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Should the Reds target Johnny Cueto this winter?

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Free agency estimators indicate his price may be lower than expected. Does that matter?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

We all like Johnny Cueto. Like, like-like him. Watching him celebrate his World Series championship with the Royals was like watching your dream girl date a guy smarter, richer, funnier, and better-looking than you. The good news is, that relationship is now likely over for good.

The Reds never really seriously entertained, at least not publicly, a long-term deal for Cueto. He had set himself up for a major payday, something north of $150 million. But then he kinda clunked out for the Royals. He twirled a vintage Cueto gem in Game 2 of the series, but his stint in KC was largely disappointing: a 4.76 ERA in 13 regular-season starts. Baseball being what it is, what with all the short-sightedness and whatnot, that probably really tanked his market value.

MLBTR recently published their free agent predictions, seeing Cueto land in Boston for $115 million over five years. That is well short of what many of us foresaw heading into the 2015 season, or even the trade deadline. And it got me thinking: is that a palatable price for the Reds?

Of course, most will say a rebooting team like the Reds doesn't have any business signing free agents. I think that is usually a decent rule to follow, but really their guiding principle should be adding value. So the real question is whether or not a discounted Cueto is a good value proposition or not. I'm still not sure if that is true or not, but the it is an interesting question and one the Reds should consider.