Trade rumors keep swirling around the Kansas City Royals—and the interesting part is they are getting connected to starting pitching. The latest trade winds have the Royals nosing around National League starters Bartolo Colon and A.J Burnett, according to Andy Martino of the NY Daily News.
The sticking point, however, seems the money. The Royals would be on the hook for a pro-rated portion of Colon’s $9 million this season and $11 million guaranteed next year.
Meanwhile, Burnett is making $7.5 million this year, with what will likely end up being a $12.5 million player option next year. The Mets are reportedly willing to kick in no more than $2 million on Colon’s salary to move him.
The Mets Colon has been the more effective of the two, but Colon is also a ripe 41-years-old. Despite his advancing years, Colon has enjoyed something of a career resurgence the last couple of seasons.
Colon logged 190.1 innings for the A’s in 2013 with an outstanding ERA of 3.23. Colon has followed up with a solid 10-8, 3.88 ERA year in NY so far this season.
Colon and A.J. Burnett are not the the only starters the Royals have been linked to in the past few days. Only this morning, rumors of Kansas City’s interest in Boston’s John Lackey hit the web and earlier in the week the Royals were said to be interested in Arizona starter Ian Kennedy.
The persistent noise around starters makes me wonder if Jason Vargas‘ recovery has hit a snag. Otherwise, Kansas City’s pursuit of pitchers doesn’t make much sense.
Right now, the Royals rank 6th in the A.L. in starter ERA at 3.88. All five slots in the rotation have produced, until recently when Jason Vargas went down due to an emergency appendectomy and was replaced with Bruce Chen.
Keep checking KC Kingdom for more trade rumors as the July 31 deadline approaches.