The Royals have acquired pitcher Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds, reports Ken Rosenthal. The return is not yet known, although earlier reports had the two teams discussing Sean Manaea, Bubba Starling, and possibly Christian Binford. There are rumors this morning Brandon Finnegan may have replaced Manaea in the deal however.
Cueto tossed eight shutout innings on Saturday in his last tryout for teams looking to acquire the impending free agent. In nineteen starts this year, Cueto is 7-6 with a 2.62 ERA and over eight strikeouts per-nine innings. In eight Major League seasons, Cueto is 92-63 with a 3.21 ERA. His best season came last year when he won 20 games for the Reds with a 2.25 ERA, nearly a strikeout per inning, and 4.6 fWAR, finishing second in Cy Young voting.
Cueto earns roughly $4 million the remainder of the season and is eligible for free agency this winter. Because he was traded mid-season, the Royals will not receive draft compensation should Cueto leave.
The deal was nearly completed before Cueto's start on Saturday, with the Reds making contingency plans should he be unavailable for a start. Cueto even realized he was being traded, and expressed ire at not being told he was being dealt. However the deal hit a snag, reportedly because the Reds were not satisfied with the medical records of one of the prospects they would be acquiring.
EDIT: Reports are Brandon Finnnegan is involved.
Source confirmed that LHP Brandon Finnegan likely part of the Cueto Royals-Reds deal— Marly Rivera ~ ESPN (@MarlyRiveraESPN) July 26, 2015