Found August 28, 2013 on Fox Sports Kansas City:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When this season is put to rest and general manager Dayton Moore and the front office evaluate what's missing from the Royals, it shouldn't take them long to determine the team's primary need: More offense. The Royals obviously need another weapon on offense, perhaps even two. If the Royals get lucky, and Emilio Bonifacio successfully passes his audition at second base, Moore and Co. may not have to beg owner David Glass for a ton of money to go free-agent shopping. If Bonifacio becomes the player he was two years ago with the Marlins, it's possible that Moore will have to fill only the hole in right field. That would be especially comforting because the free-agent market for second basemen is frightfully thin, unless you think Robinson Cano is aching to play in Kansas City or that Glass would be willing to throw 30 million a year Cano's way. Chase Utley, the other coveted second baseman, is no longer on the market after signing a contract extension with the Phillies. The rest of the potential second baseman crop: Mark Ellis, Alexi Casilla, Mike Fontenot, Omar Infante, Kelly Johnson, Nick Punto, Ryan Raburn, Ramon Santiago and Skip Schumaker. Not all that appealing. The free-agent class for outfielders in 2014 is better, though predictably it will cost plenty to land a star. Here are some of the potentially available outfielders: Carlos Beltran Beltran is 36 but has indicated he wants to play another three or four years, perhaps to build his case for the Hall of Fame. He remains in great shape and a return to Kansas City, where he started, would make for a huge off-season splash around here. He's coming off a two-year, 26 million deal with the Cardinals, so it might not take much more than that to lure him back. And now that the Royals seem on the verge of contending, he might be interested. Jacoby Ellsbury Prying him away from the Red Sox seems highly unlikely. Ellsbury, 29, is making 9 million in his final year of arbitration this season but should command double that in a multi-year deal. He stole 70 bases in 2009 and has 47 this year with a .351 on-base percentage. He would be everything the Royals dreamed of at the top of the batting order. But getting ownership to commit that much money is likely a dream, too, especially if the Royals have any visions of re-signing Ervin Santana. Hunter Pence A very popular player in San Francisco, Pence, 30, is not only a proven player on the field, but also a vocal leader in the clubhouse -- definitely Moore's type of player. It's surprising that the Giants haven't anted up and locked Pence in yet. He is making 13.8 million in his final year of arbitration this year and so again, the price would be steep, likely too high for the Royals. But he'd be worth the investment: He's an excellent defender and is hitting .278 with 16 homers, 66 RBIs and 19 steals this year. If the Giants tender him, any suitor would have to give up a first-round draft pick, too -- if that suitor has a record among the top 20 in baseball, which the Royals will (we think). Curtis Granderson OK, another dream. It's unlikely that the Yankees will let him walk and they'll at least tender him an offer, projected to be around 13.8 million. But he is coming off an injury-filled 2013 -- he suffered a fractured forearm after being hit by a pitch and he just returned to the Yanks this month. He also will be 33 in March. Hmmm. He hit 43 homers last year and 41 the year before, though those numbers would diminish playing at Kauffman Stadium. He certainly would fill a two-year gap while the Royals wait on outfield prospect Jorge Bonifacio to emerge. Michael Morse This would classify as bargain shopping. Morse has missed much of this season with the Mariners due to a quad strain. But we know he has big-time power -- he hit 31 homers and drove in 95 runs for the Nationals two years ago. In just 76 games this year he has 13 homers and 27 RBIs. He's 31 and will make a budget-friendly 6.75 million this year. He won't command that much more on the open market. Definitely within the Royals' financial reach. Corey Hart Another potential bargain. Hart will have missed the entire 2012 season for the Brewers going into free agency after having surgery on both knees. He just finished a three-year, 26.5 million deal but won't command anything near that after being out of baseball for a year. Before the surgery, he did demonstrate power -- he hit 30 homers in 2012, and in 2010 he had 31 homers and 102 RBIs. It's the type of risk the Royals could manage financially, and the reward could be great for two years. You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at jeffreyflanagan6@gmail.com.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Royals Front Office too slow to accept the obvious

by John Viril— The Kansas City Royals finally bit the bullet and moved struggling started Wade Davis to the bullpen. Davis and reliever Louis Coleman were optioned to Omaha on Wednesday, while Danny Duffy and Luke Hochevar were recalled to Kansas City. Duffy will finally take Davis’ place in the rotation. It’s about time. Wade Davis has been nothing short of awful as a starter...

The Kansas City Royals Did Not Lose The Trade

The Kansas City Royals trounced the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday. We got to watch Wil Myers play. Which brings up the one thing that will always be associated with Myers to baseball fans and especially KC baseball fans. The trade. The common wisdom about the James Shields for Wil Myers trade was that The Royals were making a huge mistake. Without any of the players yet to have played...

Kansas City Royals: A Decade Of Hits And Misses In The 1st Round

The Kansas City Royals have had a very strong 2013 season as the organization continues to build towards being competitive for the first time in…well a while. General Manager Dayton Moore has done a very good job at keeping the organization on track since he took over in 2006 and has taken advantage of some of Kansas’s horrendous seasons by applying a safe but logical drafting...

Royals' Moore still says: 'We're ahead of schedule'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Playoff talk has subsided in these parts, thanks to the Royals' recent seven-game losing streak. And the adjusted goal for the Royals appears to be finishing over .500 for the first time in 10 years. But Royals general manager Dayton Moore still believes a corner has been turned, though he knows disappointed fans aren't in the mood for consolation prizes...

Recap: Perez homers twice, leads Duffy, Royals past Twins 8-1

MINNEAPOLIS -- Salvador Perez had four hits and two home runs, Danny Duffy pitched 6 23 shutout innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 8-1 Wednesday night. Perez hit two-run homers in the fourth and eighth innings to power the Royals to their fourth straight win. Duffy (2-0) was called up from Triple-A before the game and replaced the struggling Wade Davis...

Royals' Mike Moustakas sidelined by strep throat

Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was once again out of the team's starting lineup today as he continues to recover from a case of strep throat. Manager Ned Yost told reporters -- including Dick Kaegel of MLB.com -- that he expected Moustakas to return to the lineup at some point this weekend when the team takes on the Toronto Blue Jays. "He looks better...

Perez homers twice, leads Duffy, Royals past Twins

Salvador Perez had four hits and two home runs, Danny Duffy pitched 6 2-3 shutout innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 8-1 Wednesday night. Perez hit two-run homers in the fourth and eighth innings to power the Royals to their fourth straight win. Duffy (2-0) was called up from Triple-A before the game and replaced the struggling Wade Davis in the rotation...

Preview: Royals send Chen to the mound looking for sweep of Twins

Salvador Perez is on a tear of late, and that's also true of his career against the Minnesota Twins. The All-Star catcher looks to continue his offensive barrage as the visiting Kansas City Royals try to maintain their recent dominance of the punchless Twins on Thursday. Perez is 11 for 22 with four homers and 13 RBIs over his past five games, leading the Royals (68-64) to...

Preview: Yost making moves to keep Royals in contention

The odds are stacked against the Kansas City Royals in their pursuit of a playoff berth, but that hasn't stopped manager Ned Yost from planning ahead. With the postseason in mind, Yost sent the struggling Wade Davis to the bullpen and will call up Danny Duffy to start Wednesday night's contest against the Minnesota Twins as visiting Kansas City seeks a fourth straight victory...

Red Sox Make Odd Trade For OF Quintin Berry

We're not exactly sure what it means, but the Red Sox consummated a trade today—acquiring outfielder Quintin Berry from the Kansas City Royals for Clayton Mortensen. Berry's only MLB experience came in 2012 with the Tigers—hitting .258 in 94 games for Detroit. Berry had been designated for assignment by the Royals in June. Your guess is as good as ours!

Perez’s two HRs back Duffy’s shutdown effort as Royals beat Twins 8-1

What Danny Duffy gave the Royals earlier this month in a spot start in Detroit he delivered with even greater emphasis Wednesday night in a 8-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Duffy was dominant and at times electric and virtually unhittable. He often flashed those qualities in the past before elbow surgery — the non-iconic Tommy John procedure — put everything on hold. ...

Twins, Samuel Deduno look to slow Royals

Salvador Perez is on a tear of late, and that's also true of his career against the Minnesota Twins. The All-Star catcher looks to continue his offensive barrage as the visiting Kansas City Royals try to maintain their recent dominance of the punchless Twins on Thursday. Perez is 11 for 22 with four homers and 13 RBIs over his past five games, leading the Royals (68-64) to...

Royals’ five-run eighth leads to 6-1 victory over Twins

For seven innings Tuesday night the Royals played to their most infuriating form by threatening to waste a shutdown effort from James Shields by squandering a bushel of scoring opportunities. That all changed in a five-run eighth inning that produced a 6-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on a steamy night at Target Field. That makes three straight victories since the Royals ended...

Royals-Blue Jays Preview

Although a sizzling stretch for Billy Butler has ended, he may be able to get back on track against Mark Buehrle as the Kansas City Royals try to boost their slim postseason hopes. The Kansas City slugger has enjoyed success against Buehrle in the past, but the Toronto Blue Jays starter has won five straight decisions as he seeks to help end the Royals' five-game win streak...

Royals complete three-game sweep with 3-1 victory over Twins

That streak-o-meter is pointing northward again for the Royals after they completed a three-game sweep over the Minnesota Twins with a 3-1 victory on a steamy Thursday afternoon at Target Field. That makes five victories in a row after a seven-game skid. That was part of a 2-10 slide that followed a 19-5 sprint once play resumed after the All-Star break. (And they lost five in a...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.