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Royals rumors: Jeff Francoeur, Luke Hochevar

KC could still trade either of the struggling pair, but they will not likely just dump their salaries.

Jared Wickerham

The Kansas City Royals could trade outfielder Jeff Francoeur and/or Luke Hochevar prior to next season, but the team is unwilling to just drop either player, speculates Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star:

Francoeur, 28, is currently penciled in as KC's starting right fielder for 2013. The rocket-armed outfielder shined in his inaugural season with the club in 2011 but was terrible this past season, hitting just .235/.287/.378 with 16 home runs in 148 games. Many fans were calling for the club to drop Francoeur in favor of top prospect Wil Myers, but now that Myers is with the Tampa Bay Rays, Frenchy's spot in the outfield is probably safe for now.

Hochevar, 29, has been a full-time member of the Royals' rotation the last two years. The right-hander has been nothing short of awful in that time, posting a 5.19 ERA and 1.2 HR/9 rate. Despite his struggles, KC opted to tender the former No. 1 pick a contract for next season. His spot in the rotation may have disappeared, however, with the acquisition of James Shields and Wade Davis last month.

Francoeur is owed $7.5 million in 2013 while Hochevar -- a Super Two player -- will likely command about $4 million. If the Royals want to trade either player, they will likely have to eat some of their salary to get anything of value in return in light of their recent struggles.