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Kansas City Royals: 3 Starters Team Should Consider for Upgrade to Rotation

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIOctober 11, 2016

Kansas City Royals: 3 Starters Team Should Consider for Upgrade to Rotation

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    The Kansas City Royals acquired starting pitcher Ervin Santana from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday, and this marks the beginning of what appears to be a rotation overhaul for the Royals.

    General manager Dayton Moore insists that the "Royals aren't done," so fans shouldn't be surprised if the team pulls off a few more pitching acquisitions.

    That's probably a good idea by Moore, as the Royals starters last season ranked 24th in the majors with a 7.7 WAR.

    To put that figure in perspective, the 15th ranked team (New York Mets) had a 12.6 WAR and the top ranked team (Detroit Tigers) had a 20.5 WAR.

    There should be a few pitchers available via trade this offseason, but Moore may have an easier time attracting some middle of the road free agents with high upside.

    Here are three names that the Royals should consider.

Kyle Lohse

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    Kyle Lohse put together a career season for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012.

    He posted a 16-3 record, good enough for a league-leading .842 winning percentage.

    He also compiled an ERA of 2.86 over 211 innings. His WHIP of 1.09 was the lowest in his career.

    Lohse is a free agent this season after finishing out a four-year, $41 million deal with the Cardinals. At 34 years old, he's not really in line for a long-term contract.

    That being said, he could command good money considering his strong 2012 season.

    Dayton Moore could offer him a two or three-year contract worth upwards of $12 million per season (though Moore would much prefer a deal of similar length worth less dollars).

    Lohse could give the Royals a quality option every fifth game.

Scott Feldman

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    Scott Feldman was a 17-game winner back in 2009, but he hasn't been able to enjoy the same success since.

    Last season, Feldman appeared in 29 games (21 starts) for the Texas Rangers. He posted a 5-11 record with a 5.09 ERA.

    The Royals could do well to sign a guy like Feldman to a one or two-year deal, possibly with an option for an additional year.

    When Feldman is on, he can be an above average starter in the American League. He shouldn't command more than $8 million per season, especially when you consider that he's coming off a down year in 2012.

    A worst case scenario would see Feldman end up in the bullpen like he did in Texas. Though with the Royals' shortage of pitching, I don't see that happening.

Daisuke Matsuzaka

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    This would be a big risk for Moore, but Daisuke Matsuzaka really can't pitch much worse than he did in 2012.

    In his final year with the Boston Red Sox, Matsuzaka went 1-7 with a 8.28 ERA. He also posted a WHIP of 1.708.

    Matsuzaka is no longer worth his ridiculous first contract. Moore could easily pick him up for no more than $3 million per season. He may only be worth a one-year deal at this point in his career, so it's a move worth making.

    Matsuzaka could potentially get back to being a pitcher that can win 12-plus games with an ERA around 4.00.

    A pitcher like that would be a vast improvement over some other Royals starters.

    Worst case scenario, Matsuzaka underwhelms and is gone following the season.

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