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Reds to trade Johnny Cueto to Royals

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

It's not official yet, but the Reds have agreed to trade Johnny Cueto to the Royals for a still-unknown return.

This comes as no surprise, of course -- Cueto was set for free agency, the Reds weren't contending, and the Reds and Royals almost completed a Cueto deal yesterday. For a moment, though, let's just appreciate how nice it will be not to have Cueto in the division anymore. Pirates fans will always have fond memories of Cueto dropping the ball in the 2013 Wild Card game, but mostly, he was terrifying against them, posting a 2.13 ERA, 169 strikeouts, 48 walks, and a .584 OPS against in 186 career innings against them. He also had a 1.91 ERA in 16 career starts at PNC Park, forcing Pirates fans to endure one boring, frustrating afternoon or evening after another. Johnny Cueto has left the NL Central; here's hoping he never comes back. (Or let's hope some NL Central team this winter overpays for the second half of his career and it drives them crazy, but you know what I mean.)

Let's also note how nice it is that he's going to the Royals, of all teams -- the Royals used to rival the Pirates for their perennial ineptitude and thriftiness, and now they acquire Johnny Cueto and nobody bats an eye. It helps, of course, that they had an obvious need in their rotation.