Daily Archives: August 20, 2015

Royals get their ace in Johnny Cueto


AUGUST 2015 – Rene Francisco, the Kansas City Royals vice-president/assistant general manager in charge of international operations, was a Los Angeles Dodgers scout in 2004 and eyeballed a teenage right-hander in the Dominican Republic.

He was unimpressed. He did not recommend the Dodgers sign him.

“I didn’t remember him,” Francisco said.

Although he was short, listed generously at 5-11, the Cincinnati Reds liked him enough to offer him a contract in 2004, signing him for $35,000.

“I know who he is now,” Francisco said.

The pitcher was and is Johnny Cueto, who the Royals acquired to be their ace in a trade with the Reds, sending them three left-handed top-tier prospects – Brandon Finnegan, who was the Royals’ 2014 first-round pick and is the first player to appear in the College World Series and the Major League World Series the same year; John Lamb and Cody Reed.