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MLB Trade Rumors: Could Kansas City Royals' Mike Moustakas Head To Atlanta Braves For Pitching Prospect(s)?

A starter like Jair Jurrjens might be exactly what the Royals would want heading into the 2012 season.

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The future looks bright for the Kansas City Royals given the wealth of their farm system. But apparently Dayton Moore is ready to use a bit of those long-term prospects for the sake of the short-term starting in 2012.

Moore's recent comments to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star state that he's not going to wait for the current bump of prospects to turn into savvy veterans before he's ready to compete for the AL Central crown. Instead, he's willing to move one or more of them if it brings the frontline starter he's picturing.

"We’ll be aggressive in trades," Moore said. "We’ll try to make a trade or two that helps us. We have to look internally first, but then we have to look at trades. Then, finally, we have to look at free agency. We’ll explore all of those options."

Buster Olney of ESPN takes things a step further in picturing a deal that sends prized third baseman Mike Moustakas to the Atlanta Braves for some of their bright pitching prospects. That's some good work on Olney's part to bring up the connection, since the Braves have the best young pitching in baseball while also having a need for a power prospect at the hot corner.

The Braves have an incredible stable of young pitching. Mike Minor quickly made his way to the majors after being a first round choice in 2009. Arodys Vizcaino, Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado have been inquired upon by just about every club in baseball since all three have incredible potential at the major league level. Brandon Beachy has also been very impressive this season, and he's the afterthought in all of this. Of course, that doesn't even touch Jair Jurrjens or Tommy Hanson. Suffice to say, the Braves are loaded with young impact level arms.

It makes for a perfect match for the Royals, who could use one or more of those arms. In exchange for Moustakas, perhaps Moore wouldn't want prospect arms with potential, but would that mean that Tommy Hanson would be available? Would the Braves deal Jurrjens at this point after such a strong return from injury? Moore would certainly be interested in either one given they both have controllable years left -- especially Hanson.

To add such an arm to the top of the Royals rotation would be a major boost for the team next season. If the Royals could somehow pry a Tommy Hanson type of starter away from his current team, the anchor would be set for the future and would give other Royals prospects like Duffy the room they need to learn and grow and not feel the pressure to be the No. 1 ace that everyone is hoping he or Montgomery might turn into.