Royals poised for active session in Indy

Royals poised for active session in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS -- If talk means anything, the Royals could be poised for a lively session at the Winter Meetings, which begin officially on Monday.

General manager Dayton Moore is gearing up for action, concentrating now on the trade market.

"I would say we've had more discussions this year than we've had since I've been here -- a lot of different scenarios," Moore said at the headquarters hotel. "What that will mean at the end of the day, I don't know. But there are a lot of conversations."

Nothing, however, is considered imminent, he added.

One target is to find a catcher to take over the position held last year by Miguel Olivo, now a free agent and unlikely to return, and John Buck.

There are no candidates immediately ready for the Majors in the Royals' Minor League system. Even Manuel Pina, who is on the current 40-man roster along with Brayan Pena, is likely headed for another year at Double-A.

"The catching situation is an area of focus for us, but I don't have a great feel of what we'll do or where we'll go," Moore said.

Outside of a trade, the Royals might turn to a free agent such as veteran Ivan Rodriguez, although it's possible he'll return to the Rangers. Rodriguez, who had a $1.5 million contract last year with incentive bonuses, might fall within the club's budget restrictions.

"He's still throwing good and has 2,700 hits," Moore said.

Although the Royals' roster now stands at 40, Moore said the club might use their No. 4 selection in Thursday's Rule 5 draft. He said the Royals have the flexibility to open up spots.

"There's a strong possibility," Moore said. "Usually that field develops late. It depends on moves that we might make."

Despite all the talk, some moves this year might be delayed until after next Saturday, the day that Major League clubs must tender contracts. Players the Royals might non-tender, such as Buck, could have an effect on pending deals or signings.

"I think everybody will want to get the complete landscape unless there's something that really makes sense," Moore said.

Meantime, Kansas City will have special interest in Monday morning's Veterans Committee announcements for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Royals founder Ewing Kauffman is among 10 former executives being considered.

"We all know the historical aspect of everything Mr. K did for baseball in Kansas City and we're all here today because of it," Moore said.

A three-fourths vote from the 12-member committee, which includes current Royals owner David Glass, is necessary for election. In the last vote, two years ago, Kauffman received five votes, four shy of election.

Another Veterans Committee, charged with considering managers and umpires, has former Royals manager Whitey Herzog on its ballot. After being dismissed by Kauffman, Herzog went on to more fame with the Cardinals.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.