Yesterday, the Kansas City Royals' need for a starting pitcher got a long stronger when they lost Jason Vargas for the year with a torn UCL. Today, it appears that they have identified some targets that they will consider, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
Sources: Royals considering Yovani Gallardo and Johnny Cueto, among many other options for their rotation. @FOXSports— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 23, 2015
Cueto's name has been linked to any team that needs a starting pitcher, so it isn't a surprise that the Royals would be considering him. Gallardo, on the other hand, has gained some traction as a potential option for teams that miss out on the big prizes or don't want to play the massive price tag. The 29-year-old Texas right hander has had a quietly good season with the Rangers, with a 2.91 ERA and a 7-9 record in 117.1 innings.
Advanced statistics paint a similar picture, with his HR/9 and BB/9 rate around his career averages. His FIP of 3.69 indicates that he is a getting a little bit of help from the defense behind him, but overall the numbers show that Gallardo is having a good season.
Teams may view him as a better option than a Hamels and a Cueto because of the price tag associate with him. He is a free agent at the end of the year and he's making $14 million this season. The Rangers may not want to pay him that amount of money. They could cash out on him and get some prospect back to continue their re-tooling.
The Royals would be pressed to add any upgrade for their rotation. They are already down Vargas; Yordano Ventura hasn't pitched well and they are relying on two 36-year-old pitchers to lead the way in Jeremy Guthrie and Chris Young. Gallardo would likely be an upgrade and fit right in for them. Cueto is obviously a home run but he also comes with a huge price tag.
With a huge market, and really no movement at this point, the Royals don't need to make a panic move. They can let the market establish itself and find that value move in order to upgrade their rotation for the playoff push.