Day two of the Winter Meetings hasn’t been very wild, but there have been a few developments and details that clear up the picture for the Royals and their quest for starting pitching.
Right now, the pitcher the Royals are most tied to is R.A. Dickey. The Mets are having trouble getting him lined up for an extension, which may signal that they’ll shift towards a trade. Yesterday, they were rumored to be asking Boston for top prospects Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. That’s a steep price. Today, they’ve been tied to a request for Wil Myers. The Royals aren’t going to do that, though. If they do work out a deal, Dickey is a free agent after this year, but wants an extension. Rany Jazayerli put together a good argument for Dickey and there is a gut feeling out there that it may not take a Myers offer to get him. I think this is something that won’t be resolved until after the meetings adjourn. The Mets are also looking for bullpen help, so the Royals may be able to help with that. Baseball Prospectus has a podcast concerning the trade value of Dickey as well as Billy Butler available.
In other news, the Royals have said that they don’t want to move someone from their major league lineup. That probably takes Billy Butler out, but perhaps also Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, et al. Things can always change, and the Royals would be smart to at least listen if a strong offer came in. The Butler to Seattle rumors and discussion have lost steam though. Seattle doesn’t have the ready-made top of the rotation guys yet anyway (maybe if it were next year’s winter meetings). The Rays may still be an option if the Royals are still looking at their overstocked rotation and Tampa is willing to deal. Dave Cameron thinks Baltimore might still be an option as a trade partner, though it may take a bit of creativity by the Royals.
One pitcher the Royals could have gotten looks to be off the market. Dan Haren has a deal in place with the Nationals for 2013 that will pay him $13 million, pending a physical. With that price tag, it’s unlikely the Royals were even in the neighborhood for his services. They are still said to be in on Brandon McCarthy, however.
On top of pitching, the Royals say they’re looking for a utility infielder. If Alcides Escobar gets hurt, they’d prefer a veteran who could play shortstop for an extended period, rather than call up Christian Colon or Alex McClure (who seemed an odd player to mention). Some names out there as free agents include Jason Bartlett, Cesar Izturis and Ronnie Cedeno.