Royals prospect Wil Myers is considered the best hitter in the minor leagues. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Kansas City Royals have "discussed" dealing top outfield prospect Wil Myers for a front-of-the-rotation starter such as Jon Lester or James Shields, The Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton reported.
The question for the Royals is whether they would want to give up their No. 1 prospect, according to Baseball America's list, for one of the pitchers — both of whom are set to hit the free-agent market in two years.
From Dutton's report:
Both deals have been discussed, but neither appears close at the moment. Other players could be involved, but the basic framework would be Myers for one of the two pitchers. At this point, all sides — the Royals, Rays and Red Sox — remain hesitant.
Still … is either worth considering from the Royals’ perspective? In effect, are two years of Shields or Lester worth six years of Myers?
“You can project Myers to hit 30 homers in two or three years,” one Royals official said. “You’d have a middle-of-the-order bat that’s controllable and affordable. What’s more important?”
Myers, who will be 22 at the start of the 2013 season, hit .314 and slugged .600 with 37 homers between the Royals' Double- and Triple-A affiliates last season.
Lester and Shields will be 29 and 31, respectively, next season. Lester is coming off a year that saw him slump, as he went just 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA. Shields went 15-10 with a 3.52 ERA with the Rays. Both pitchers have one year remaining on their deals with club options for a second year.
Yahoo Sports reported Saturday that the Royals would be willing to deal Myers for a top-line starter
. The Royals believe that after an already busy offseason that includes a trade for Ervin Santana and re-signing Jeremy Guthrie
, they could be on the brink of contention.