The Kansas City Royals are looking to add a starting pitcher who can instantly move to the front of the rotation, possibly someone who could be a true ace. To do so, though, they would likely have to give up a young prospect. The question is whether it is worth it to do so, and whether the Royals can afford a front of the line starting pitcher.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star thinks the team could dangle outfield prospect Will Meyers as trade bait for a starting pitcher. He says the team is looking for a pitcher who can take over at the front of the rotation - someone like James Shields or Jon Lester. However, the Royals would have to find a way to get their desired pitcher without blowing too much on payroll.
Should the Royals target another pitcher, it would make for an interesting rotation. They acquired Ervin Santana in a trade, but as I wrote here, I'm not sure he is 100% healthy. Kansas City can't afford more injuries to their pitchers, so they would have to go after someone who is a proven innings eater. James Shields and Jon Lester both fit that bill.
Shields has thrown more than 200 innings in every season since his rookie year. He has proven himself to be one of the best pitchers in the league, and he would slide right into the role of ace with the Royals. Shields has a career 3.89 ERA over seven seasons.
Lester has pitched 200 or more innings in four of his last five seasons, and the one season he didn't hit 200, he still pitched over 190 innings. Lester struggled in 2012, but much of that could have been due to the environment in which he was pitching. In his career, he has a 3.76 ERA.
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