The Royals are among the teams with “strong interest” in free agent starter Ian Kennedy, according to Jon Heyman (Twitter links). Kansas City is expected to try to “make [a] push” to land the righty now that Alex Gordon is under contract to return, per the report.
All of those pitchers declined qualifying offers at the outset of the offseason. Signing any one of them, then, would require the Royals to part with the club’s first overall selection after already giving up the chance to add an extra pick by bringing back Gordon. Of course, fresh off a World Series victory, the choice will not end up being near the top of the first round.
The Royals may also spend some time exploring the possibility of a re-worked deal with backstop Salvador Perez, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports adds on Twitter. We’ve heard chatter before that this could be considered, but the enormously team-friendly deal that he’s bound by also doesn’t leave much motivation for a deal. The large-framed, heavily-used backstop can already be controlled through 2019 (his age-29 season) via a series of options. That makes it seem unlikely, at least from an outside perspective, that he’ll be able to achieve much more than a few guaranteed years — likely at the price of surrendering yet more options at the back end.