People familiar with their plans say that the Royals are determined to find a significant starting pitcher for 2013 on the free-agent market.
"Not a fifth starter, but a real starting pitcher," one Royals person said this week.
There are several high-profile pitchers set to hit the open market following the 2012 season, including Milwaukee Brewers right-hander and former Royal Zack Greinke and Philadelphia Phillies southpaw Cole Hamels.
However, Knobler notes that the Royals may look to another front-of-the-rotation free agent-to-be; Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum. Knobler notes that Marcum is a Missouri native that the Royals have shown interest in before.
While KC has several top pitching prospects, most notably Jake Odorizzi and Yordano Ventura, the club knows that "they’ll need outside help," according to Knobler.
Which "real" starting pitcher should the Royals pursue this off-season?