Dayton Moore Fired as Royals President; GM of 2015 World Series Championship Team
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The Kansas City Royals fired president of baseball operations Dayton Moore. J.J. Picollo will take over as general manager and executive vice president.
Moore provided a comment to The Athletic’s Andy McCullough and Ken Rosenthal.
“I’m really thankful for the opportunity,” he said. “I’m proud of our culture and what we accomplished in Kansas City. I’m disappointed we weren’t able to see it through. But I have confidence in John Sherman, J.J. Picollo and the entire baseball operations department to finish it off.”
The Royals hired Moore as their general manager in May 2006. At the time, Kansas City was on its way to a 62-win season and a 21st consecutive year of missing the playoffs.
By the end of 2015, the franchise claimed an American League pennant (in 2014) before going all the way and winning its second World Series title the next year. Moore was the architect of those squads and built the roster through a variety of means.
Salvador Perez and Kelvin Herrera signed with the Royals as teenagers. Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy and Greg Holland were drafted by the team. Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain arrived in the Zack Greinke trade. And Kansas City had the last laugh on the 2012 trade of Wil Myers, which netted James Shields and Wade Davis, the latter emerging as one of MLB’s best relievers.
As much as Moore did for the organization, credit for those two World Series trips only extended him so much goodwill. The Royals haven’t had a winning record since 2015, and they haven’t finished .500 since 2016.
Kansas City hasn’t been able to develop homegrown talent. A recent report by The Athletic detailed how Moore’s heavy focus on pitchers in the 2018 MLB draft has yielded a disappointing return so far. Royals pitchers are 28th in WAR (6.1) and 27th in FIP (4.47), per FanGraphs.
Moore addressed the story and posited “most of those comments come from somebody criticizing simply with a critical spirit.” He added it “wasn’t factual” and “left out a lot of important things that, I think, speak to the upside of where we are and where we’re going with our pitchers.”
For some, his response illustrated why a change in leadership was required.
Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Sam Dykstra of MLB.com ranked Kansas City’s farm system 21st in MLB in August, so there isn’t a wealth of young talent soon coming up through the pipeline. Bobby Witt Jr. has shown promise, but Nick Pratto struggled so much he earned a demotion to Triple-A.
Picollo has a tall task ahead to build another contender in Kansas City.