Detroit Tigers: Johnny Cueto is out of reach and out of question


It’s no secret that Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds is one of the most exciting pitchers in baseball.

Between a rocket of an arm and awesome hair, the guy is as complete a package as a Swiss army knife. Well, to make a long story short the Reds, after recent seasons of being in playoff contention, have completely fallen off the map.

Johnny Cueto is a free agent at the end of the season and everybody in the baseball world is convinced Cincinnati can not and will not pay Cueto the money he is in line for.

That’s why it’s almost inevitable he is traded. One rumor that has caught fire as of recent is one regarding Cueto and the Detroit Tigers.

Before anybody gets too wound up, let’s break things down a bit: Cueto is a workhorse, let that be understood. He has an exuberant amount of talent, eats innings like their Pringles, and has a strikeout factor comparable to that of Max Scherzer and David Price.

The Detroit Tigers, in no way, shape, or form, will be able to make a trade for Johnny Cueto.

Over the past five seasons Cueto has had an ERA south of 3.00 every year. 2013 was a year plagued by injuries but 2014 was a season for the ages. Cueto led the NL in strikeouts, batters faced, games started, and innings pitched. He was the runner-up in Cy Young voting, ultimately losing the award to Clayton Kershaw.

A career ERA of 3.42 and at just 29 years old the future looks bright. But the future will not be spent in a Tigers uniform. And here’s why:

First and foremost, the Reds are a team lacking in just about every aspect of the game. Aside from a few bright spots (Joey Votto and Todd Frazier), Cincinnati is a glorified high school varsity team.

With a trade chip as valuable as Cueto, they aren’t going to send him somewhere for nothing. What they receive in return could determine their future in multiple ways; if they were smart they would squeeze every remaining drop of talent out of Cueto’s suitor. More specifically, young talent that would serve as the foundation of the future.

When Buck Farmer is the second best prospect in an organization you know things are bad

News Flash: the Tigers have absolutely nothing worth any value in their farm system. Baseball America ranked Detroit’s minor leagues dead last in the entire MLB. General Manager David Dombrowski has been able to turn dirt into gold in years past, but I think he is finally at wit’s end.

Detroit can simply not afford Cueto. Cut and dry.

A trade for Cueto also doesn’t make sense whatsoever. Let’s face reality here; the Tigers are having a really tough time keeping pace in their division and for obvious reasons. Offense is lackluster, defense is struggling, and everybody who’s not named Miguel Cabrera is underperforming.

Trading for Cueto certainly helps as the rotation is in shambles, but Detroit needs to learn from past mistakes. Last season the rotation was led by Scherzer and Price and rounded out by Porcello and Verlander. The Tigers were swept in the ALDS by the Baltimore Orioles. The Tigers were a better team last season than this current season.

Trading for Cueto puts them right back to where they were last year but even worse. Price and Cueto are both free agents come season’s end, and it’s idiotic to make a deal unless A.) Championship is won or B.) Cueto is signed. And with the way things are going, it seems as though neither of two will happen.

Next: Fashionable Verlander, trade targets, instant replay