Moore, KC face difficult Deadline decisions

Moore, KC face difficult Deadline decisions

KANSAS CITY -- As the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline looms for the Royals, general manager Dayton Moore said he and his staff are preparing on both fronts -- as sellers or buyers.

The defending World Series champion Royals have put Moore in that kind of limbo with a lackluster stretch in which they have not won back-to-back games since June 29-30.

After Monday's 6-2 loss to the Angels, the Royals (48-50) stand 8 1/2 games behind the American League Central-leading Indians and seven games out of the second Wild Card spot.

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On one hand, Moore hasn't conceded the 2016 postseason race.

"I know we haven't played our best baseball to date," Moore said. "We're capable of doing much better. And our players know that. Our coaching staff knows that. Our fans know that. We haven't been as healthy as we've been in the past. That's certainly a factor as you evaluate how you match up with the other teams in the division, but we're constantly evaluating the landscape: what players are out there and what we can do to continue to improve our team."

Any acquisitions likely will be subtle ones that are financially feasible.

"I think right now, financially, we are where we are," Moore said. "There's not much flexibility to add payroll, nor did we expect that when we put this team together. Mr. [David] Glass has always been very generous and allowed us to do what we need to do.

"That being said, if we felt as an organization there was that one player out there that was so impactful, that was going to put us over the hump and make the absolute difference for this baseball team, Mr. Glass would have no problem adding payroll."

Then again, Moore and his staff also have to be practical. The Royals will have three pending free agents in designated hitter Kendrys Morales and pitchers Edinson Volquez and Luke Hochevar -- all of whom have mutual options on their contracts for 2017 but all of whom could opt out.

"We're not going to just dismember our team because a player is a free agent," Moore said. "Unless I get a directive that we need to peel off dollars and so forth, which I haven't been given that directive, to make that very clear, we'll continue the course."

Volquez has heard the rumors about him possibly being dealt.

"It doesn't bother me," Volquez said. "I do know that I want to stay here. Kansas City, since we won the World Series, is like a new home for me."

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Teams reportedly have approached the Royals about closer Wade Davis, who is under contract through 2017. Moore said he listens to all offers.

"I wouldn't classify or categorize any player as untouchable. Never have," Moore said. "We always evaluate somebody's level of interest and what their level of interest may mean to the improvement of our team in terms of players that they would be willing to part with, because that's what you do, especially this time of year."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.