Reds “are prepared to trade” Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake

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Not exactly shocking news, but Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Reds “are prepared to trade” both Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake.

That’s been the assumption with both pitchers headed to free agency after the season and it’s why I included Cueto and Leake in my article earlier this week about the best starting pitchers likely to be available at the trade deadline.

Cueto is a legit ace and one of the truly elite starters in all of baseball, whereas Leake is a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter. It’s possible Cincinnati could look to maximize their return by packaging both pitchers in the same trade, trying to entice a contending into giving up a top-50 prospect as part of the haul for a pair of two-month rentals.

No word yet on what the Reds plan to do with All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman, who unlike Cueto and Leake is also under contract for 2016.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.