Over the past few days, the New York Yankees have been scouting Cincinnati Reds’ ace Johnny Cueto, which has left fans under the impression that a deal could be in the works. With Cueto becoming a free agent after this season, it’s likely that he wont be a Red at season’s end. While the Reds haven’t begun officially shopping the right-hander, they will likely strike a deal by the trade deadline for Cueto. In the best interests of the New York playoff hopes, hopefully, Cueto ends up in pinstripes.
The Yankees could certainly benefit by acquiring Cueto and adding him to their already solid rotation. In 2014, Cueto posted career lows in ERA and WHIP, while tallying his first ever 20-win season. Cueto is currently 6-6 on the year with a 2.73 ERA and has tallied 113 strikeouts in 118 innings so far this season. While they would either have to take one of their starters, most likely Nathan Eovaldi, and put him in the bullpen or go to a six-man rotation, there is no real downside for this deal. Cueto would probably go into the third starter spot in the rotation behing Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda, bumping CC Sabathia down to the fourth and keeping Ivan Nova in the fifth spot.
The Reds aren’t going to give up Cueto on the cheap. They’re going to expect a few prospects and an established player currently in the show for their ace. I can see the Yankees giving up Jacob Lindgren, Esmil Rogers, Danny Burawa, or Adam Warren in order to get Cueto. They wont give up all of those guys, but they could send one or two, with some cash, and maybe even a position player to get this deal done. Either way, this deal has the potential to have some big name prospects if the Yankees are willing to dip into their farm system to make a deal that instantly solidifies their position atop the division.
While this deal is a long shot to happen, it should be interesting to see where Cueto ends up. The Yankees are definitely a contender to land the righty; they are going to have to compete with the Blue Jays and Orioles, who are also believed to be interested in acquiring Cueto.
Where will Cueto end up? Will he stay in Cincy? No one knows. But if the Yankees want him, they’re going to have to cough up some young arms that could hurt them in the long run in order to try and win World Series number 28.