Right-hander Johnny Cueto is scheduled to make his Royals debut Friday against the Blue Jays in Toronto after being acquired from the Reds in exchange for minor leaguers Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, and Cody Reed.
Cueto made his final start for the Reds on Saturday, shutting out the Rockies for eight innings at Coors Field, so his first start for the Royals will come on one extra day of rest than normal.
Cueto has a 2.62 ERA and 120/29 K/BB ratio in 131 innings this season, posting a sub-3.00 ERA for the fifth straight year. Among all pitchers with at least 100 starts since 2011 only Clayton Kershaw has a lower ERA than Cueto’s mark of 2.51.
As for who’s leaving the Royals’ rotation to make room for Cueto’s arrival, manager Ned Yost says he’s not sure yet if it’ll be Jeremy Guthrie or Chris Young.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.
Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.
Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.