Day one of the MLB Winter Meetings is underway in Nashville, Tennessee today and with dozens of baseball writers confined to one hotel, there are a lot of whispers getting out.
The Royals are obviously looking for pitching, and today’s rumors have focused on that goal:
- The Royals had been linked to James Shields (and other Tampa pitchers) for some time now, with Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer or Wil Myers as a potential price. The Rays came to an agreement with first baseman James Loney today, which pretty much limits the Royals to being able to dangle Myers if a deal is to happen, according to Bob Dutton. The Rays are also talking with other teams (like Washington) about Shields, so the Royals may not have a lot of leverage to bring them down from that asking price. Still, just about anyone could be fair game in a Tampa trade.
- Another option if a Rays-Royals trade doesn’t happen is R.A. Dickey. The Mets have been trying to negotiate a deal to keep the 2012 NL Cy Young winner with them for a couple years beyond 2013 (his last year on his current contract), but they haven’t made a lot of progress yet. As a result, they’re “getting serious” about trading him, and the Royals could be a fit. They haven’t gotten a lot of great offers though, apparently.
- Earlier, there was a report by Jon Heyman that the Tigers had offered Anibal Sanchez a four year $48 million deal and that he felt insulted by it. Jason Beck of MLB.com says that’s inaccurate and that Detroit is still talking with him. The Royals had interest in Sanchez before, and now are sending out messages that they have the money to go after a big name pitcher. They’ll have competition, though. For one, the Angels see Sanchez as a Zack Greinke alternative.
- The Mariners and Orioles are interested in Billy Butler, though the Orioles don’t really have the pitching the Royals want and aren’t giving up Dylan Bundy. The Mariners aren’t dealing Felix Hernandez, but they do have other young arms who are close to the big leagues and could have an impact very soon.
- The Royals are at least “kicking the tires” on Brett Myers, but he’s probably just a last ditch option.
- Joakim Soria is drawing some interest from the Angels, but he’d like to close in 2013. More and more it seems he’s not going to be returning to the Royals, or, if he does, it’ll be much later in the offseason.
- Royals manager Ned Yost is scheduled to be in the ESPN all-day chat later today at 4 p.m. Central time (5 Eastern).