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Kansas City Royals acquire Johnny Cueto

The trade, confirmed on Sunday, sees Royals pitchers Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed heading to Cincinnati in exchange for Cueto and cash considerations.

The trade will likely strengthen the Royals’ (59-38) starting pitching rotation. While Cueto’s 7-6 win-loss record may not seem impressive, his 2.62 ERA is certainly noteworthy. The Royals have been winning plenty of games this year but have had some problems with the health of their pitchers. Last week, the team lost starting pitcher Jason Vargas for the season due to an elbow injury.

The Reds (43-53) certainly aren’t walking away from the deal empty-handed. Finnegan has pitched in both the minors and majors this year and was the team’s No.1 draft pick last year. He had a 3-0 record and 2.96 ERA in 14 games with the Royals this year.

Lamb has had some health problems in the past — he got Tommy John surgery in 2011 — but this year is 9-1 with a 2.67 ERA in the club’s Triple-A Omaha affiliate. Reed — a second-round draft pick in 2013 — has a 3.45 ERA in Double-A Northwest Arkansas and a 2-2 record.

Cueto will officially join his new team on Tuesday and is expected to make his debut Friday in Toronto against the Blue Jays. He will be a free agent at the end of this season and the Royals will not be able to extend a qualifying offer, meaning the team won’t get a draft pick should Cueto decide to go elsewhere.

The deal was a roller coaster for both teams — just a day prior to the trade being finalized, a deal fell through when a player the Royals were going to trade didn’t check out medically.

Trade rumours are running rampant this week as Friday at 4 p.m. ET is the non-waiver trade deadline.

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