The Kansas City Royals seem like prime candidate to rebuild while floundering in last place in baseball's worst division, but general manager Dayton Moore won't commit to trading away longtime third baseman and fan favorite Mike Moustakas.
"We're not going to make deals unless we get the type of value back that's important to the future of our organization," Moore told Rustin Dodd of The Athletic. "Our fans like watching Mike Moustakas play. I'm not going to take that away from them just to do a deal - unless the deal makes really good sense."
Moustakas has been a fixture of the Royals since 2011, including the 2015 World Series championship season. The Kauffman Stadium faithful are known to greet the 29-year-old known as "Moose" with antlers in the stands.
After rejecting a qualifying offer last offseason that would have paid him $17.4 million for one year, an uncharacteristically slow free-agent period forced Moustakas to ultimately accept a one-year, $6.5-million deal to remain with the Royals.
His team-friendly contract would be a valuable rental option for a contenders in need of a slugger, as Moustakas has posted a .788 OPS with 13 home runs over 67 games.
Meanwhile, the Royals find themselves at 22-46, 14 games back of the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians.