The Royals are one of a number of teams interested in Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Moore has an unimpressive ERA of 4.54 with a 4.53 FIP, but has struck out 8.1 hitters per-nine innings, and has a 2.36 ERA over his last four starts. The left-hander tossed seven shutout innings against the Red Sox on Wednesday, generating interest from the Dodgers, Orioles, Red Sox, Astros, Yankees, with the Red Sox "hot on Moore’s trail" according to Tampa Bay beat writer Marc Topkin.
Moore made just 14 starts in the previous two seasons due to Tommy John surgery. In 2013, he won 17 games with a 3.29 ERA and nearly a strikeout-per-inning in 150 1/3 innings. The 27-year old left-hander may be most enticing for the Royals because of his club-friendly contract. He earns just $5 million this season, with club options for the next three seasons. He could earn $7 million in 2017, $9 million in 2018, and $10 million in 2019.
Moore's velocity is back to what it was pre-Tommy John surgery, with a fastball averaging 92 mph, although that is down significantly from the velocity he showed his first two seasons. Moore is a flyball pitcher with the 13th highest flyball rate in baseball at 41.6%. He is ninth in the American League with 17 home runs allowed.
Royals starting pitchers have the fourth-highest ERA in the American League at 4.89 and have given up the most home runs in the league.