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Royals trade rumors: Team weighing starting pitching options

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The Kansas City Royals have a need for starting pitching and are considering several options.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.