Kansas City Royals: Five Realistic Starting Pitcher Free Agent Targets

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 5: Starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 5: Starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 24: Jaime Garcia
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 24: Jaime Garcia /

Will the Kansas City Royals look to add a starting pitcher this winter? It’s one of many unanswerable questions right now. If the team does, here are a few players the front office could target.

The Kansas City Royals will likely see Jason Vargas head elsewhere during free agency. While there are plenty of in-house options for the organization, it’s possible Dayton Moore looks for some outside help to give the starting rotation some depth.

There are plenty of great pitchers who will be on the market this offseason. The Kansas City Royals will not be landing any of them. Jake Arrieta? Not a chance. Masahiro Tanaka? If he opts out, he’s not coming here. Yu Darvish? No way.

There are plenty of other arms available the team could look to add, though. Some are aging veterans who are likely to take a cheap one- or-two-year deal in hopes of getting one last big payday before riding off into the sunset. Others are a little bit younger guys who, for one reason or another, have struggled to reach their potential.

For years, the Kansas City Royals’ philosophy when it came to free agent pitchers was buy-low. Plenty of woebegone hurlers have come to the franchise and helped turn their careers around. Vargas is just the latest example. Wade Davis did it, although he achieved it through the bullpen. Ervin Santana, who started the AL Wild Card Game this year, used his one year in Kansas City to get right. And many others before that.

To be clear, these are not options fans should necessarily be excited about. Some of these pitchers would be upgrades; others maybe not. But given the turbulent offseason ahead — and the likely few resources the team will put towards bolstering the rotation — these are some realistic starting pitching options the Kansas City Royals could add for 2018.