Royals’ trio of relievers garnering significant interest

The Royals remain open to the idea of at least listening to offers for relievers Greg Holland and Wade Davis, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

That report comes on the heels of ESPN’s Jayson Stark reporting that the Royals have also received plenty of interest in Kelvin Herrera, the third piece of the their vaunted bullpen trio. Stark adds that some inquiring teams already view the 24-year-old Herrera as a potential closer.

As for Holland and Davis, their rising salaries make them prime trade candidates for an organization such as the Royals. Holland is projected to make more than $9 million in arbitration for next season, which would make him the Royals’ second-highest paid player behind only Alex Gordon ($14 million). The club also just picked up Davis’ $7 million option for next season.

In addition, the Royals’ lone moves so far this offseason have been to sign reliever Luke Hochevar to a two-year, $10 million deal and fellow reliever Jason Frasor to a $1.8 million contract. Though Herrera is only expected to make approximately $1.5 million in arbitration, that’s still a substantial amount of money already committed to the bullpen.

From a salary standpoint, it makes sense that the Royals would be more interested in fielding offers for Holland and Davis as opposed to Herrera. Regardless, Kansas City will understandably be asking for a significant return for any of the three relievers.

It’s unclear at this point which teams exactly have inquired about the trio, though Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun suggests that the Blue Jays are at least one team that is pursuing Holland. However, it’s likely that a number of teams will enter the mix as the Royals continue to field offers.

Though nothing seems imminent at this point, it’s certainly one of the many situations worth monitoring at this week’s Winter Meetings.

— Paul Casella

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