Royals GM will look ‘internally first’ when replacing Ventura

Posted: 31/01/2017 in MLB, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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While the Kansas City Royals continue to mourn the death of Yordano Ventura, general manager Dayton Moore is assessing his club and how to fill the void left behind by the right-hander.

Moore has no easy task ahead of him given Ventura’s loss. The emerging star sat atop the Royals’ rotation the past three seasons, averaging 30 starts and 177 innings over that time. At just 25 years old, he was the Royals’ ace, and under a team-friendly deal that kept him under club control through the 2021 season.

Now, with just two weeks to go before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, Moore knows his options are limited. The free-agent pitching market has been picked through, and the club has limited funds available.

“We will look internally first,” Moore told Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com.

“We certainly need some of our young players to step up. The truth is, this is an enormous hole to fill.”

The Royals currently have Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Vargas, and Nathan Karns penciled into the top four spots in the rotation with Matt Strahm, Chris Young, Kyle Zimmer, and Alex Mills as potential internal options for the fifth spot.

It was reported on the weekend that the Royals were showing interest in both Doug Fister and Jason Hammel, who are among the top free agents remaining. Moore acknowledged that the club will keep an eye on all possibilities but nothing is close.

“We will continue to monitor the free-agent class as a possible solution,” Moore said. “But as always it depends upon the deal.”

He added: “Trade is a possibility, but I don’t foresee anything happening there before Spring Training. There are teams with a surplus of pitching but it’s obviously a matter of finding the right pieces.”

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