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Dayton Moore, an executive with the Kansas City Royals since 2006, was fired on Wednesday.
This front office move comes as the Royals sit below .500 in their sixth straight season, with a 59-89 record in the American League Central coming into play on Wednesday.
Team owner John Sherman announced the move at a news conference, where Moore did speak about the situation before leaving.
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“I think the goal is clear: it’s to compete for championships again, and we need to make sure we reach that goal,” said Sherman, who bought the club from David Glass in 2019 and kept Moore as general manager. him president of baseball operations in 2022.
“In 2022 we went backwards, and we do. It happens to great teams. But when I started talking to Dayton and others, I felt we needed more change than what was talked about, and that was a big reason for this to make.”
JJ Picollo, who brought in Sherman as GM this season, will now take on the role of chief of baseball operations. He was the first person to hire Moore since he took over from GM in 2006, but the dynamics never really worked.
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“I’ve known JJ since he was 21 years old,” Moore noted in his short speech. “He’s an incredible leader, and like I said before, he’s more than willing to lead the baseball operations division in a very innovative and productive way.”
Moore’s impact on the Royals is undeniable. He took over in 2006 and the team closed that year with their third straight season with 100 losses. Slowly but surely, Moore and his team trusted the process of acquiring and developing young talent.
The Royals took their time climbing up as World Series contenders, but made the most of it in 2015 when they went on the run to defeat the New York Mets in five games.
Moore and his team can be credited with finding talent such as Salvador Perez, who is still on the team, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Whit Merrifield and most recently Bobby Witt Jr.
“He’s a great guy, a great person,” said Perez. ‘It’s hard, you know? I never thought he would leave this organization.”
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What Moore consistently faced was a tight market budget, just like other clubs in the league. When players like Hosmer, Cain and Moustakas reached the peak of their game, he had to make the decision to let them go and get their lucrative deals in free agency.
Moore’s drafting wasn’t the best either, which is why they didn’t find that spark like they did in 2015. At the end of the day, without the big budget of teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mets and New York Yankees, the Royals must compete by drawing well and developing young talent. The Tampa Bay Rays are a great example of doing things that way successfully.
That will now be Picollo’s goal as Moore waits for another chance in MLB.
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“There is now a gap between where we are and where we expected,” Sherman said. “I felt like we were making progress in 2021, and in 2022 that’s not how I feel.”