The Reds avoided a huge mistake by allowing Johnny Cueto to sign elsewhere

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto on the field.
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto on the field. / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
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It was fun to think about for all of about a minute, but in the end, the Cincinnati Reds did the right thing by not pursuing former ace Johnny Cueto. It was rumored earlier this offseason that the Reds and Cueto were contemplating a reunion, but the right-hander has now agreed to join last year's AL Central Division Champion Chicago White Sox.

It's a minor league deal worth up to $4.2M. With Lance Lynn and Garrett Crochet on the shelf with injuries, the addition of Cueto provides pitching depth for the South Siders at a relatively inexpensive cost.

For the Reds, however, the cost would have been much greater. Not so much in terms of dollars and cents, but instead of seeing the major league debuts of Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo, Reds fans would have seen a 36-year-old Cueto on the mound.

The Reds were right not so sign Johnny Cueto.

Now I'm as nostalgic as the next guy. While the idea of Albert Pujols back in a St. Louis uniform makes me want to vomit, if I were Cardinals' fan I'd be ecstatic. The same could be said for Royals fans who have Zach Grienke back in Kansas City. But that's not what the Reds need.

Cincinnati has too many talented, young hurlers to be fooling around with retreads like Johnny Cueto. Greene has already broken camp with the Reds and it looks as though Lodolo will make his MLB debut next Wednesday.

The Redlegs also have players like Brandon Williamson, Graham Ashcraft, Christian Roa, Bryce Bonnin, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Reiver Sanmartin; all of whom are ready for shot to become part of the Cincinnati starting rotation.

Had the Reds returned the majority of last year's roster and wanted to add some inexpensive and experienced pitching depth to a rotation that included Luis Castillo, Wade Miley, Tyler Mahle, and Sonny Gray, I'd be all for it.

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But the Cincinnati Reds did the right thing by not giving the fanbase a trip down memory lane. Instead, the Cincinnati faithful will be treated to 100-plus MPH fastballs courtesy of Hunter Greene and un-hittable curveballs delivered by Nick Lodolo.