As the Royals continue to develop their starting rotation and nail down the order of things, one name is still surprisingly available on the market: Kevin Millwood. The Scott Boras client certainly didn't picture the baseball off-season going the way that it has, but it seems there is simply not a lot of interest among possible buyers who are choosing cheaper in-house options to fill the late rotation slots.
The Yankees were rumored to offer Millwood a minor league contract given the absence of starting pitchers there. Andy Pettitte's retirement set the franchise back a bit and they've been slow to move on any free agents while other franchises even within the division make larger moves. The Indians have also been tied to Millwood for some time, but it's never materialized and perhaps that's simply a rumor that makes sense in much the same way the Royals would.
The Royals have already signed a couple of players you could label as the cliched veteran signing to anchor a staff and log some innings. But Jeff Francis and Bruce Chen are hardly known as guys you can count on for the rigors of a full spring and summer given their injury histories and inconsistent careers. The Royals are certainly hoping for the best, but a proper front office also plans for the worst. To have Millwood still available and needing a major league home in a buyer's market is a possibility the Royals could and should pounce on.
Millwood is no longer the ace he once was and a pitcher on the decline like this will probably cause the fan base to roll their eyes and think the team is wasting more money and taking up a slot that someone younger could fill. But that's exactly the point -- the young guys simply aren't ready yet without having to jump a level or more to get to the majors and Millwood would ease any pressure for that transition. The best bet is for Francis and Chen to both spend at least a bit of time on the disabled list, so having Millwood on board would help in a number of ways.