The Kansas City Royals have actually been one of the busiest teams (and involved in a good number of rumors) this off-season and look like they're serious -- if unconventionally so -- about starting that run we've been hearing about since Dayton Moore's arrival.
They've been mentioned around Jair Jurrjens, but the cost of prospect Lorenzo Cain was too high. Instead, they moved Melky Cabrera to the Giants in exchange for Jonathan Sanchez, finding both a starter and opening a spot for Cain to move into. Since then, they've resigned their best pitcher over the past two years, Bruce Chen, and today, they signed Jonathan Broxton which gives them flexibility to move Joakim Soria and/or move Aaron Crow to the rotation. All-in-all, productive...which brings us to now.
Bob Dutton is floating the theory/rumor that the Royals have balked at the cost (salary/prospects) of acquiring an additional starter and have instead chosen the mystical "killer bullpen" strategy, which looks an awful lot like "acquire pieces to move at the deadline" to a bystander.
Now we're hearing through Dutton that the additional flexibility Kansas City has with its bullpen has teams inquiring about one of their best relief arms, Greg Holland (see the first two links below).
A full set of the latest Royals rumors, news, and analysis follows:
- Greg Holland Sweepstakes? - @Royals_Report
"Hearing Toronto interested in Holland (not Soria) from #Royals. Other clubs, too, but Royals are not inclined to deal unless overwhelmed."
- ...but stakes will be high. - @Royals_Report
"Want to be clear: Many teams interested in #Royals RHP Greg Holland, but Royals show no inclination to move him unless overwhelmed."
- Kansas City Royals to Sign Jonathan Broxton - MLB Daily Dish
Several sources are confirming that the Royals have signed Jonathan Broxton, which has all sorts of implications...Crow to the rotation? Soria available via trade?
- Royals Add Jonathan Broxton, Flexibility - FanGraphs Baseball
"The idea of the super-bullpen — much like the one which nearly led the 2010 Padres to a playoff appearance despite a dearth of hitting talent — has already occurred to the Royals brass. With Broxton in tow, the Royals have a back end of Greg Holland, Broxton, and Joakim Soria, one that stacks up as well as any in the league in terms of potential."
- The Killer Bullpen Theory - @Royals_Report
"Hearing #Royals believe price of adding impact starter is too high and now looking to build killer bullpen."
- Is Starting Aaron Crow a Good Idea? - FanGraphs Baseball
"Of course, it makes some sense to try Aaron Crow as a starter. He was drafted in 2009 as a starter out of Missouri in the first round, and he started all the way through the minors until he made the bullpen out of spring training last year. In terms of how long ago he was a starter, Crow is the most ‘ready’ to start. That still doesn’t mean that he’s a great option."
- For Want Of A Pitcher: Bruce Chen - Rany Jazayerli
"The Royals didn’t just commit money to Chen; they also committed a roster slot, and if they’re going to genuinely upgrade their rotation, they’re running out of places to do so. Chen will be in the rotation, along with Hochevar, Jonathan Sanchez, Felipe Paulino, and Danny Duffy. As it stands, the Royals’ rotation is complete; if the Royals do manage to acquire a truly above-average starter, one of those guys is going to lose their job."