Kansas City Royals Acquire Johnny Cueto

Kansas City Royals Acquire Johnny Cueto
Kansas City Royals Keith Allison / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Kansas City Royals have acquired Johnny Cueto after James Shields departed, having signed with the San Diego Padres during offseason. Cueto was traded to the Royals by Cincinnati Reds.


This season, Cueto has pitched to a 2.62 ERA (145 ERA+) in 130 2/3 innings, as reported by CBS Sports. Cueto owns an ERA+ of 125 across 213 starts in his career. Since his season of 2011, he has achieved an ERA of 2.51 (155 ERA+).

Since the beginning of the previous season, Cueto has worked 374 1/3 innings.

What will tilt the scales in favor of the Royals – since their starters are ranking the lowest in the AL in innings per start – is that Cueto has completed at least six innings 17 times in 19 starts this season.

Cueto will be joining the team in Cleveland on Tuesday, he said.

Cueto could start on Thursday in Toronto as he is expected to stay on his fifth day, Royals Manager Ned Yost said.

“Probably, yeah,” Yost said. “But this just happened. I’ll sit down with [pitching coach] Dave [Eiland] and discuss it on the plane [to Cleveland].”

“When I talked to [general manager] Dayton [Moore] before the game. we weren’t sure something would get done,” he added.

Moore said, “When you’re competing to acquire talent, it’s very competitive. These things go back and forth. We were trying to put the best deal we could in front of [Reds general manager] Walt [Jocketty].”

According to MLB.com, Cueto will be eligible to become a free agent after the season, and so his acquisition is being seen by many as a rental.

However, Moore said that isn’t a reason to be concerned about at the moment.

“We’re just focused on what we need to do today and moving forward for the rest of the season,” he said. “We’ll answer those questions later.”

Despite that, Cueto’s acquisition has uplifted the emotional state of being for the coaching staff and clubhouse.

“He’s a guy who gives us tremendous depth in our rotation,” Yost said. “If you get Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura to the way they were a year ago, you got them and Eddie Volquez and Cueto … you can stop a losing streak right away with any of those guys. It’s a better team for now and into the postseason if we make it.

“If we didn’t do this deal, I still would have felt good about this team. But this makes us better.”

Speaking about his new team, he said was excited to join the Royals.

“They do have a great team, he said. “I’m excited about my next chapter. I know they play very good baseball. I’m excited because I know it’s going to be good for my career and good for the team.”

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