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Royals pursuing Scott Kazmir, close to deal for Chris Young

Dayton Moore seems focused on adding starting pitching

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

While the Royals have been mostly quiet on the Ben Zobrist and Alex Gordon front, their attention may be turned to adding a starting pitcher. Buster Olney of ESPN reports the Royals are pursuing left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir, who spent last year with the Athletics and Astros. Kazmir posted a 3.10 ERA in 31 starts last year with 3.98 FIP and 7.62 strikeouts-per-nine innings. Kazmir slumped after being traded to the Astros with a 4.17 ERA in Houston and a 6.93 ERA over his last five starts. He started Game Two of the American League Division Series against the Royals, giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings, getting a no-decision in the Royals comeback victory.

Kazmir turns 32 next month and has won 98 games with a 3.96 ERA in 11 Major League seasons with the Rays, Angels, Indians, Athletics, and Astros. He began his career as a fireballer, but lost his command and effectiveness and was out of baseball in 2012. He rebounded in 2013 with the Indians and has been a 2+ fWAR pitcher every season since.

The Royals had the fourth-worst ERA for starting pitchers in the American League and will almost certainly lose pitcher Johnny Cueto to free agency. Kazmir is expected to command a three-year contract worth around $12-15 million per season. He will not cost a team a draft pick.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post also reports the Royals are very close on a two-year deal to re-sign pitcher Chris Young.