MLB Rumors: KC Royals Have Received "Multiple Trade Inquiries" For Pitcher

The Trade Deadline is still 2 ½ months off, but the Kansas City Royals are already receiving "multiple" offers for one of their pitchers, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. 

The Royals already are receiving calls on Aroldis Chapman, according to major-league sources who were granted anonymity so they could speak candidly. Chapman, who signed a one-year, $3.75 million, free-agent contract, is averaging 99.3 mph with his fastball and 87.9 mph with his slider, his highest velocities with those pitches since 2017 and ‘16, respectively.

From the moment he signed with the rebuilding Royals in the offseason, it was expected that they'd be flipping him at the deadline if he was able to recapture anything resembling his former dominant closing self. Now it appears that's the case. He's struck out 13.8 batters per nine innings this season. 

Will they be listening to offers this early in the season? Rosenthal opines:

As for a trade happening in early May, it’s the usual story: If a contender wants to overpay, the Royals are more than willing to listen. 

(They) know Chapman’s value figures to build as the deadline nears and teams improve their offers, even with the club control diminishing.

Of those contenders who could use a boost for their bullpen, expect the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers among others to come calling. 

Chapman has 316 career saves, seven All-Star selections and one World Series ring.

Photo: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports