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MLB Kansas City Royals

5 Kansas City Royals Often Mentioned in Trade Rumors

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5 Kansas City Royals Often Mentioned in Trade Rumors

5 Kansas City Royals Often Mentioned in Trade Rumors
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals find themselves in a tough spot this offseason. After their first truly successful season in decades, the franchise is desperate to keep the team competitive in a quickly changing division. Maintaining legitimacy in MLB means spending wisely, especially for a small-market franchise. After signing Jason Vargas to a four-year deal, KC now has way less spending money with which to gamble. This lack of cash is the primary reason why many key Royals are showing up in current trade rumors.

According to Royals beat writer Bob Dutton, GM Dayton Moore is planning to keep payroll the same as last year. Without making any more moves or roster cuts, the Royals are estimated to already reach or even surpass last year's total.

KC also released switch-hitting utility infielder Irving Falu, who played well in very limited time. Noel Arguelles, once a highly-touted pitching prospect, joined Falu in being DFA on November 20. George Kottaras was traded away to the Chicago Cubs for chump change after Francisco Pena joined Kansas City, primarily in order to reduce payroll. Others, like Chris Getz and possibly outfielders David Lough and/or Justin Maxwell, will have their fates decided in the coming weeks as well with the Winter Meetings and tender deadlines coming up shortly.

All this budget-cutting could mean that the Royals are done spending, and that means trading away some legit talent will be their only way to bring in a new bat. As the rumor mill churns, several Royals players' names are coming up again and again. Let's take a look at five Royals who are often mentioned in these trade rumors.

Doug LaCerte is a writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DLaC67, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Billy Butler

Billy Butler
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

This is one that really scares Royals fans, so I figured it'd best to get Billy Butler out of the way first. Although GM Dayton Moore has stated that he'll listen to offers for Butler, a trade is highly unlikely. According to KC beat writer Bob Dutton, there have been no trade talks regarding Butler as of November 23.

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4. Aaron Crow

Aaron Crow
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Aaron Crow is a proven reliever with a tremendous upside and a lot of years to improve. Some teams may wish to test him out as a starter, thus making him even more valuable on the market. With a plethora of live arms in the bullpen, KC will need to strongly consider offers for Crow.

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3. Tim Collins

Tim Collins
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Much like Crow, Tim Collins was listed by KC as being “very available.” The Royals are obviously aiming for getting a large number of innings from a veteran-heavy rotation of innings-eaters, so their reliance on their great bullpen will be severely limited. This makes Collins, a solid lefty with strikeout stuff, a very interesting potential trade chip.

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2. Greg Holland

Greg Holland
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Holland is also among the talented available arms in KC's pen. Many teams would be happy to have this All-Star catcher, so actually moving him should yield the Royals a legitimate return.

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1. Wade Davis

Wade Davis
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Wade Davis is a very intriguing trade chip for the Royals. He still has considerable upside and should have strong value in the market as a possible starter. KC may see enough value in him to keep him around, or they could save a lot of cash by parting ways with Davis' large contract.