The Kansas City Royals' willingness to trade Jeff Francoeur has waxed and waned in recent weeks, according to major league sources.
"Back and forth, every other week," said an official with another club.
Francoeur's status will be of particular interest once the Boston Red Sox trade Kevin Youkilis. Four teams — the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers — were known to have interest in Youkilis as of Saturday. Clubs in need of right-handed hitting could turn to Francoeur after Youkilis is off the board.
It might be difficult for the Royals to move Francoeur in the immediate future, because they opened Saturday only 5-1/2 games out in the American League Central. But the apparent readiness of stud hitting prospect Wil Myers could push Francoeur to the trading block closer to the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.
Francoeur is an elite defender in right field and has World Series experience, having joined the Texas Rangers before their 2010 postseason run. He's known for leadership and an ability to hit left-handed pitching.
Francoeur is more available than Royals designated hitter Billy Butler, who is on a longer-term contract. One source said Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore would need to receive a "(Zack) Greinke-type" offer in order to move Butler.
— Jon Paul Morosi