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Inbox: How will Royals' roster shake out?

Beat reporter Jeffrey Flanagan answers fans' questions
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

SURPIRSE, Ariz. -- As the Royals enter into the final three weeks of camp, there are numerous lineup and roster decisions to be made as the team undergoes a significant rebuild.

With that in mind, let's take your questions for the latest Royals Inbox:

SURPIRSE, Ariz. -- As the Royals enter into the final three weeks of camp, there are numerous lineup and roster decisions to be made as the team undergoes a significant rebuild.

With that in mind, let's take your questions for the latest Royals Inbox:

Tweet from @lcfeyh: Who will win the utility infielder job?

Ramon Torres held that spot in the second half last year, and he played in 33 games. The coaching staff is still very high on him. Ryan Goins, who played in 143 games for Toronto last season, gives Kansas City a veteran presence in that role, and he probably has the edge going into the final weeks of camp. Goins, though, is a non-roster guy, so the Royals will have to make room on the 40-man roster -- expect a lot of juggling the last week of spring.

:: Submit a question to the Royals Inbox ::

Tweet from @ronn76: Is it do or die for Bubba this year?

It's not. The club is determined to give Bubba Starling a taste of the big leagues later in the season. The outfielder is having a solid camp. I see a more confident player this time around. Starling won't have to be Mike Trout at Triple-A -- if he hits .260 or .270, that will be perceived as growth. He's already a big league defender.

Tweet from @DLester164: Have the Royals lost hope that Hunter Dozier is still a potential long-term solution at 1B/3B, and if so, is it because of his glove, bat or health?

Not at all. The Royals still consider Hunter Dozier a big part of their future. Keep in mind that he hardly played at all in 2017 because of three major injuries. The signing of Lucas Duda to play first base simply gives Dozier another year to develop in the Minors. Duda's one-year deal doesn't block anyone.

Tweet from @LG_RoyalsBlue: What pieces are on the trading block?

General manager Dayton Moore has made it clear that there are no untouchables on this roster, though he has suggested that they'd probably never get a strong enough return for Salvador Perez to consider dealing him. Kansas City clearly is hitting the reset button and needs to restock its farm system -- to do that, you have to give up quality talent to get a quality return.

Tweet from @davehamiltonpbw: which Royals OF prospect has higher upside : Seuly Matias or Khalil Lee ?

That's a tough one. Khalil Lee is the No. 1 Royals prospect per MLB Pipeline, and Seuly Matias is No. 3, so the gap isn't big. They're both five-tool guys, according to scouts, with enormous ceilings. Matias, I'm told, probably is the better defender with a big arm. Both should be fun to watch develop.

Video: Top Prospects: Seuly Matias, OF, Royals

Tweet from @RonPaulDisciple: Am I crazy thinking that if the starting 9 & the 5 in the rotation just perform to previous standards or just a little above, they can be competitive (wildcard) till at least September?

Not crazy at all. In fact, many of the players (Whit Merrifield, Alex Gordon, Danny Duffy, etc.) I've talked to this spring are a bit offended at the notion Kansas City automatically will lose 90-plus games. The starting nine and the rotation should be competitive. But the big question mark is the bullpen, which has so many new faces and uncertainty. What was once the hallmark strength of the Royals could be a liability now.

Video: 30 Clubs in 30 Days: Royals' outlook for 2018

Tweet from @UttBrian: Which young/new guy stands out most to you in the early going?

Left-hander Tim Hill. That sidearm delivery could be a unique weapon in the bullpen. The coaching staff really is intrigued by him.

Tweet from @CaptVideoSCHS: What are thoughts on bringing Moustakas and Holland back on one year deals? Some would say this goes against the rebuilding process but isn't being on a competitive team important for the young players?

As much as the Royals respect Greg Holland and admire what he did for them, he's not coming back. Kansas City is basically at its payroll cap ($110 million), which also all but rules out Mike Moustakas, unless Moose would be willing to take a Duda-type deal (one-year, $3.5 million). Never say never, but a Moose reunion seems highly unlikely.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals