The Royals are not done shopping for starting pitching, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter). Kansas City is “still pursuing” rotation pieces for the coming season, per the report.
It’s not immediately clear what level of arm would be of interest to the Royals, whose biggest moves this winter have been the signings of reliever Joakim Soria (three years, $25MM) and starter Chris Young (two years, $11.5MM). In addition to the staff, K.C. is looking for at least one corner outfielder and could conceivably look to improve at second base.
As things stand, Young appears set to slot in alongside Danny Duffy and Kris Medlen at the back of the rotation. Righties Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura will presumably front the staff, which lost Johnny Cueto to free agency (as was widely expected).
There are some other depth pieces, including minor league free agent Dillon Gee, but it’s not hard to see the appeal of another arm to compete this spring and provide options during the year. After all, the club will be without Jason Vargas for most or all of 2016 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. And it gave up some promising, near-MLB arms last summer in the deals that landed Cueto and Ben Zobrist (see here and here).
There are certainly still plenty of options to choose from for GM Dayton Moore and his staff. At the top of the market, Wei-Yin Chen, Yovani Gallardo, and Ian Kennedy remain unsigned, though all would cost a draft pick to add.