The Kansas City Royals may have just handed one of the cornerstones of their World Series title the biggest contract in franchise history, but it doesn’t mean they’re done signing players.
The Royals might not be the richest franchise in baseball, but they’re spending powers and will are growing, with a shot at being the first team since the late 1990’s New York Yankees with three straight World Series appearances. They aren’t going to compete with teams for the most expensive players left on the market (although a lot of them are already off the board), but the $72 million they handed to Alex Gordon isn’t going to be their last deal.
One position they’re very interested in filling out is starting pitcher after Johnny Cueto signed with the New York Giants. The Royals weren’t going to compete for him and his demands, but they still need to fill that slot. They already made two pitching re-signings, giving Chris Young $11.5 million over two years and Joakim Soria $25 million over three years, knowing their strength has been their bullpen, which showed during the playoffs.
One player they’re looking at is Ian Kennedy, who has been OK for the San Diego Padres over the last two years, and has 30 starts or more six seasons in a row. He made just under $10 million last season for the Padres, and is probably looking for a three or four year deal with $13-14 million a season as salary, which sounds a bit high for the Royals. Other names mentioned are Wei-Yin Chen and Yovani Gallardo, but both players seem to be a bit out of their price range.
There’s also hope to add a right fielder, but with Gordon re-signed, the Royals won’t invest big money (by their standards) in another outfielder, and will stick to the players they already have: Paulo Orlando and Jarrod Dyson. Orlando, the 29-year old Brazilian, hit 7 home runs last season in 86 appearances while batting .249 and even got a bit on the action in the playoffs. Dyson, who has been used in different positions while playing for the Royals in the last six seasons, is a nice filler, but doesn’t bring anything special to the table.