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Royals prep for potential rebuild at Meetings

Moore keeping his options open, fields calls from other clubs
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Laying the groundwork for a total rebuild.

That would best describe how Royals general manager Dayton Moore and his staff spent their four days at the Winter Meetings.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Laying the groundwork for a total rebuild.

That would best describe how Royals general manager Dayton Moore and his staff spent their four days at the Winter Meetings.

Moore exchanged countless calls and texts with rival general managers as he attempts to restock the farm system and build for the future by potentially dealing some of his most desired assets -- that would include left-handers Danny Duffy and Scott Alexander, second baseman Whit Merrifield and right-hander Kelvin Herrera, among others.

KC adds pair of high picks in Rule 5 Draft

Virtually anyone on the roster is available, though the Royals seem hesitant to move All-Star and Gold Glove catcher Salvador Perez.

"We have to build up our farm system to the level it was in 2010," Moore said.

Moore, whose teams went to back-to-back World Series in 2014 and '15 -- winning the championship in '15 -- expects the Royals to be contenders again by 2020 or '21.

What's next
Making the deals. It's not uncommon for the Royals to leave the Winter Meetings without making a major deal. Their two biggest deals under Moore -- the Zack Greinke trade in 2010 and the James Shields-Wade Davis deal in '12 -- came right after the Meetings.

"We often view the Winter Meetings as kind of a feeling-out period," Moore said. "You're trying to see who you match up with the best. We had a lot of conversations with other teams, we met with a lot of other teams. The deals will come when you're comfortable with what you're getting."

Hot Stove Tracker

The Royals, along with trading assets, are trying to shave payroll as well. The payroll right now stands at about $115 million. Moore said it will not go any higher than that and he would prefer to shave it more.

It is likely the club will try to move right-handers Jason Hammel (owed $11 million) and Joakim Soria (owed $10 million) at some point as well.

Rule 5
While the Royals passed with their selection at No. 13, they later acquired the Reds' No. 5 pick, right-hander Brad Keller, and the Mets' No. 6 pick, right-hander Burch Smith, both for cash ($100,000 each).

Video: Mayo discusses the Royals' Rule 5 selections

GM's bottom line
Moore on potentially trading some of his talented players:

"Those are the guys you have to move to multiply the return for our farm system. Everything we do has to be centered around building our farm system. Any deal we do has to be predicated on will it save us money and will it get back players to build our farm system. You have to trade players with high value to get maximum return."

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

Kansas City Royals