Kansas City Royals president of baseball operations Dayton Moore has been fired after being the franchise’s lead decision-maker since 2006. Ken Rosenthal broke the news on Wednesday, and Moore confirmed the decision in a statement:
“I’m really thankful for the opportunity. 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.”
Shortly there after, the Royals announced the decision and also announced that general manager J.J. Piccolo will take over as the top voice in baseball operations.
Moore, 55, will forever be a beloved figure in Kansas City for being the architect of the Royals teams that won the American League pennant in 2014 and then prevailed in the World Series in 2015. The 2015 title was the second in franchise history. The first came in 1985.
The Royals under Moore, however, descended quickly from that high point. They slipped to .500 in 2016, and 2022 will make their sixth straight losing season. In 2018 and 2019, the Royals endured a combined 207 losses.
While some impressive young talent has emerged from the protracted rebuilding process — Bobby Witt Jr., most notably — the trajectory hasn’t been enough to spare Moore. They’ve graduated a number of promising prospects to the majors, but their recent inability to develop young pitching has been a notable weakness in terms of player development.
As well, Sherman, who bought the team from David Glass in November of 2019, wanted to take the franchise is a more modern direction, as he made clear shortly after Moore’s termination was announced:
Given the Royals’ struggles and the mood of change, manager Mike Matheny would seem to be in danger of losing his job. Matheny across parts of three seasons as Kansas City manager has a record of 159-211 (.430). The Royals ent into Wednesday’s slate with a record of 59-89 and in fourth place in the weak American League Central.