Piccolo filling in for Moore at GM Meetings

Assistant general manager says Royals in feeling out process

Piccolo filling in for Moore at GM Meetings

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Dayton Moore does not get to bask in the Royals' World Series glory alongside his peers at the General Managers Meetings, hearing teams talk about the plan his team put together. Nor does Moore get to meet with other GMs as he tries to put together his title defense.

With Moore out of town on a long-planned family vacation, that all goes to assistant GM J.J. Piccolo. As general managers met with reporters on Tuesday afternoon in their first formal media session of these meetings, Piccolo was a popular figure to talk to, though not a particularly busy one.

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"I'd say it's very humbling," Piccolo said of the well wishes he received this week at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. "But we don't feel like we figured anything out. They all are great guys. They all have great players. It just so happened in 2015, we were fortunate to win. I think they all have their own plan going in and they're going to follow it."

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The Royals have their own plan, obviously, but most of their legwork for it will happen later. Piccolo has been listening to teams and agents, but nothing active. With the Royals' World Series championship barely a week old, this is a research trip.

"Right now, I think we're just trying to feel out where everybody's at," Piccolo said, "just really more in the way of talking with other clubs to find out what the reactions would be, try to find out if we have the potential to make a trade. There are agents here to touch base with and kind of scratch the surface with them.

"Nothing too deep right now. We're just looking to establish where we want to go, what we need to do this offseason. So really, this is just the beginning."

They've already made contact with representatives for their own free agents. That happened before they arrived, though several of those agents can be spotted wandering the hotel grounds this week.

"Those conversations have been had already with those agents," Piccolo said. "This is more just trying to get a general feel of -- if Plan A, B or C doesn't work, where we would go."

Piccolo will take that information back to Moore and the rest of the staff. By the time most of these general managers meet again at next month's Winter Meetings in Nashville, the Royals are likely to be busy.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.