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Reds make right move trading Johnny Cueto

The Cincinnati Reds are not going anywhere in 2015. General manager Walt Jocketty has recgonized this unfortunate fact and started to tear down a once-promising roster, dealing right-handed pitching ace Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals for a trio of minor league pitchers including Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed.

Cincinnati did not get a massive haul in return, but it certainly acquired some quality arms that project to help both in the bullpen and rotation moving forward. The Reds are currently short on arms and need to restock the system, along with providing some help at the major league level. Cincinnati’s ace has become Mike Leake, who while a decent pitcher does not qualify as a front-of-the-rotation pitcher.

Give Jocketty credit for realizing his situation and making the correct decision. So many general managers decide that the team can be salvaged with a couple of large contracts and the acquisitions of aging superstars. Jocketty knows that this roster is aging and in some spots, becoming too expensive for the return. Moving Cueto before the trade deadline helps to open up a spot for a youngster to step in and gain some major league experience, all while getting younger for the future.

Meanwhile, the Royals are getting one of the best pitchers in baseball for the stretch run. Cueto will likely be out the door at the end of the season for something more than $20 million per season, but for now Kansas City is making a run. The Royals made an incredible trip to the World Series for the first time since 1985 last year, but fell short in seven games to Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants. This year, it appears Ned Yost and the boys are looking to win one more game, and hold baseball’s ultimate prize.

For his part, Cueto is very happy about the opportunity, per ESPN.

“I’m excited about my next chapter,” Cueto said with Reds catcher Brayan Pena serving as his translator. “I know they play baseball very good. I’m excited because I know it’s going to be good for my career and good for the team.”

Cincinnati also feels good about the move, while putting Finnegan and Lamb at Triple-A and moving Reed to Double-A.

“There is a lot interest in Johnny and we felt that this was the best value we could get,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “Johnny is going to a great situation there. He has people that he’ll know. He’s on a team that has a chance to go to the World Series.”

It is a tough day for Reds fans on the surface, but they should be thrilled with the actions of Jocketty. Instead of allowing the team to erode and perhaps sign an oft-injured pitcher at the end of the season, Jocketty made a play to rebuild sooner rather than later.

Nice move for both sides.

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