Colorado Rockies Rumors: Could Johnny Cueto be a trade target?

Jun 3, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 3, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Colorado Rockies certainly seem well in hand with starting pitching. In this article, we discussed how the team was going to have a tough time figuring out which of its seven rotation candidates could find their way into the five slots Colorado has for its starting pitchers as the season rolls along.

There is plenty of talent in the Colorado rotation. But what if the Rockies could add another quality starting pitcher to its lineup at the trade deadline and bolster that rotation? And what if that pitcher was one who has plenty of experience at Coors Field and has thrived there in the past?

According to this Jon Heyman article, Johnny Cueto of the San Francisco Giants could be looking for a way out of the Giants organization as the trading deadline approaches. The 31-year-old right-hander is 8-3 with a 2.71 ERA lifetime against the Rockies. At Coors Field, he is 4-2 with a 3.43 ERA.

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There has been talk throughout the season that Cueto wasn’t happy with the chemistry inside the San Francisco locker room and talk of him wanting out seems to ramp up those thoughts.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to Colorado pursuing Cueto. First, any trade between the Rockies and Giants would be between National League West rivals who might not want to help each other grow stronger. Second, he’s due a $500,000 bonus if he is traded so a team will have to pony up that amount. Third, Cueto has been quoted as saying he would like to finish his career in the American League, so any kind of trade would likely be a short-term rental for the rest of 2017 and possibly nothing else.

However, that worked well for the Kansas City Royals, who acquired Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds in 2015 on their way to winning the World Series.

So what would it take to land Cueto? We asked our sibling site that covers the Giants, Around The Foghorn, about what San Francisco might be looking in return for Cueto. Here’s what they said.

"“Cueto will be trade bait at the deadline, and depending on what teams are offering, I’d trade him even if they’re contenders. The Giants are going to want a good price back, and I’d anticipate them going for an Aroldis Chapman/Yankees style haul. Bottom line is they need to have an MLB Ready, or one year away top notch bat included in the deal for Cueto, and a decent pitching prospect, or a MLB level lefty reliever paired with it.”"

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Is that too steep of a price for the Rockies to pay to land Cueto? Possibly, especially considering Colorado would be giving up some of its future talent to its division rivals. However, if it could help the Rockies advance in the postseason, could it be worth the sacrifice? Let us know your thoughts below.

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