I like Johnny Cueto as much as the next guy, but the Reds rumors that suggest a reunion between the right-hander and his former club are rather odd. In fact, it makes no sense at all. Why in the world are the Cincinnati Reds actively pursuing the 36-year-old pitcher?
Yesterday, it was reported that the Reds and Cueto were engaged in contract talks and the potential exists for the two sides to come to an agreement on a one-year deal. While Cueto is coming off his best season since 2017, adding an aging pitcher while the future of your starting rotation is ready for the big leagues is absolutely absurd.
Reds rumors of a Johny Cueto reunion are absurd.
This is not about Johnny Cueto. The two-time All-Star was beloved during his time in Cincinnati, and you won't find many fans throughout Reds Country who don't wish him well. But the Reds, especially after Wednesday's addition of Mike Minor, now have four of their five spots in the starting rotation spoken for.
Hunter Greene is the future of the Cincinnati starting rotation. After dominating Double-A last season, Greene ascended to Triple-A, made 14 starts for the Louisville Bats, and looks ready to debut in 2022. In addition to Greene, the Reds have fellow first-rounder Nick Lodolo ready for the big leagues as well.
With only 60 innings pitched last season due to injury, you have to assume that Cincinnati would prefer to start Lodolo in the minors this season. But if the southpaw dominates the Triple-A competition as we expect him to, a call-up by the middle of summer should certainly be in the cards.
There's also Graham Ashcraft, Reiver Sanmartin, Riley O'Brien, Tony Santillan, and the newly acquired Brandon Williamson; all of whom were referenced by Reds GM Nick Krall to be in the mix for a spot in the starting rotation.
So the question is quite simple...with this type of young pitching depth in the farm system, why in the world are the Cincinnati Reds pursuing a pitcher who's past his prime? Cueto's presence on the club would be robbing these young hurlers of the opportunity to make an impact on the Reds in 2022.
Adding Johnny Cueto to the roster would mean that Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo would begin the 2022 season at Triple-A Louisville. As the Reds roster stands now, that's not out of the realm of possibilities, but signing Cueto all but assures it.
Rather than pursue signing a pitcher like Johnny Cueto, maybe the Cincinnati Reds front office should look to make some additions to the bullpen or the outfield. While these Reds rumors suggesting a reunion with Cueto are fun to think about, Cincinnati has plenty of depth in the starting rotation without adding an injury-prone pitcher from days past.