Signing Cueto is about more than just baseball - KCTV5 News

Signing Cueto is about more than just baseball

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For years, Royals fans have heard about major league baseball's "rent-a-players," the hired guns that teams like the Yankees and Red Sox brought in to bolster their line-ups during pennant races.

Our players were often those they got while we got prospects.

We heard about them, but we never had one in Kansas City. We just heard Walmart cracks.

In 2003, the Royals were in the closest thing to a pennant race this town had seen since the 1980s.  Wanting to boost their roster, they added a left-handed pitcher, Brian Anderson, who was an impressive 5-1 down the stretch, as Kansas City missed out on the playoffs.

The then 31-year-old Anderson was not a rent-a-player.  The Royals owned his rights for the next two years, when he went 7-14, before blowing out his elbow.

Then-General Manager Allard Baird wanted to do more to improve his team, but was reportedly limited by team "budget issues."

Team owner David Glass was reported to be against paying big-money for a player, only to lose him to free agency that off-season.

Fast forward to right now. Current GM Dayton Moore makes a bold move to trade three talented pitchers to Cincinnati for ace pitcher Johnny Cueto.

Cueto will be a free agent this winter.  The Reds knew they could not afford to re-sign him, and looked to get value in return (think the Royals giving up Zack Greinke after the 2010 season).

The Royals make the strongest offer to the Reds.

Owner David Glass blesses this, despite the fact that there's no way the Royals will be able to afford Cueto after this year.  Glass is now willing to give his GM what he needs to make another run at the American League pennant.

David and Dan Glass have seen what winning can do for a franchise.

Kauffman Stadium is now packed night after night. Everyone seems to be wearing Royals gear. The money is flowing in, and winning is what ignited this fire.

Will Cueto be the final piece of this year's puzzle?  Will the right hander help carry the Royals back to the World Series?

That story is yet to be told, but the very fact the Glass family is willing to invest in their team says a great deal about the state of baseball in Kansas City.

For years, Royals fans talked about the "good old days."  Guess what?  They're back!

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