Are the Royals Done Acquiring Starting Pitching?


As you might have heard, the Royals acquired Jonathan Sanchez Nov. 7 from the San Francisco Giants for Melky Cabrera.

We here at Kings of Kauffman and virtually every other person that covers/blogs about the Royals has been telling you that the Royals would need to and likely would add a starting pitcher in some fashion. Well with the Sanchez deal, the Royals have now done that. But, the deal caught some of us off-guard (and by some of us I mean all of us). But it caught me off-guard in a good way. As I detailed in my previous post, the Royals were able to acquire Sanchez without giving up a single prospect.

Translation: they still have the flexibility to use coveted prospects in the system to acquire an impact arm. James Shields anyone? 

My want for Mr. Shields appears to be falling on deaf ears in the Royals front office, so I will move on from discussing that one further and focus on what’s new and relevant in the team’s offseason adventures.

Originally reported by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, but locally linked by the KC Star’s Bob Dutton —the Royals have interest in Philadelphia Phillies’ free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt.

Oswalt, 34, is looking for a long-term deal according to his agent Bob Garber. But that appears highly unlikely based on the two degenerative disks that Oswalt has in his lower back. Dayton Moore was expected to meet with Garber during the general managers’ meetings, which concluded Nov. 16. It is reasonable to surmise that Moore is doing his best to convince Garber that his client would be well-served to sign a healthy one-year deal with a club option for a potential up-and-comer that needs a wily vet to complete its pitching staff.

It’s best to assume that a deal doesn’t get made, for multiple reasons on both sides, but mainly the long-term deal aspirations of Oswalt. Then if one does, here are the reason’s you should be excited.

 My reaction to the potential of signing Oswalt was, “Hmm, I’m game…as long as it’s no more than a one year deal.”

Oswalt, when healthy, is an elite-level pitcher who is a regular at the 200 innings plateau. He also misses bats—lowest K/9 is 6.54 in 2007. He would significantly upgrade the Royals staff and make would elevate them to major contender status in the AL Central.

Bill James‘ statistical expectations for Oswalt in 2012 go as follows: 11-8, 171 IP, 7 K/9, 3.47 ERA.

Those aren’t exactly ACE numbers, but its a reasonably modest expectation for Oswalt, considering age, past success and other peripherals. Either way, it’s a stat line that Royals would pay handsomely for, as would other ball clubs.

With Oswalt, your starting rotation potentially looks like:

1. Roy Oswalt

2. Luke Hochevar

3. Jonathan Sanchez

4. Felipe Paulino

5. Danny Duffy

With Everett Teaford as a spot starter and Mike Montgomery and Jake Odorizzi as potential mid-season call ups. That rotation is by no means elite, but it’s a hell of an upgrade from 2011 and with a solid bullpen, it’s actually quite palpable.

News or no news will come out within the coming week in regards to the Royals’ prospects of landing Oswalt. If they land him for a one-year deal then they’ve done extremely well. Anything more, then it’s worrisome, but not terrible. And if they don’t land him at all, it’s still a positive sign because it shows that Dayton Moore is very much interested in adding another arm to the rotation.

I am willing to predict the Royals do get that arm they’re looking for in the rotation…I just wouldn’t hold my breath on it being Oswalt.