One move done, Moore plotting pieces to KC's puzzle

One move done, Moore plotting pieces to KC's puzzle

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- OK, so now what?

Royals general manager Dayton Moore pulled off a needed trade on Wednesday, Day 3 of the Winter Meetings, moving closer Wade Davis and the remaining $10 million on the right-hander's contract to the Cubs for outfielder Jorge Soler.

• Royals send closer Davis to Cubs for Soler

But Moore and his staff's work is just beginning this offseason.

Moore still has six players -- Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jarrod Dyson -- who could be free agents after 2017. Moore isn't going to trade all of those players -- he can't if he wants to maintain his goal of chasing another World Series title in 2017.

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But Moore will have to decide which of those six he believes he can keep for the long term. The Royals started initial talks with Duffy about a long-term deal last month.

"We're going to try to make a run at some of these guys," Moore said. "We're not just going to let them walk out the door."

But Moore also made it clear that he will continue to listen to trade offers. There has been interest in Dyson from the Orioles and the A's. Dyson or Cain could be trade material because the Royals now have five outfielders vying for three starting spots.

The Royals, with the loss of Davis, may have to deal someone to find a cost-efficient addition to the bullpen.

Royals acquire Soler from Cubs

"We want to improve our bullpen," Moore said. "It didn't perform to our expectations last year. And now we don't have Wade Davis. The natural question is, 'How do we fix it?' We just go to work and evaluate it one at a time and piece it together. We'll figure it out. I have great confidence in [manager Ned Yost's] ability to utilize a bullpen.

"But understand this: When you have a guy as your closer that you're comfortable with, that rock, that anchor, you can put together a bullpen."

That closer, for now, is Kelvin Herrera. Joakim Soria and Matt Strahm figure to be setup men. Beyond that?

"It's too early," Yost said. "I can sit here and figure out in my mind what my bullpen is going to look like, and it's going to change tomorrow. We'll worry about it later.

"Right now, I know who the closer is. It's going to be Kelvin Herrera. He's primed and ready for it. We'll see what it looks like in Spring Training. Sorry I can't set it in stone for you today.

"We're still looking for bullpen help. Dayton is working his tail off. We spent three hours yesterday going over guys to target to fill out our bullpen and give us depth."

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