The Royals are checking in on Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake

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The Royals won the pennant last year thanks in large part to great pitching. The relief pitching is still OK — in fact, KC’s pen has the best ERA in the American League — but the rotation is 11th in the AL in ERA and dead last in innings pitched in all of baseball. They could use a starter. Or two.

The Reds have a starter or two who could be dealt, and Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi are reporting that the Royals are interested.

They won’t be the only ones, of course, especially when it comes to Johnny Cueto, who the Reds will try to auction off to the highest bidder, one assumes. If the Royals want to use the “Buy Now” option it’s gonna cost them.