Jon Lester Coveted By Royals, Who May Be Willing to Give Up Top Prospect to Acquire Pitching

The Royals have already landed former Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana and kept Jeremy Guthrie in house for three more seasons — and they’re looking to add even more pitching.

Jon Lester and James Shields are two names that have popped up in Royals internal discussions, according to Kansas City Star reporter Bob Dutton. Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore wants to add one more piece to his rotation this winter, but by the same token the team would rather trade prospects than pieces off its major league roster.

The first piece that any talent evaluator is going to inquire the Royals about is outfield prospect Wil Myers, who had a .987 OPS last year between Double- and Triple-A. The 21-year-old was Baseball America’s minor league player of the year for 2012.

Although potential deals for both Shields and Lester have both been discussed, nothing appears imminent at this time. Another obstacle is the fact that the Royals would need to clear about $8 million in payroll to have room in their budget for either pitcher.

Though an All Star in 2011, Lester had a down year in 2012 for Boston, going 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA.

Click here to see where Myers fits among 2013’s Top 10 prospects >>

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