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Royals seeking “front-line” starter this offseason

Oct 2, 2011, 9:48 AM EDT

moore and yost ap AP

The Royals are pleased with the strides that top position prospects Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez made in 2011. But the Royals also know that they’re going to need an improved starting rotation to reach their organizational goal of competing in 2012, and that the desired upgrade might have to come from an outside source.

Which is why, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Royals’ front office is beginning to consider all options. Including a potential free agent deal or even a prospect-based trade.

The free agent market for starters this winter will be quite bleak. Or maybe we should call it shallow. CC Sabathia is likely to opt out of his contract in New York, but all signs point to him returning to the Yankees with a slightly fatter wallet. Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson will be available, but over half the league will be interested in him and it’s doubtful Kansas City will be able to put together a competitive bid.

Then there’s Edwin Jackson, an impending free agent right-hander currently pitching for the cross-state Cardinals. Dutton says the Royals “figure to make a run” at the 28-year-old and his high-velocity fastball.

A trade is another option. Despite this year’s callups, the Royals’ farm system remains loaded with talent and a Royals official suggested to the Star that prospects Cheslor Cuthbert, Wil Myers, Mike Montgomery and Jake Odorizzi could be made available. “Now, it has to be the right guy,” cautioned the unnamed exec.

  1. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Oct 2, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    With a loaded farm system I’d like to see the Royals remain patient. Why enrich the haves with that talent and accept older, expensive players? That line of thinking hasn’t worked. A Beltran, Damon, and Ibanez OF would’ve been a great one.

  2. plmathfoto - Oct 2, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    LOL was that an intentional use of the word fatter when talking about Sabathia?

  3. notsofast10 - Oct 2, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Why did they let Greinke go just a year ago?

  4. scapistron - Oct 2, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    Grienke was let go because he asked to be traded because he did not see the team going anywhere through the life of his contract.

    Signing a FA pitcher could be one of the worst things the Royals could do.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Oct 2, 2011 at 12:07 PM

      What’s scary is the deal they NEARLY had with Washington for Greinke before he nixed the trade: Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen and Danny Espinosa.

      I think that would have worked out okay. Zimmy is a potential front-line, solid number two starter, Storen is a great closer so they could either move Soria to the rotation like they’ve talked about for years or move his super friendly contract along with a prospect for another arm and Espinosa would solidfy the infield with Hosmer, Espinosa, Escobar and Moustakas around the horn.

      Too bad that one didn’t go down.

      • normswifevera - Oct 2, 2011 at 4:54 PM

        “Espinosa would solidfy the infield with Hosmer, Espinosa, Escobar and Moustakas around the horn.”

        KC got Escobar in the Grenkie trade, so he wouldn’t be in that mix.

  5. mplsjoe - Oct 2, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    There’s not a lot out there, and they’re still the Royals after all. That said, I wish Twins management said things like this.

  6. royalsfaninfargo - Oct 2, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    The Royals should be patient and wait. A loaded farm system is a good thing only if it pans out and produces Major League talent. There really isnt a front line ace in free agency this year and throwing a bunch of money at a mid rotation starter isnt a good idea. It would be nice to be competitive next year, but I dont see it. 2013 is the Royals year!

  7. hittfamily - Oct 2, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    And the Rays farm system gets even stronger. Shields would be a perfect fit. Shields for Hosmer and Montgomery.

  8. jwbiii - Oct 2, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    This was all a misunderstanding. “Front Line” is a brand of flea and tick repellant. Moore just meant they wanted to sign a starter who wouldn’t bring vermin into the clubhouse.

  9. bigleagues - Oct 2, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Totally ridiculous trade that would never happen:

    Josh Beckett, John Lackey and cash for Alex Gordon and Joakim Soria.

  10. sportsdrenched.com - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    With the shallow FA market this is not the year to chase FA pitching. Even if the Royals could make a run at a front line starter.

    A trade with the Rays, for James Shields (or anyone else like Hellickson, Price) would make me happy. Hosmer is a Royal until free agency. But I can see them trading Moustakas as part of a deal with some minor leaguers.

    Remember, prospects are just prospects. Mike Montgomery had a rough year, and John Lamb had TJ surjery. There is still a lot things that go wrong with prospects. If the Royals can trade a few for an ace pitcher that needs to happen.

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