Rumor roundup: Royals shopping for starter?

Rumor roundup: Royals shopping for starter?

As the calendar flipped to 2016, Major League Baseball's clubs continued to fine-tune and tweak their rosters for the upcoming season. A number of marquee free agents still remain unsigned, however, while several others could become available on the trade market.

Here's a look at the latest Hot Stove developments from around the big leagues:

Royals still seeking starting pitching
The Royals may not be done with their holiday shopping just yet. ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported Friday that the club is still considering adding another rotation piece this offseason.

Hot Stove Tracker

It remains to be seen whether Kansas City intends to address its rotation via free agency or trade. The top remaining free-agent starters -- Yovani Gallardo, Ian Kennedy and Wei-Yin Chen -- are each tied to Draft compensation after rejecting qualifying offers in November.

The Royals already re-signed veteran right-hander Chris Young to a two-year deal last month. If they choose to stand pat with their current pitching staff, Young woud likely join Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy and Kris Medlen in the team's rotation to start the year.

White Sox interest in Cespedes, Gordon limited to three-year deals
The White Sox's much-publicized pursuit of outfielders Alex Gordon and Yoenis Cespedes reportedly comes with a notable stipulation. Chicago is only interested in a commitment of three years or less for either free agent, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Who Should White Sox Sign?

The Sox have recently been linked to both free agents as they continue to revamp their lineup this offseason after finishing last in the American League in runs scored in 2015. Both players are expected to be seeking long-term deals.

Statcast: Cespedes' racing catch

Chicago and Baltimore are widely considered the front-runners to land Cespedes, while Gordon recently said he hasn't ruled out a return to Kansas City, where he's spent his entire nine-year Major League career. The Giants, Angels, Cardinals and Rangers are also among the clubs rumored to be interested in the top remaining outfielders on the market.

Should both Gordon and Cespedes sign elsewhere, Justin Upton could be another option for Chicago as an impact bat and corner outfielder. Signing Upton would also require surrendering a Draft pick.

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