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Do Royals have interest in Fowler?

Could the Royals really be interested in Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler as the Denver Post suggests?

Well, the Royals are looking for an impact bat but that didn’t seem to be Fowler’s profile this year when he hit .263 and had 12 homers but none after July 28. Of course, he was limited to 119 games by hand and knee injuries. His 2012 figures were much more promising: .300 with 13 homers and 53 RBIs.

Fowler has speed, defense and power potential going for him but not consistency and he wouldn’t come cheap. He’s signed for $7.35 million in 2014. Besides, the Royals seem happy with center fielder Lorenzo Cain and backup Jarrod Dyson.

The Rockies want pitching and the Royals are flush with bullpen talent so that could be a bargaining chip with almost any club.

Dick Kaegel.

Santana reportedly gazing at $100 million

Pitcher Ervin Santana’s foray into the free agent world might be way out of the galaxy for the Royals.

According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Santana is seeking a five-year deal at $100 million. That obviously doesn’t mesh with Royals general manager Dayton Moore’s statement that he’s not likely to give older players a rich, long-term contract.

If nothing else, the Royals will get a compensatory round Draft choice if Santana signs elsewhere because they made him a qualifying one-year offer of $14.1 million. That’s a long way from five years and a hundred mil.

–Dick Kaegel.

Royals’ interest in R.A. Dickey reported

Could the Royals be in the hunt for the National League Cy Young Award winner?

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes that the Royals have discussed knuckleballer R.A. Dickey with the Mets as they continue efforts to upgrade the rotation. They’ve already traded for Ervin Santana from the Angels and re-signed Jeremy Guthrie.

Dickey is 38 but has a 2013 contract for $5 million that would be affordable for the Royals. But it’d loom as a one-year deal because Dickey would be a free agent in 2014.

There’s that 20-6 record, that 2.73 ERA and those 230 strikeouts to consider, however. For his part, Dickey has said he wants to remain with the Mets.

Earlier, the Royals have been reported interested in James Shields of the Rays and Jon Lester of the Red Sox.

– Dick Kaegel.

Royals’ Broxton drawing interest

The San Francisco Giants have “serious interest” in Royals closer Jonathan Broxton, ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden said on Twitter on Sunday.

ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick added, also on Twitter on Sunday, that “chances are ’60-70′ percent he’ll move” before the Trade Deadline on Tuesday.

Broxton has been solid, for the most part, this season in Kansas City. He was signed in the offseason to be the team’s setup man, but closer Joakim Soria went down for the year before the season started. Broxton has stepped in as closer and picked up 23 saves. In 35 appearances, he’s 1-2 with a 2.27 ERA in 35 2/3 innings pitched.

The Royals have struggled in July, and there haven’t been many opportunities for Broxton to close out games. He’s appeared just five times this month, picking up three saves and blowing one.

– Vinnie Duber

Pirates propose trade for Butler

How would KC fans react to this deal?

If you thought Royals fans were upset about Billy Butler not being in the Home Run Derby, think how they’d react if their All-Star was traded for a Triple-A pitcher.

That’s the deal proposed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to John Perrotto of InsidePittsburghSports.com. He cited sources saying that Pirates general manager Neal Huntington offered Indianapolis left-hander Justin Wilson for Butler.

Wilson, who is 7-4 with a 4.25 ERA in 20 International League starts, is not a premier prospect according to Perrotto but his fastball has been clocked at 99 mph and the Bucs are trying to sell the Royals on the idea that the lefty could be their long-term closer.

Butler, of course, is being sought as a first baseman by the National League club. Casey McGehee is the current first sacker.

Dick Kaegel

Royals ask Cubs about Garza

Despite their woeful record, the Royals could be looking to add pieces at the Trade Deadline, hoping to turn them into big pickups for next year’s campaign.

According to Danny Knobler over at CBSSports.com, the Royals have asked the Cubs about the availability of starting pitcher Matt Garza.

Garza has made 17 starts for the Cubs this season, holding a 5-7 record and a 4.02 ERA. He’s struck out 93 batters in 100 2/3 innings pitched.

There’s no doubt that the Royals could use starting pitching, a fact that’s been true most of this season but highlighted recently by back-to-back rough outings by Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo.

Sanchez was designated for assignment Tuesday after allowing seven runs in 1 1/3 innings Monday against the Mariners. He had won just one game on the season and had a gigantic ERA of 7.76 in 12 starts.

Verdugo was called up for an emergency spot start Tuesday but didn’t fare much better than Sanchez, surrendering six runs to Seattle in 1 2/3 innings.

Additionally, Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino are both out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and they’re not expected back until the middle of next season.

– Vinnie Duber

Royals search for a situational left-hander for ‘pen

Not much cooking for the Royals as Tuesday’s second day of the Winter Meetings wound down.

“It’s been slow, it really has,” general manager Dayton Moore said.

A search for a situational left-handed reliever isn’t likely to be resolved through a free-agent signing.

“I think it’s going to have to come through a trade or within, from the guys we currently have on the roster, whether it be Tim Collins or Everett Teaford or Ryan Verdugo or Aaron Laffey. Those are guys who are going to get long looks in Spring Training,” Moore said. “Every single one of those pitchers has options so if we acquire somebody who gives us more depth or is more of lock at the Major League level it’s something we would look at. But, as I’ve said, it’s not an easy ‘get.’ “

The Royals haven’t been shy in contacting other clubs about possibilities for deals. “We’ve talked to basically all of them – either myself or one of our people have touched base with everybody,” Moore said.

–Dick Kaegel.

Report: Royals to meet with Oswalt’s agent

In the market for starting pitchers, the Royals are taking a look at free-agent Roy Oswalt and are expected to meet with his agent during the General Managers Meetings going on in Milwaukee, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick.

Oswalt was 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA for the Phillies last season but was limited to 23 starts by back problems. Despite that, the 34-year-old right-hander’s agent, Bob Garber, is looking for a long-term deal.

That probably wouldn’t be a logical move for the Royals who are trying to avoid long-term commitments to veterans who might not fit in the optimistic future of a very young club. But general manager Dayton Moore has made it clear that he’s willing to explore all possibilities.

The Yankees, Nationals and Diamondbacks reportedly have interest in Oswalt. Garber also represents free agent starter C.J. Wilson but he seems  far out of the Royals’ price range.

–Dick Kaegel.

After Aviles swap, nothing more appears in KC sights

With the trade of infielder Mike Aviles to the Red Sox, the Royals have moved both of the third baseman that started the season as alternating regulars. Earlier, Wilson Betemet was dealt to the Tigers.

With less than 24 hours to go to the Trade Deadline, general manager Dayton Moore said he had no other deals pending. As he duly noted, something could pop up but apparently nothing more was in the Royals’ sights as the countdown headed for the final hours.

–Dick Kaegel

Royals would demand major return for Soria

Now that the Royals have cracked the Trade Deadline  by dealing third baseman Wilson Betemit, can something else be in the works? Like a deal for closer Joakim Soria?

Not very likely, according to what general manager Dayton Moore told the Kansas City Star as he tempered a suggestion he made on MLB Network Radio that the asking price for Soria would be two impact starting pitchers, one ready now and one by 2013. Moore told the newspaper he was only suggesting any trade for Soria would command “a heavy price.” Certainly the Royals’ prime need is starting pitchers but that doesn’t make them any different from most clubs.

Just a couple of days ago, Moore told MLB.com he was rather happy with the makeup of his current club including such younger veteran outfielders as Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera, who might attract interest. He didn’t seem like an overly eager “seller.”

The Betemit deal, though, made sense because with Mike Moustakas taking over third base, there was no spot for him.
–Dick Kaegel

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