While Shields and Jon Lester are both likely out of the Royals price range two players the team is focusing on are Ervin Santana and Francisco Liriano.
Lirano is said to be seeking a three to four year deal worth at least $12 million annually and one would expect Santana to be in the same price range. Liriano rejected a $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Pirates after posting a 3.20 ERA with 338 strikeouts over 323 1/3 innings in Pittsburgh.
Hearing Francisco Liriano is looking for three- or four-year deals at $12 million-plus average annual value.
— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) November 19, 2014
Similarly Santana turned down a qualifying offer from Atlanta. Last year he tried his luck as a free agent with draft pick compensation tied to him and found a bare market. He will try again this year after posting a 3.95 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP across 31 starts. He spent the 2013 season with the Royals.
The Royals will also consider other options such as Brandon McCarthy, Edinson Volquez and Jason Hammel.