Kansas City Royals: Early Prediction of 2018 Starting Rotation

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 17: Starting pitcher Jake Junis
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 17: Starting pitcher Jake Junis /
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ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 09: Andrew Cashner
ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 09: Andrew Cashner /

Out-of-House Options

It is reasonable to expect Moore to try and add some starting pitching depth to the club via free agency. While Moore will likely not spend the kind of money that Masahiro Tanaka, Alex Cobb, Jake Arrieta or Yu Darvish will command, he seems poised to bring somebody in. My expectation is a deals that is at, or below, a $10 million annual average value and on no more than a two- or three-year deal.

Here’s a few pitchers who may fit the bill:

Andrew Cashner — The Kansas City Royals have flirted with Cashner on the trade market over the past few seasons. And while he is an interesting option, he comes with some concerns. Cashner has struggled to remain healthy in the past few seasons and does not strike out a lot of batters. Still, he could be a viable option.

Jeremy HellicksonBuck Showalter has made comments that make the return of Hellickson to Baltimore seem unlikely and with good reason — he had a down year in 2017. Hellickson has been relatively reliable over the course of his entire career. Due to his recent struggles, Hellickson may be available for cheap.

Wade Miley Baltimore looks ready to buy Miley out of his current contract. Since leaving Arizona and converting to the American League, his numbers haven’t been as good. However, Miley is only 30 years old and should be well within the Royals’ price range. Kansas City could use a guy who can mentor a new wave of youngsters and eventually be traded at the deadline in a few years. He will be a guy to watch this offseason.

Jason Vargas — If all other options have been exhausted, Vargas is a guy we may see return. It’s pretty safe to assume that the team won’t extend a qualifying offer to Vargas. But due to his poor performance down the stretch in 2017, he may fit in well with the limited financial options of the Royals. In his two healthy seasons in Kansas City, Vargas rarely missed starts and ate up a ton of innings. He may be back on a two- or three-year deal.