The Royals were in on the Torii Hunter sweepstakes, having offered five years and $70 million, with every intention of going higher if necessary. Now that the Angels have locked him up, Jose Guillen has become the "indisputable No. 1 on the Royals’ list of off-season targets."
“Obviously, our objective remains the same,” general manager Dayton Moore said. “We do want to acquire a right-handed bat to hit in the middle of our order, and we’ll keep working through every opportunity imaginable.”
Bob Dutton thinks that losing out on Hunter could have added benefits. In addition to acquiring the cheaper Guillen, the Royals could use the Hunter money to pursue RHPs Hiroki Kuroda or Carlos Silva.
Each is seeking a four-year, $40 million deal. Added with Guillen’s asking price of three years, $30 million (though that could come down with his steroid allegations), that’s the $70 million they were offering Hunter.
Dutton also reports that the Royals have a deal in place for RHP Yasuhiko Yabuta on a two-year deal for between $5 and $6 million, with a club option for 2010. The deal should be announced once Yabuta makes his way to the States for his physical.
Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.