Royals' additions bolster rotation, versatility

Cueto, Zobrist support Kansas City's roster for postseason push

Royals' additions bolster rotation, versatility

TORONTO -- The Royals, under general manager Dayton Moore, have not been a team prone to making splashy moves before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

That all changed this time around when Moore and his staff pulled the trigger and acquired right-hander Johnny Cueto, one of the biggest names on the trading block, as well as super-utility player Ben Zobrist, whom the Royals have admired for some time.

And those moves have made for a happy manager in Ned Yost.

"You never know what to expect this time of year," Yost said. "We were hoping to get some stuff done last year and nothing came out of it. So in terms of that, yeah, it was pretty good."

Getting Cueto cost the Royals three left-handed pitching prospects: Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed. But to get a No. 1 starter and arguably the best pitcher on the market was going to be pricey.

"He's as good as any starter out there," Yost said. "And a real key acquisition was Zobrist. He's a real durable super-utility guy. We got what we needed."

Zobrist's two-run single

The Royals sure did. Their primary needs before the Trade Deadline were a front-line pitcher to bolster an injury-riddled and inconsistent rotation. They also needed a starting left fielder to fill in for the injured Alex Gordon, who is out until September with a grade-two plus groin strain.

The Royals also could add a piece or two, as they did last year with the addition of outfielder Josh Willingham, in August.

"We could, but I don't see any glaring holes," Yost said. "We've got Cueto, a No. 1 starter. We got three guys who could fill into the No. 5 spot, depending on production -- we've got Jeremy Guthrie, Kris Medlen, Chris Young. So that's covered.

"The bullpen has been great all year long. And Zobrist gets us through Gordo's injury."

In other words, the Royals are prepared to battle through the final two months with the roster they have.

"We'll see," Yost said. "It's a good team."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.