If there is one weakness with the way that the Kansas City Royals are presently constructed, it may be with their starting rotation. After James Shields, the Royals have a pair of innings eaters in Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie, and then several question marks. Can Danny Duffy stay healthy? Are Luke Hochevar and/or Wade Davis able to transition back to the rotation after their success in the bullpen? Is Yordano Ventura ready for the majors?
Right now, it would seem as though the Royals could use another veteran starter to help fill out the rotation. Unfortunately, aside from the possibility of bringing back Ervin Santana, the available free agent starters are all rather underwhelming and would likely be beyond the Royals budget. David Price is the best starter potentially available on the trade front, but since the Rays are looking for more than they got for Shields in return for Price, that trade just does not make sense. So, that would mean that the Royals would need to search elsewhere for that second starter.
But where else could they turn? Perhaps they could look toward the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, who presently have six starting pitchers. While they could potentially keep Ryan Dempster in the bullpen, it may be more likely that they either attempt to trade Dempster or Jake Peavy. Of those options, Peavy may be best suited for what the Royals could seemingly need.
Despite being owed $14.5 Million with a $15 Million player option in 2015, Peavy could be the prefect fit for the rotation. The Red Sox may be willing to take on part of that salary just to free up the rotation spot. Depending on the type of prospect that the Royals are willing to part with could depend on how much of that salary the Red Sox pick up as well.
As another extreme fly ball pitcher, Jake Peavy appears to be perfectly suited for Kauffman Stadium. Even more than Guthrie and Vargas, Peavy lives by the fly ball. In the spacious grounds at Kauffman and with an excellent defense behind him, Peavy could get closer to the type of pitcher he was in San Diego. While his high strikeout days are likely behind him, Peavy could be worth the gamble, especially if the Red Sox agree to pay a portion of his salary next season.
Getting Peavy for one season would also allow Ventura and Kyle Zimmer another season in the minors to further mature and to make certain that they are ready for the majors. While Ventura could be an option in the rotation as early as this season, he may still be best suited by spending some time in Omaha. If it just so happens to save the Royals when it comes to his service time, then that is just a bonus.
If the Royals feel that they need another veteran starter, they may look to acquire a starter such as Jake Peavy. With the Red Sox options for the rotation, he may well be available and may not cost as much as the other options.