Monday Morning Royals Roundup

On the eve of the Winter Meetings, the biggest baseball buzz in Kansas City centers around the pitching staff – and, in particular, ace Zack Greinke.

According to the latest rumors, General Manager Dayton Moore is not opposed to trading Greinke this off-season, and in fact seems to be fielding offers from a handful of interested teams, including the Texas Rangers and, most recently added to the rumor mill, the Toronto Blue Jays.

According to Ken Rosenthal over at Fox Sports, Greinke is apparently willing to waive his no-trade clause, which, Rosenthal reports, is made up of 15 teams (including the Blue Jays).

Rosenthal says the Jays could possibly get the deal done if they part with “right-hander Kyle Drabek, outfielder Travis Snyder and another minor leaguer or two.” That deal could be attractive to Dayton Moore, who is apparently hoping for a starter to replace Greinke in the rotation and a corner outfielder to replace David DeJesus.

The Kansas City Star on Sunday also broke down the Greinke situation as it pertains to the upcoming Winter Meetings.

But Greinke is not the only Royals pitcher to make headlines this week. Dayton Moore also told the Kansas City Star that he’s considering internal options first if rotation spots open up.

If the 2011 season started tomorrow, the Royals’ rotation would probably look like this: Greinke, Luke Hochevar, Kyle Davies, newly acquired Vin Mazzaro and Sean O’Sullivan. Greinke (if he stays) and Hochevar are locks, and Davies is an innings-eater and a known commodity. Mazzaro is untested, though, and O’Sullivan was unimpressive in a handful of starts last year after being acquired in the Alberto Callaspo trade from Anaheim. Mazzaro and O’Sullivan both have minor league options remaining, so their job in the rotation is by no means guaranteed. Moore mentioned minor leaguers Everett Teaford (who won more games than anyone else in the organization in 2010) and Danny Duffy as possible replacements. Look for some stiff competition in Spring Training next year.

That being said, the Royals are still linked to free agent starter Kevin Millwood – although Moore downplayed the possibility of a signing.

Elsewhere on the diamond, the Royals inked contracts with catcher Brayan Pena and infielder Wilson Betemit, both of whom should have a significant chance to win a starting position next year, and decided to go to arbitration with Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Hochevar, Davies and Robinson Tejeda.

Speaking of Tejeda, the reliever name came up this week as a possible trade chip. Tejeda pitched well in 2010 as closer Joakim Soria’s primary setup man. Moore has been willing to trade relievers in the past, but with limited success: he traded then-setup man Leo Nunez to Florida for Mike Jacobs, and (again) then-setup man Ramon Ramirez to Boston for Coco Crisp. Both of those trades were busts for the Royals and steals for the Marlins and Red Sox.

Elsewhere on the Web:

  • Will McDonald over at Royals Review says he should have appreciated Brian Bannister more while he was here.
  • Rany On The Royals makes an argument that Carl Crawford would be a great fit in Kansas City.
  • Right here on I-70 Baseball, Bill Ivie makes a pitch for Buck O’Neil to be in the Hall of Fame. My opinion? Buck O’Neil is too good for Cooperstown. The Hall of Fame could have honored O’Neil before he died, but they chose not to. To go back now and induct him would be insulting. The Baseball Hall of Fame doesn’t deserve Buck O’Neil.

Matt Kelsey is a Royals writer and the content editor for I-70 Baseball. He can be reached at mattkelsey14@yahoo.com.

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