KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals are going for it.
The Royals today took a huge step in their bid for another trip to the World Series by acquiring Cincinnati ace pitcher Johnny Cueto.
The Royals gave up three minor-league pitchers, including last year’s No. 1 draft pick Brandon Finnegan. Also packaged in the deal were pitchers John Lamb and Cody Reed. Lamb was once thought to be the Royals’ top young pitching prospect but has been hampered by injuries, though he’s been lights-out at Omaha this summer.
Cueto was the runner-up in the National League Cy Young race last year and has been one of baseball’s best pitchers for several years.
The only drawback is that he’s a free agent at the end of this year, so it may amount to nothing more than a rental for the Royals, whose payroll probably won’t be able to afford him. However, he also could be the final piece to the puzzle in the Royals’ chase for their first World Series title in 30 years.