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Royals rumors: KC in trade talks for Jon Lester, James Shields

The Royals are in talks to trade top prospect Wil Myers for a front-line starter.

J. Meric

The Kansas City Royals are in trade talks with the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays about exchanging top outfield prospect Wil Myers for front-line pitchers Jon Lester and James Shields, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star:

Is outfield prospect Wil Myers worth a veteran pitcher who would instantly go to the front of the Royals’ rotation, such as Tampa Bay’s James Shields or Boston’s Jon Lester?...

While the Royals are reluctant to deal him, it appears doing so could net either Shields or Lester, each of whom was an All-Star as recently as 2011…

Both deals have been discussed, but neither appears close at the moment. Other players could be involved, but the basic framework would be Myers for one of the two pitchers. At this point, all sides — the Royals, Rays and Red Sox — remain hesitant.

While Myers has no big-league service time under his belt, both Lester and Shields will be free agents at the end of the 2014 season. If the Royals were to complete a trade for either player, they would essentially be valuing two seasons of Lester or Shields as comparable to six seasons of Myers.

Rob Bradford of WEEI confirms Dutton’s report and adds that the Red Sox have also discussed the deal’s opposite, sending outfield help to Kansas City in return for pitching.

After a knee infection slowed his progress some in 2011, the 21-year-old Myers destroyed minor-league pitching this past season at Double- and Triple-A, hitting .314/.387/.600 with 37 home runs in 134 games.