Kansas City Royals: Bargain Rotation Targets

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May 4, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of a baseball on the pitching mound before a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals need rotation help. The only starters that seem sure to produce innings are Yordano Ventura and Edinson Volquez. Behind them, the rotations is filled with questions marks like Kris Medlen, Danny Duffy, and Dillon Gee.

KC Royals general manager Dayton Moore has nosed around numerous rotation candidates, but seems frozen from making any major deal until free agent Alex Gordon makes a decision on where he will sign.

If the Kansas City Royals do sign Gordon, or another outfielder, to a significant deal, the team might have few resources to fill their rotation needs. In that case, Moore will need to root through the bargain bin to find possible rotation options.

Such a result doesn’t mean he’s doomed to failure. As KC Royals fans should remember, bargain signings like Edinson Volquez, Kris Medlen, Chris Young, and Joe Blanton produced well enough to help the Kansas City Royals take their second World Series title in franchise history. Volquez and Young were particularly effective. Edinson Volquez earned the knickname “Steady Eddie” by going 13-9 with a 3.55 ERA in 200.1 inning pitched and making 33 starts. Chris Young chipped in 18 starts and a 3.06 ERA and an 11-6 record.

While Kris Medlen also contributed 8 starts and a 4.01 ERA, the Kansas City Royals hope that he can contribute a full season in the rotation in his second year back from his second Tommy John surgery. The best-case scenario is that Medlen can recapture a bit of the dominance he showed in 2012-13 when he headlined Atlanta’s rotation, however only Chris Capuano has ever returned from two Tommy John surgeries to hold down a rotation spot for the long-term. No one really knows what to expect from Medlen this season.

Perhaps the best strategy for Dayton Moore is to add some rotation lottery tickets with upside, and hope enough of the question marks hit to form an effective rotation in 2016. Below are my favorite candidates to execute such a strategy:

Next: Cliff Lee

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