The Royals are still pushing to add a rotation arm, according to multiple reports this morning, and appear to have their sights set upon the top of the remaining free-agent market. Kansas City “seems very focused” on Ian Kennedy, Jon Heyman tweets, but is still “talking” to Yovani Gallardo as well, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
Signing either Kennedy or Gallardo would, of course, require Kansas City to part with its top draft choice. While that’s not as painful as it would be for most teams, as the Royals won’t pick until the end of the first round, it’s obviously necessary for the team to take account of that sacrifice.
The Royals were said to have interest in free agent Wei-Yin Chen, but he just agreed to terms with the Marlins. If nothing else, though, that pursuit showed the seriousness of the Royals’ efforts as well as its willingness to punt a pick. Chen’s signing also showed that there’s still hope that the other top remaining free agents can match the lofty contract expectations that led them to decline qualifying offers.
As things stand, K.C. will run out a staff fronted by Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura. The three leading candidates for the remaining slots are the recently-re-signed Chris Young along with Danny Duffy and Kris Medlen, either of whom could also function as swingmen. There’s some minor league depth, including pitchers like John Lannan, Chien-Ming Wang, and Brian Flynn, but it isn’t hard to see why the Royals would want to add another option.