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Royals Should Be Chasing Starting Pitcher Chris Capuano

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The former Brewer is now available thanks to Zack Grienke and he offers the perfect risk/reward pitcher the Royals should be seeking.

The cavalry is coming for the Kansas City Royals. That much, everyone is aware of. Unfortunately, it also means that this season's roster will be less than stellar. Let's be honest: that's putting things mildly.

More than anything, the starting rotating for this season's Royals clan looks a little uninviting. It also looks like the bullpen will become an oft-used commodity. The trade of Zack Grienke leaves the Royals without a single major league starter capable of truly challenging an opposing team's hitters with any regularity. Every arm comes with question marks and there's not a lot of arms to even question in the first place. It's a horrible predicament, to say the least, in a sport spanning six months and 162 games.

Some will look at Gil Meche and rightfully so, given the ridiculous $12 million he's due this season. But after dealing with injuries the last two seasons, it looks like the bullpen is the best option for Meche at this point. That's frustrating since he's the one veteran with the capability to place the Royals on his shoulders and grind out a win. Luke Hochevar holds the torch that high draft picks carry with them whether or not the placement is valid, but so far he's looked mediocre and inconsistent. Perhaps time is still on his side given he was only 26 this season, but you could have said the same the last two off-seasons.

Any other names mentioned will most likely render a "Who?" in response, so it's vital for the Royals to find at least one more starting arm outside of the organization heading into the season. The best candidates are of the high-reward/low-risk variety, and luckily for the Royals there are some options available to them, one of which just emerged in the Zack Grienke fallout in the Senior Circuit.

Because the Brewers now boast a stacked rotation, the name to fall out of the running is current free agent Chris Capuano. The former All-Star (2006) had Tommy John surgery and lost two seasons in the process -- important ones that came at the end of his twenties. Now, the the Duke University product is looking to get his career back on track and make good on the promise exhibited in his 18 win season. Last season, Capuano started 9 games and appeared in 24 earning a 3.95 ERA and allowing only 65 hits in 66 innings, a good sign he's getting his arm back.

Capuano's still a work in progress, but he's the type of player the Royals need to be taking a chance on. Capuano is most likely looking for a place to ply his trade and have the best chance to start on a regular basis. Kansas City might have to slightly outbid a few other suitors and sell him on the idea of being one of the primary starters rather than a late rotational option for most other clubs. Given the right contractual parameters, it could be a marriage made in heaven of two parties who can use the other for their own gain.