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.

Larry Walker to wear a Rockies cap on his Hall of Fame plaque

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I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.

While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.

There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.

Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.

Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.

Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice.  And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.