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Diamondbacks trade rumors: Arizona having 'internal discussions' about signing Johnny Cueto

Cueto could be headed to Arizona if the organization feels he is worth a large contract.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona is hoping to add starting pitching this winter and has identified Johnny Cueto as a potential target, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

Why this rumor makes sense

Even some of the lower payroll teams will likely check in on the contractual demands of Cueto, who is one of the top free agent pitchers to hit in the market this winter. The Diamondbacks are known to be seeking starting pitching and adding Cueto would make their rotation that much stronger.

Cueto, 29, pitched to a 3.44 ERA and 3.53 FIP over 212.0 innings last season between the Reds and Royals. He pitched notably well for Kansas City after being moved by Cincinnati right before he was set to become a free agent.

John Lackey, Yovani Gallardo and Shelby Miller have all also been linked to the Diamondbacks in recent days, revealing their interest in adding at least one starter.

Cueto would move to the front of Arizona's rotation and give them a veteran arm who has the ability to consistently make at least 30 starts on a yearly basis.

Why this rumor doesn't make sense

While Cueto would significantly improve Arizona's starting rotation, he might be too expensive for a club placed in comparatively average market.

Cueto will almost certainly demand a nine-figure contract, which would likely be unrealistic for the Diamondbacks. It might be more beneficial for the organization to pursue Gallardo or Miller, who are unlikely to demand extensive contracts this off-season.

If the Diamondbacks have a true desire to improve their starting rotation, adding a pair of middle of the rotation arms might be the best course of action.

After finishing at 79-83 last season, the Diamondbacks could compete relatively quickly if the right moves are made. But adding Cueto might not be the most beneficial move the organization has the ability to make.

Likeliness overall: 3/10

Ultimately, the Diamondbacks will probably go with a middle of the rotation starter who has experience and has proven to be durable. However, the fact they have expressed interest in Cueto is still notable.