Royals acquire ace Johnny Cueto from the Reds

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Reds ace Johnny Cueto is headed to the Kansas City Royals, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

The two sides nearly reached an agreement on Saturday night before Cueto took the mound at Coors Field, but one of the players due to move from the Royals to the Reds did not check out medically. Negotiations continued into late Sunday morning, and the Kansas City front office was eventually able to modify its return package to Cincinnati’s liking.

As first reported by MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, that return package is Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, and Cody Reed — all young left-handed pitchers. Finnegan was a first-rounder in 2014 and Reed was a second-rounder in 2013. Lamb is a former top prospect who has rebuilt some of his stock this year at age 25. It’s not a bad haul for the rebuilding Reds.

Cueto tossed eight scoreless innings on Saturday night against the Rockies and boasts a a 2.62 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 120/29 K/BB ratio in 130 2/3 total frames this season. He carries a 2.51 ERA since the beginning of the 2011 campaign, which is second only to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw over that span.

The 29-year-old impending free agent had also drawn trade interest from the Dodgers, Blue Jays, Yankees, Astros, and Orioles. He’s a tremendous fit — even as a rental — for the AL Central-leading Royals.

Gallegos agrees to $11M, 2-year contract with Cardinals

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed Monday to an $11 million, two-year contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said Monday before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.