James Shields is off the market for Rangers

How about the Kansas City Royals? They've pulled off a six-player swap in an effort to get a better staff in the big leagues now. James Shields and Wade Davis are coming to Kansas City from the Tampa Bay Rays, who receive four prospects including Jake Odorizzi and Wil Myers in the deal.

Shields was someone the Rangers had interest in and someone who is under team control for two more years. He's pitched at least 200 innings in the past six seasons and will be 31 on Dec. 20. Davis, 27, was in the bullpen last season with the Rays' surplus of starters. But he started 64 games from 2009 to 2011. He was 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA as a reliever. He's also someone who could be around a long time, making $2.8 million this season and $4.8 million in 2014. Kansas City has three more options year now with him.

So what does it mean for Texas?

Well, this weekend saw two of the major pitching pieces on the market -- one in free agent Zack Greinke and the other via trade with Shields -- go elsewhere. That doesn't mean there aren't options for Texas.

R.A. Dickey remains a possibility, though much of that could center on whether the New York Mets can get a two-year extension done with him. (We'll have some more on Dickey later). The Rangers are interested in a reunion with the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner.

Perhaps the club turns its attention to a few more free agents like Anibal Sanchez, who is in a good position right now with others off the market. Kyle Lohse is still out there too. The 34-year-old right-hander was 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 33 starts (211 innings) in 2012. He had 143 strikeouts to just 38 walks and a WHIP of 1.09.