Volquez, Kendrys with Royals near Deadline

Potential free agents have been mentioned during trade talks

July 31st, 2016

ARLINGTON -- As the Royals lounged in the visiting clubhouse on Sunday morning prior to the series finale against the Rangers, right-hander eyed a reporter, smiled and said with a chuckle, "I'm still here."

As the non-waiver Trade Deadline looms on Monday at 3 p.m. CT, Volquez and designated hitter have remained with the Royals. Both are pending free agents after this season (each has mutual options for 2017, but the Royals have never exercised a mutual option under the present regime).

A source indicated both Volquez and Morales do not have no-trade clauses, meaning they can be dealt to any team. Volquez has drawn interest from across both leagues, according to reports.

"But I want to stay here," Volquez said. "Kansas City has become like a second hometown."

Volquez, 33, won 13 games last season and posted a 3.55 ERA during the regular season. He also was superb in the postseason, tossing three quality starts, including two in the World Series. In Game 5, in which the Royals clinched the title, Volquez gave up two hits and one earned run through six innings.

Volquez has a $3 million buyout in 2017.

Morales, 33, won an American League Silver Slugger Award last season and was a vital part of the Royals' order, belting 22 homers with 106 RBIs while hitting .290. He has slumped this season, hitting .246 with a team-high 16 homers and 49 RBIs entering Sunday.

Morales has a $1.5 million buyout in 2017. While the market has been thin for would-be Morales takers, the Astros or the Rangers could be looking for an additional bat, though both teams are seeking pitching first.

If neither is traded, and both opt out of their options for '17, it's possible the Royals could make qualifying offers to both in hopes of getting Draft picks and restocking their farm system. The Royals gave up five top pitching prospects last year at the Trade Deadline and also didn't have a first-round pick this season because of the signing.

Two other potential trade pieces -- relievers and -- are no longer in play at the Deadline because of injury. Hochevar has been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and is seeking second opinion, though he is likely headed for season-ending surgery.

Davis, who was drawing interest from the Dodgers and Nationals, is on the disabled list because of a Grade 1 flexor muscle strain in his right forearm.