07/30/07 8:15 PM ET
Reports: Royals ponder Dotel deal
Atlanta righty Davies may be an option for Kansas City
By Conor Nicholl / MLB.com
Dotel has been rumored to be traded to several teams, including the Mariners, Dodgers and Indians. On Monday morning, several published reports said Seattle, in need of bullpen help, could trade power-hitting outfielder Wladimir Balentien for the Kansas City closer.
But general manager Dayton Moore, formerly the assistant GM with the Braves, could also look to make a deal for a player he knows. Davies, 4-8 with a 5.76 ERA this season, would provide a young arm for the Royals.
In addition to bolstering an offense that ranks last in the American League in slugging percentage, Kansas City is looking to better its pitching staff. Davies, 23, has a 14-21 record and a 6.15 ERA in his career with Atlanta.
Davies primarily has been a starter in his Major League career, and he could give KC another option to start. While Gil Meche and Brian Bannister have pitched well this season at the front end of the rotation, Odalis Perez and Jorge De La Rosa have been inconsistent.
Leo Nunez, the current No. 5 starter, has made just two Major League starts and likely sees his future in the bullpen. Royals manager Buddy Bell said the reports on Luke Hochevar, Billy Buckner and Tyler Lumsden at Triple-A Omaha have indicated they've been inconsistent. None has an ERA under 3.90 for the O-Royals this season.
"You are constantly focused on pitching and improving our system through pitching," Moore said on Saturday. "We are looking for talented players and just want to protect the core group of players that we have and continue to get better."
Even though Dotel had helped the Royals turn their season around -- KC is 28-22 since May 30 -- he was considered one of the biggest trading chips in the Majors. A free agent after this season, Dotel has used a mid-90s mph fastball and slider to record 11 saves and a 3.91 ERA this season.
If the deal does occur, Joakim Soria or Zack Greinke could become the closer. Soria had 10 saves before Dotel, disabled with an oblique injury, returned on June 1. Greinke has used a 96-99 mph fastball, slider and curve to record a 3.26 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings as a reliever.
"Every deal that we make since I have been here is what is in the best interest for our baseball team long-term and going forward," Moore said. "It's not a question of salary or anything along those lines. We are just evaluating the opportunity to make our team better."
Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.