then get rid of it while you can and make some profit. That is exactly what the Reds did today. It is better than letting his contract run its course and losing him in the offseason with no return.
Why The Reds Won
Many will see the headlines that say that Johnny Cueto has been traded. While that may be true, Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed and John Lamb have also been traded.
Let’s look at what the Reds really got in return here. Three left-handed pitchers. Two of them are starters and it is rumored that Finnegan may also be asked to be a starter. All of them are decent prospects for the Royals. Finnegan has a sub career 3.00 ERA, Lamb is 9-1 this season with a 2.67 ERA, and Reed has a 2.53 ERA this season.
The Reds pulled in a decent hull.
Why the Royals Lost
1. Cueto is Finite
There is no guarantee that Johnny Cueto will be with the Royals next season. His contract is over, and if his last start tells us anything it is that he is as good as ever. He will be demanding as much money as anyone, hence the reason he left Cincinnati. His salary was not affordable could not afford him.
So there is the chance that the Royals just gave up three left-handed productive starting pitchers for a rent-a-player.
2. Cueto is Injury Prone
You never know how long a guy like Cueto is going to last. He has missed a significant amount of time throughout multiple MLB seasons. Injuries like oblique strains and blisters have hampered his career for years, but we know that when he is on, he is on.
3. Post Season
Johnny Cueto has appeared in three post season games. His ERA is 5+ and he has a combined total of 8.2 innings. We all saw what happened in Pittsburgh. He is not a primetime pitcher, which is what the Royals selected him for.
Point being, the Royals have essentially given up three solid players, for one guys who may play in 10 games for Kansas City. Is that worth it?