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With previous comments from the Royals front office, the Royals will require Major League level talent in any trade in 2012.
With the Royals’ previously stated trade-deadline plans and the assumption the Royals like the offense they have put together for the 2013 season, here are a few pitchers who could become Royals in a deal for Jeff Francoeur (purely my speculation):
Homer Bailey (8-6, 3.93ERA) – We know how Dayton Moore loves to take a chance on pitchers. Bailey can be great and can be horrible… Remind you of anyone else in the Royals rotation? Bailey is arbitration eligible in 2013, meaning team control by the Royals.
Bronson Arroyo (4-6, 4.03ERA) – A similar pitcher to Bailey, Arroyo can be great or be horrible, but he will give lots of innings. Arroyo is undercontract through 2013, with a $6.5M 2013 contract. The Reds have deferred $15M of Arroyo’s contract, spread through 2021. All the deferment becomes payable immediately if Arroyo is traded.
Sean Marshall (2-3, 2.86ERA) – The lefty reliever is having another great season, and is under contract through 2015. 2013:$4.5M, 2014:$5.5M, 2015:$6.5M. The Reds signed Marshall in February of this year, so it may be tough to pry him away from Cincinnati.
Ubaldo Jiminez (8-8, 5.09ERA) – Could Ned Yost “fix” Ubaldo? Remember 2009 and 2010? Jiminez was great. Not so much this season. Under control through 2014, Ubaldo’s contract has a 2013 team option for $5.75M and $8M in 2014. I doubt the Indians have soured on Jiminez enough to deal him for Jeff Francoeur, but who knows.
Zach McAllister (4-1, 3.17ERA) – The 24 year-old righty starter is exactly the type of talent the Royals would like to bring to the organization via trade. In 12 MLB starts, McAllister has 4 wins with a 3.95ERA. Zach was the Indians’ #6 prospect, according to Baseball America, heading into the 2012 season. Another tough sell for the Royals.
Kevin Slowey (3-3, 5.14ERA in triple-A) – A once top MLB pitching prospect with the Minnesota Twins organization, Slowey’s skills haven’t translated well to the MLB. Slowey is under team control in 2013. Slowey has a total of 90 career MLB starts (pitching in 100 total games) with a 39-29 record and a 4.66ERA.