A couple of weeks ago, word got out that the Kansas City Royals are looking to make upgrades on both their rotation and the bullpen before the trade deadline later this month. With Nate Karns still on the sidelines and without a clear timetable for a return, this seems like a logical move for the Royals.
But who will they pursue?
Well, according to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman, the Royals are keeping an eye on Atlanta Braves pitcher Jaime Garcia and other rental pitchers.
Garcia's numbers are actually pretty average this season. He currently has a 3–7 record, and he has posted an earned run average (ERA) of 4.33 with a 1.33 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) in 17 starts. He also has 81 strikeouts in 106 innings pitched.
The Royals can't go after the likes of Sonny Gray and Brad Hand because of their financial situation and limited assets, but Garcia is a legitimate option.
"Garcia has a chance to thrive under the watch of Royals manager Ned Yost and pitching coach Dave Eiland, who have a tendency to pull their starters at the first sign of trouble and let the bullpen finish the job," Patrick Karraker said in his report for MLB Daily Dish.
"Since he's a pending free agent and has slightly underperformed this season, Garcia likely won't command more than a mid-level prospect or two in a trade. Kansas City has plenty of those, so they should be able to work out a deal if he's indeed at the top of their starting pitcher wish list," he added.
The Royals' odds of making the playoffs are actually quite good right now. With a 45–45 win-loss record, the team is just two games behind the American League (AL) Central leading Cleveland Indians, and they are also two games behind the New York Yankees for the second wild-card spot in American League (AL).
Despite his struggles, Garcia has always been a solid contributor. He will be a welcome addition to the club as they continue to make a playoff push.