The Royals will need to add starting pitching to get back to where they were in 2015. With Cueto testing the market looking for big money, the Royals need arms. it is reasonably certain that Cueto will not be in KC in 2016.
The Royals are also dealing with young arm injuries as well which could limit the amount they want to spend or give up for a big name pitcher. Jason Vargas was 5-2 with a 3.98 in 2015 before suffering a torn elbow ligament which will require Tommy John surgery and likely keep him out until 2017.
Kris Medlen is another guy the Royals can look at for 2016. He has bounced around from the bullpen and into the rotation, but Medlen is a fifth option for the Royals. He pitched in 58 innings in 2015 allowing 26 runs on 56 hits.
There are plenty of options for the Royals in the free agent market as well. It would be an easy get to re-sign 36-year-old Chris Young. Young in 2015 was 11-6 with a 3.06 ERA. Young would be a cheap option that could give the Royals quality innings.
Another option is Mark Buehrle. After all the talk about retirement, Buehrle is still unsure of his future and could be a great fit with the Royals if he decides to play on. The Royals have already shown they aren’t afraid to sign older guys to surround their young nucleus, and Buehrle is a guy that could help the Royals get where they want to go while being a mentor in the clubhouse.
Another guy could be Aaron Harang, who like Buehrle is a competitor and has been in the league for many years. He could be a great fit if guys like Cueto and Young don’t come back.
Harang could be a number four or five starter and bring plenty of experience to the table in KC.
The bottom line is the Royals need arms, and they have plenty of options.