The Kansas City Royals enter the offseason with a few needs, and upgrading right field or second base ranks high on their list.
A reunion with Carlos Beltran, whom the team drafted in 1995, would certainly answer one of those needs. A trade with the Cincinnati Reds for Brandon Phillips would address the other. It appears that both of those options have been discussed.
Beltran, who is presumed to be in the twilight of his career, is reportedly seeking a three-year contract for his services. An outfielder who has spent his most recent years playing right field, Beltran has been one of the game's most prolific switch-hitters in history. He would bring stability to a position that the Royals have not been able to count on offensively in some time.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com noted via Twitter that the Royals are interested in Beltran but concerned they may be outbid:
Beltran is a name that some expected to be thrown around in the Kansas City offices this year, but Brandon Phillips may come as a bit of a surprise. Royals manager Ned Yost was interviewed by Jim Bowden on his SiriusXM radio show this afternoon and confirmed that the team had discussed both Beltran and Phillips. Bowden shared these thoughts via Twitter:
Ned Yost said he & Dayton Moore have talked for hours and hours including the names of Carlos Beltran, Brandon Phillips & Ervin Santana XM89— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 12, 2013
Phillips has continued to be a productive, veteran presence for the Cincinnati Reds but has seen his stock drop this season due to his outspoken nature.
Earlier this year, he complained openly about his current contract and how he felt insulted by the way it was approached. In addition, his outburst at a Cincinnati reporter before a game in St. Louis did not sit well with people in the Reds organization. The situation has lead some to believe that Phillips may be traded before the curtain rises on the 2014 season.
Either Beltran or Phillips would add a legitimate power bat to a lineup that desperately needs some offensive production. Beltran could also see time at DH, allowing him to rest his knees and prolong his career a bit. Phillips brings stellar defense as well, another sore point at second base in Kansas City.
Ultimately, the offseason is just getting started, and rumors will begin to fly. Yost acknowledging that he and Dayton Moore, the team's general manager, had conversations about both players does not suggest that a deal is close at all.
But it is enough to get Royals fans excited about the possibilities.
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