Royals get Cueto, give up Lamb, Finnegan, and Reed

After hours of speculation, the deal is finally official.

royals.jpgThe KC Royals acquired Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto (and cash) for three left-handed pitchers: John Lamb, Brandon Finnegan, and Cody Reed.

Royals Twitter has been giddy all morning and afternoon about the news of Cueto joining the team. Many are getting fitted for World Series rings. Cueto is a good pitcher (don’t get me wrong), but I am a little skeptical.

Cueto has never pitched in the American League. He has also had his issues, much like Yordano Ventura and buddy Edinson Volquez. While Cueto is considered an ace, he has pitched in just three postseason games (not exactly a ton of experience). In those three games, he threw just 8.2 innings.

Are the Royals better than the Reds? Sure. Will he help? Sure. But is Cueto THE answer. Not completely. The Royals still have holes and Cueto cannot fill them all.

Cueto is in a contract season and is looking for a HUGE payday this offseason. So in that aspect, he should pitch well in KC. Will it bring the Royals another World Series appearance and a title? We will see.


Lefties are hard to find and develop, so hopefully this deal does not come back to bite the Royals.

Royals lefty prospect Brandon Finnegan pitching during spring training 2015 (Jen Nevius).

Royals lefty prospect Brandon Finnegan pitching during spring training 2015 (Jen Nevius).

Finnegan started last night for Triple-A Omaha, throwing two perfect innings. The Royals have pretty much screwed his development this season, jerking him from the rotation in the minors to the bullpen in the big leagues (though not used much).

It’s coming out now that the Royals were willing to deal Finnegan because they were not happy with his offseason conditioning. I noticed Finnegan packed on some weight this offseason when I saw him in spring training. So why keep promoting him to the big leagues if they weren’t happy with him?

But it was his first offseason. Most guys have no idea how to train in the offseason. I talked to Sean Manaea a few starts ago in Wilmington and he admitted to not being prepared in his first offseason.

Lamb has NEVER been given a chance with the Royals over the last two seasons. Hopefully, he takes this trade as a blessing and pitches well with the Reds.

Lefty Cody Reed pitching in Wilmington in June 2015 (Jen Nevius).

Lefty Cody Reed pitching in Wilmington in June 2015 (Jen Nevius).

I guess Reed isn’t starting tonight for Double-A NW Arkansas. Reed was a Carolina League All-Star in the first half with High-A Wilmington. He struck out 65 in 67.1 innings with the Blue Rocks.

Since his promotion to Double-A, Reed struck out 19 in 28.2 innings. Walks have been an issue in Reed’s short career (he was drafted in 2013), but he’s gotten much better in 2015 (26 walks in 96 innings).


Best of luck to those three in the Reds organization. Hopefully we will be watching them succeed in the big leagues with the Reds in the near future!

About Jen Nevius

I first became a KC Royals fan way back in 1995 when I attended my first Wilmington Blue Rocks game. I fell in love with minor league baseball then and began following the Royals as former Blue Rocks clawed their way to the big leagues. 3+ years ago I started covering the Royals for Aerys Sports, but since the site has been shut down, I am going out on my own.
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