Royals Rumors: Johnny Cueto Interested In Kansas City Return

The Kansas City Royals aren't legitimate players for free-agent aces David Price and Zack Greinke, but there is at least one marquee starting pitcher they have a legitimate chance of (re-)signing -- Johnny Cueto. The dominant narrative around the baseball media has posited Cueto as nothing more than a rental for the 2015 stretch run/postseason, but Cueto's agent, Bryce Dixon, says the 29-year-old righty would be interested in a return.

"Johnny enjoyed his time with the Royals," Dixon said, via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. "He was very comfortable in the clubhouse right away and really likes the atmosphere there."

One general manager at this week's meetings told Rosenthal that Cueto joins Jordan Zimmermann at the lead of the second tier of available starting pitchers, behind the aforementioned Price and Greinke. A glut of contending teams in the market for front-line pitchers will likely drive Cueto's price up regardless, as there will be plenty of mid- to big-market teams who miss out on Price/Greinke that will be willing to bid for his services.

In spite of a topsy-turvy stint with Kansas City, Cueto is being undersold as a secondary free agent. The only pitcher with over 800 innings pitched over the past five years to post a better adjusted ERA than the Dominican Republic native is Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

While the Royals aren't considered in most circles to be a favorite to retain Cueto, his affinity for his new teammates and his comfortability in the clubhouse could be enough for him to at least consider a slight discount. The Royals would have to play ball, though, and there's no guarantee that they'll engage in a bidding war to bring him back.


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Related Topics: Jordan Zimmermann, Royals News, David Price, Johnny Cueto, Royals Free Agent Rumors, Clayton Kershaw, Royals Rumors, Zack Greinke