Kansas City Royals: Bargain Rotation Targets

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Jul 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee (33) pitches during the first inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Cliff Lee

Former Phillies and Indians ace Cliff Lee is 37 years old, but he put up a 3.65 ERA and a 2.96 FIP before getting shut down with inflammation in his left (throwing) forearm and discomfort in his elbow. According to  Philadelphia team physician Dr. Michael Ciccotti, Lee had a partial tendon tear in his forearm but has attempted to deal with it through rest and rehabilitation rather than surgery.

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Lee is currently throwing and intends to pitch in the 2016 season. In terms of bargain hunting, Lee might still qualify despite widespread interest in the former Phillies ace, because he will likely have to accept an incentive-laden, one-year deal.

The upside is that Lee is an ace when healthy. Given that pitchers such as Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka have nursed full seasons out of arms with partial ulnar collateral ligament injuries, you could get lucky with Lee and have a top-of-the-rotation guy for a mid-rotation (or less) price.

I covered the possibility of the Kansas City Royals chasing after Lee a little over a week ago, and I still think Dayton Moore needs to consider the move. At the very least, the KC Royals need to monitor his market and attend any workout he might hold for interested teams.

Next: Tim Lincecum