Royals still in talking stages near Deadline

Royals still in talking stages near Deadline

MINNEAPOLIS -- It appeared to be all quiet on the Royals' front as the clock ticked toward the non-waiver Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. CT on Wednesday.

"It can develop fast, but nothing really going on right now," manager Ned Yost said before Tuesday's series opener against the Twins. "Talking, but not much action."

There was no pulling of his starting pitcher, Ervin Santana, from Tuesday night's start against the Twins as had happened elsewhere with two other trade candidates. The White Sox scratched Jake Peavy from his start at Cleveland and the Astros did the same with Bud Norris at Baltimore.

Speculation about dealing Santana has simmered and cooled since the Royals came out of the All-Star break with an 8-2 surge that, going into the Minnesota series, left them at the .500 mark and just five games out in the American League Wild Card race.

The Royals have had just one winning season, 2003, in the previous 18 years so the latest hot streak has roused interest anew in Kansas City.

Pitching is the focal point of most teams so Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar supposedly have sparked some interest. As of Sunday, Chen was 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA and had made three impressive starts since coming out of the bullpen; Hochevar had a string of 14 consecutive scoreless innings going and a 1.80 ERA in his first year of relief.

The Royals presumably are looking for a second baseman with offensive impact and the Angels' Howie Kendrick (.298, 11 homers, 43 RBIs) reportedly is available. The Angels want Major League-ready, cost-controllable pitching.

Kendrick is signed for two more years at $9.35 million for 2014 and $9.5 million for 2015. He also currently has a no-trade provision that excludes 12 clubs. Could one be the Royals?

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.