Royals rumors: Dickey, Lester, Shields, Hellickson

Mike Stobe

KC still has their sights set on trading for a top-tier starting pitcher.

The Kansas City Royals are still in the market for a top-tier starter -- R.A. Dickey, Jon Lester, James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson among the potential targets -- but have different ideas about who they are willing to offer in return for each, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star:

The Royals have already added two pitchers to their rotation this offseason -- right-handers Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie -- but still want that big-name starter to anchor the rotation. The club has been tied to several of the above-named starters in the past few weeks, but nothing has come close to being completed.

The Royals' unwillingness to part with Myers does not mean they cannot work out a deal for the knuckleballer -- who is still trying to work out an extension with the Mets -- but it will probably make things much more difficult. Shields has also been tied to the swirling blockbuster trade rumors, which could potentially put any talks with the Royals on hold.

It seems strange that the Royals are willing to offer top outfield prospect Wil Myers for two years of an expensive starter like Shields but not for one year of the significantly cheaper Dickey who -- as Rany Jazayerli of Grantland points out -- just won the NL Cy Young award, but that is where the club stands at the moment.

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