Blue Jays rumors: Johnny Cueto link refuses to die


Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays will exit the break 4.5 games back in the AL East, but with many teams now opening their organizations to the idea of trades, Toronto could soon strike. While the Blue Jays seem hesitant to take on a rental player, that’s done nothing to stop the rumors linking them to Reds starter Johnny Cueto. Earlier today, Bob Nightengale of USA Today re-ignited the conversation with a series of two tweets. 

Is there meat on this bone, or does this mark the annual spot on the calendar where every trade rumor is legally required to include “and the Blue Jays”. Perhaps a bit of both, but Cincinnati scouts have reportedly been in the stands to watch several of Toronto’s top prospects. If Nightengale’s report is correct, then it appears the Reds are poised to unload their trading chips once the All Star festivities roll out of town.

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Strictly in terms of talent, Johnny Cueto is everything the Toronto Blue Jays could ask for. The 29-year old’s highest ERA since 2010 is 2.82, and he’s coming off a 20-win season in which he topped 240 innings pitched. The issue, of course, is his contract and fit within the structure of this organization.

Like it or not, Cueto would cost several of Toronto’s top-line prospects, and the chances of him re-signing with the club in the offseason would be close to zero. An R.A. Dickey situation, where the Jays negotiate an extension prior to the deal, is also extremely unlikely. Cueto will be seeking a 7-to-8 year monster contract similar to that of Jon Lester this past offseason.

I still hesitate to see anything happening between the Jays and Reds involving Cueto, especially with such a crowded buyer’s market. This may, however, suggest that Alex Anthopoulos has not entirely shut the door on a rental. Just as he’s admitted that he would consider dealing from the 25-man roster if necessary, a rental addition could enter the picture if this unique market pushes Toronto up against a wall.

With Cueto overtaking Hamels as the new daily Blue Jays rumor, let’s make this the final word on his front until something more concrete comes along. Does this report change your view of the organization’s intentions, or is it another case of Anthopoulos kicking tires? Have your say below!

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