Johnny Cueto was nearly traded to the Royals on Saturday

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According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi, the Cincinnati Reds were just a step or two away from trading ace right-hander Johnny Cueto to the Royals on Saturday evening.

The deal was so close to happening that Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen began warming up for Saturday night’s game against the Rockies in anticipation of Cueto departing immediately for Kansas City. Cueto did end up starting the game and he went eight scoreless innings at Coors Field, the least pitcher-friendly park in the majors. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Cueto was upset that he learned from Lorenzen, instead of the Reds management, that a deal was close. Maybe it added some fuel to his dominant performance.

According to Rosenthal, the trade broke down when one of the players due to be sent from the Royals to the Reds did not check out medically. It figures that the two sides aren’t completely done talking.

Cueto, a 29-year-old impending free agent, boasts a 2.62 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 120/29 K/BB ratio in 130 2/3 innings this season. He’s also been linked to the Orioles, Blue Jays, Yankees, Dodgers, and Astros.