Johnny Cueto's career with the Cincinnati Reds has officially came to an end.

Seven years after debuting with the team, he is now on his way to Kansas City in exchange for Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, Cody Reed and cash considerations.

Many people were surprised that the Royals were willing to part with the young arm of Brandon Finnegan, the  team's number one pick just over one year ago.  Finnegan was a key part of the World Series run last year as he recorded three wins in the postseason, including two in the World Series. But there is no question that getting Cueto is an upgrade to the starting staff in Kansas City.

Cueto, who has a 7-6 record with a 2.62 ERA in 19 starts this year, joins a rotation  desperately needs his help, especially after losing Jason Vargas last week to a season ending elbow injury.


Royals starters have an ERA of 4.30 this season, and are averaging an abysmal 5.5 innings per start, which is the lowest average by any rotation in the American League.

On the contrary, Cueto has pitched at least 8 innings in six games already this year, compared to the two times the combined Royals staff has managed the feat. No question he will lessen the load for what is arguably the best bullpen in baseball.

Manager Ned Yost said Cueto gives the Royals "tremendous depth in our rotation." If  Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura return to last year's form, "you've got them and Eddie Volquez and Cueto, you can stop a losing streak right away with any of those guys." Without this deal, Yost said,  I still would have felt good about this team, but this makes us that much better."

The Royals are adding a clear-cut ace to a staff that was otherwise without one. Over the last five years, Cueto has the second lowest ERA in all of baseball (2.51), second only to the Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who has a 2.16 ERA over that span.

"They do have a great team, I'm excited about my next chapter," Cueto said, adding that he expects the move to be "good for my career and good for the team."

With the Royals just missing a World Series win thanks to a legendary performance by the Giants' Madison Bumgarner, the addition of  Cueto could  be the final piece that the team needs  not only make a postseason run but also another World Series appearance. Cueto  is scheduled to make his team debut Friday against Toronto.

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