Royals Rumor Roundup: Second Edition

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Is the Hot Stove even hot?

Pitchers and catchers report on February 14. I'm ready.

The first games are the traditional Surprise home-and-home against the Rangers starting on February 27.

Obviously, the Royals roster in three months will look a little different than it does today. But the Hot Stove has been slow to fire for the Royals.

With potential target Tim Hudson signing with the Giants, the secondary market for starting pitchers may be set to gain steam. Some speculated the next to sign would be Josh Johnson. He's been linked to the Royals, but reportedly wants to stay close to his home in Vegas.

Hey, we have casinos in Kansas City! Nevermind. Word late Tuesday is Johnson signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Padres.

Over at Fox Sports Kansas City, Jeff Flanagan has a list of potential targets for the Royals to pursue. It's a usual suspect kind of post with the fun kind of justifications for a guy signing with the Royals. Carlos Beltran's return to KC would be "a great story." Phil Hughes could "find his mojo again with pitching coach Dave Eiland." Jeremy Guthrie tweeted Josh Johnson could be the "final piece to the puzzle." You get the idea.

What is interesting about the post is Flanagan names Corey Hart as a potential candidate for the outfield. It's the first time I've seen Hart's name linked with the Royals. Hart missed all of 2012 after having surgery on both knees, so he would be looking for a one-year deal to prove his health as a springboard to a more lucrative deal. In the three years prior, Hart was a solid option as a right-handed power stick. The defense is subpar in right, but it's acceptable if he can return to the offensive levels he flashed prior to his injury. But his knee issues mean he will have to take a few defensive days off. And of course, the Royals have Billy Butler at DH and Eric Hosmer at 1B. If he's healthy, he could be a bargain for a team with the flexibility to play him in the field a couple of days a week and have him DH the rest of the time.

I'm in favor of right-handed power, and am not opposed to taking a chance on someone like Hart, but I just don't think the Royals have the positional flexibility to accommodate him. Unless the Royals were able to trade Butler. Yet to deal Butler for what would most likely amount to a one-year rental on Hart seems so incredibly short-sighted. But it is Dayton.

So far the Mets, Red Sox, Rays, Rockies and the Brewers have been linked to the outfielder.

Finally, from the Department of Rock Bottom, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith, there are actually some teams interested in Yuniesky Betancourt.

As someone replied to his tweet, that means there are at least five major league teams that don't understand metrics.

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