Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore says the team would be willing to forfeit their first round draft pick if the right free agent is available, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
"It’s part of the evaluation process," Moore said, "but if a player really makes sense and can help us win, we’re not going to be overly concerned with that."
This year, 13 players received a qualifying offer. All 13 declined, meaning any team signing those players would be required to give up a draft pick in the 2014 draft. The Royals figure to be particularly interested in outfielders like Carlos Beltran, Curtis Granderson and Nelson Cruz. Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo may be too expensive for the Royals' tastes. Kansas City does not want to go past three years for a free agent.
The Royals may have to decide whether they would rather chase an outfielder or a pitcher this season. They would like to retain Ervin Santana, but he is seeking a huge contract this offseason. The Royals spent a franchise-high $81 million in 2013 and likely will not want to push far past that next year.
The Royals won 86 games in 2013, but fell short of a playoff spot. They are hoping to compete again next season.