MLBtraderumors.com reports a story from Baseball’s Winter Meetings in Nashville that free agent pitcher Johnny Cueto, who had so-so results with the Royals during their World Series run, would be a good fit for the St. Louis Cardinals starting rotation and that the club has spoken with Cueto’s agent.
In the article, Cueto’s agent Bryce Dixon said, “I can’t speak to how the Cardinals feel. ..Obviously [Johnny] regrets how the fight went down. He’s expressed regret over it in the past. He loves pitching in the NL Central. He’s the best pitcher of our era in the NL Central. It would be a good marriage between Johnny and the Cardinals. I think once the fans got past the fight and they saw what a gamer Johnny is and what he could bring to the team, I think they would be able to embrace him now, though I don’t think that they’ll do that overnight.”
Dixon is referencing the 2010 brawl in Cincinnati that started when Yadier Molina took exception to a tap on his shin guard from leadoff hitter Brandon Phillips, a day after Phillips said he didn’t respect the Cardinals. The showdown at home plate led to a bench clearing brawl and Cueto, while backed up against the screen behind the plate, started kicking. He hit backup catcher Jason LaRue in the head. LaRue had to retire due to concussion symptoms that lingered.
Back to the present. The Cardinals are looking for a veteran starting pitcher. The club was in the market for a starting pitcher before John Lackey left to sign with the Cubs. With Lance Lynn gone for the season, and the bigger free agent pitchers signing deals, the Cardinals may be waiting this out a little longer to work down the price.
The club also wants to aggressively pursue Jason Heyward. According to this article, Cueto already turned down a $126 million over six years (which may have been a mistake).
Stay posted Cardinals fans? Could you welcome Johnny Cueto with open arms?