SUNDAY, 10:38am: The Royals remain “hopeful” they can revive the Cueto deal with the Reds, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
8:47am: The two sides are still discussing a deal that would send Cueto to Kansas City, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com tweets.
SATURDAY, 11:46pm: The Royals were close to acquiring Reds ace Johnny Cueto tonight, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The reporters hear that one of the players the Reds would have acquired “did not check out medically,” causing the deal to fall through.
Tonight at Coors Field, Cueto tossed eight scoreless innings in what might have been his final start in a Reds uniform. The deal with the Royals was apparently close enough that Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen had been warming up before the game, prepared to take Cueto’s place. Cueto was not happy, later telling reporters, “I don’t want to use a bad word in this location, but it was really bad how I found out what happen.” Mark Sheldon and Dargan Southard of MLB.com quoted catcher Brayan Pena describing Cueto, “I’m telling you, today he was on a mission. I saw something in his eyes that I never saw before.”
Cueto, 29, now sports a 2.62 ERA in 130 2/3 innings this year. He’s months from his first shot at free agency, and the fourth-place Reds seem likely to trade him by Friday’s deadline. Along with the Royals, the Dodgers and Blue Jays are among the teams that have been linked to Cueto. The first domino in the starting pitching market dropped Thursday when the Astros acquired Scott Kazmir.