Royals could trade for pitching

Updated: October 27, 2012, 11:05 AM ET
By Buster Olney

DETROIT -- The career record of Anibal Sanchez is 48-51, but the contract he signs in the weeks ahead could be worth more than a million bucks for each of those victories because the timing of Sanchez's free agency couldn't be better. He's been pitching well of late; he's on the World Series stage; he's 28; and -- best of all for him -- the marketplace is expected to be flush with the cash of free-spending teams.

Sanchez could get anywhere from $30 million to $60 million as a free agent, some agents and executives predict, and Kyle Lohse could get a deal in the $77.5 million range, as C.J. Wilson did last winter.

This is the landscape the Kansas City Royals are staring at as they look to improve a rotation that desperately needs at least two solid starting pitchers. They could join the bidding for someone such as Lohse, or Sanchez, or Edwin Jackson -- but remember, GM Dayton Moore has been down that road before, having signed Gil Meche to a $55 million deal. Meche had a couple of decent seasons, but, in the end, he was taken down by a shoulder injury and his won-loss record with the Royals was 29-39. It didn't pay off.

This is why nobody should be surprised if the Royals deal one of the core hitters from their every-day lineup -- left fielder Alex Gordon, designated hitter Billy Butler, third baseman Mike Moustakas or first baseman Eric Hosmer.