Royals Rumors: Should Johnny Cueto Be Rotation Target


As long as the rotation struggles, Royals rumors are going to creep up.

Could Johnny Cueto be the answer for the Kansas City Royals rotation woes?

Royals rumors are still active as Danny Duffy and Jeremy Guthrie continue to scramble to find their groove, and Jason Vargas remains on the Disabled List.

Chris Young has filled in nicely for Vargas, going 2-0 with a .54 ERA in 16.2 innings over three starts. Edinson Volquez has been solid all season, compiling a a 3-3 record, and a 2.74 ERA.

Everyone else has been less than stellar. Yordano Ventura pitched seven scoreless innings on Tuesday to lower his ERA to 4.56. Maybe the youngster has regained the mojo he had earlier in the season.

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Guthrie (5.44) and Duffy (5.87) have been the biggest worries though. Both need to turn things around in a hurry.

The KC Royals lead the American League Central by two and a half games but the season is long, and the Royals have yet to experience their first slump.

Don’t know when, but the hot Royals hitters will slump at some point. The rotation needs to be ready when they do.

So, that brings us back to Johnny Cueto. Tuesday night may have been the first time Royals’ fans have gotten a good look at the Reds’ stellar pitcher. Despite the loss, Cueto still looked impressive.

Cueto is about as reliable as any pitcher that may be available. He hasn’t posted an ERA over 3.64 since 2009, his second year in the Majors. This season’s 3.03 ERA would be his highest since 2010.

Cueto just turned 29 in February so there should be little worry on that front.

He is signed just through this season, so if the Cincinnati Reds continue to drop in the National League Central (they are currently eight games out), there is no reason not to trade Cueto.

The Royals could get an ace for the staff, at least for the remainder of the season. He would add instant depth and top shelf talent to the rotation, even if just for a few months.

It seems obvious the Reds are willing to deal. According to Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News, via MLB Trade Rumors feed on Cueto, 20 scouts came to watch Cueto work last week.

Even folks who cover the Reds think the Royals might be a good place for Cueto. C. Trent Rosecrans of Cincinnati.com thinks the Royals could use him.

"Cueto is that ace – for a team that took a step last year to reach the World Series and saw what happens when faced with Madison Bumgarner on the other side. Cueto could be the difference between winning and losing the World Series, a difference that was just 90 feet away last year for Kansas City."

Unlike Cole Hamels, who is signed for several years, Cueto shouldn’t cost any team their top two prospects. Still, the price won’t come cheap. Best guess would be a top prospect and a decent prospect down the lists a bit. Or maybe three above average prospects.

The more teams that show interest, the higher the price will be. The Kansas City Royals will have no chance to sign Johnny Cueto to a contract after the season, as he will command a $20 million plus a year contract, but he could certainly be a difference maker this season.

Other Pitchers Could Be Mentioned In Royals Rumors

Other options include Cueto’s teammate Mike Leake, and Scott Kazmir from the Athletics. KC kingdom has covered all of the Royals rumors possibilities.

The longer the Royals stay in the hunt, and the longer Danny Duffy and Jeremy Guthrie struggle, the more likely it will be the KC Royals will make a move to bolster their rotation.

The really intriguing question becomes is will the Royals make a big deal involving one of the pitchers, or aim lower, and look for cheaper options?

A look at the the standings, and a look at the crowds at Kauffman Stadium every night should tell the folks in charge that now is not the time to pinch pennies. Now is the time to go for it.

Stayed tuned for more KC Royals rumors as they will become more prevalent if Guthrie and Duffy don’t get things turned around very soon.

Next: Who Has Wielded The Biggest Bat For The Royals

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