Things are off and running in Nashville as the annual winter meeting are running now through Thursday. Last season was quiet for the Royals at the meetings, but Dayton Moore has a history of making quite a few moves during the week.
2012 looks to be an active year at the meetings, with Kansas City looking for a front of the rotation starter to help solidify a staff that added Ervin Santana and brings back Jeremy Guthrie for his first full season with the squad.
Going into the meetings we knew Kansas City was interested in possibly trading for one of Jeremy Hellickson, James Shields, or Jon Lester. Lately it seems as though the Royals have turned their attention to R.A. Dickey. Beyond the Royals, it looks like other potential suitors for Dickey include the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Texas Rangers. This winter the Dodgers are seemingly in on everyone, as they have overnight become one of baseball's organizations that is mostly likely to toss around the cash.
Now obviously the market for Dickey is somewhat linked to with whom Zack Greinke signs. Should the Dodgers or Rangers ink Greinke, it likely takes them out of the running for Dickey.
Also noted, it appears that Royals have also kicked the tires on pitchers Shaun Marcum, Bud Norris, and Brett Myers among others. Marcum is still coming back from a serious injury, while Myers really does nothing for me as a fan. I like Norris the most of the trio.
Meanwhile, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports wrote an interesting story that the Royals could indeed still be in the mix for Anibal Sanchez. While many had passed Sanchez off as being out of the Kansas City price range, Knobler said club officials have been sending signals that Kansas City is still in play.
Also of note, on Monday morning the Tampa Bay Rays signed first basemen James Loney, which likely means that for the Royals to acquire Hellickson or Shields they would have to part with Wil Myers. That is something I am definitely against. Shields is the better pitcher, but would only be a two-year rental for the Royals at this point.
Billy Butler has also been linked with both the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners is discussions. The Orioles have the premiere pitching prospect in baseball, in Dylan Bundy, However Bundy is likely more untouchable than any other prospect in baseball as well. To even get a sniff of Bundy in a return, the Royals would have to find a package centered around Butler and Myers, which means they likely won't be a fit.
Seattle does have pitching that is near major league ready and could obviously intrigue the Kansas City brass, but at this point it is unknown how likely a deal would be.
In other non Winter Meeting news, FanFest is back in Kansas City, and it will take place January 19th at the Overland Park Convention Center. You can read the full write up in Bob Dutton's report at the Kansas City Star.
Dutton also wrote about Ned Yost's recent comments on Luke Hochevar. Yost sticks up for Hochevar, believing that he can turn the corner and bounce back. I like that Yost is saying the right things about backing Hoch, however I am concerned that he actually believes what he said. In order to bounce back, one would think Hochevar had to have it to begin with.
Always being known as someone that "has the stuff", Hochevar has done quite well when there aren't any runners on base, however when people are on base, Hochevar has never shown the true ability to pitch with confidence and go through long stretches of productive pitching.
Lastly, on Saturday evening at 8pm CST, ESPN will debut "30 For 30: You Don't Know Bo", which will feature former Royals slugger Bo Jackson. It will definitely be appointment television and you can view the trailer here.