What is the next step for the Royals after the end of the Dayton Moore era? Where Kansas City Stands After a CEO Was Fired

The Kansas City Royals Chief of Baseball Operations Dayton Moore fired Wednesday, ending his 16-year tenure with the organization. The Royals peaked under Moore when they posted four consecutive seasons of .500 or better from 2013-16, a stretch that saw them win back-to-back NBA banners and the 2015 World Championships. Moore has since proven unable to guide royals through rebuilding Another lengthy one, and his departure coincides with the Royals’ threats (currently 60-89) for a 95th losing season.

“Dayton revived this privilege,” Owner John Sherman said. “He wasn’t in a good place. He rebuilt the farm system, player development, and international business. He rebuilt the team in a way that culminated in back-to-back MLS and World Championships in 2015.”

At least for the time being, Moore will succeed Moore as the Royals’ top baseball operations executive by another Kansas City mainstay, JJ Piccolo. CBS Sports’ rival front offices have already speculated that Sherman and the royal family could look to appointing an executive from outside the organization in the coming months as a way to add a new set of eyes to the operation. If this guess becomes a reality, Sherman might look to hunt someone down Cleveland Guardians reception desk. (Sherman was a minority owner in the Guardians before the royal family was bought out.)

Whether the royal family ends up relying on the wit and wisdom of Picollo or someone else to guide them back into the feud, it’s time to check out exactly what the organization has to offer. Below, CBS Sports breaks down the big league roster, farm system, and budget in Kansas City, addressing three key questions about the job and future status.

big league predictions

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

The good news is that the Royals have promoted their most anticipated prospects to The Show this season, giving them a younger, newer lineup. Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. and his sidekick/defender MG Melendez are number one and number two on the Kansas City roster in board appearances, and the gray-bearded duo (Melendez) will turn 24 in November. Four of the top ten royal family appearance winners are 25 or younger. This number improves to six if you extend it up to 15.

These six guys kept on their own this year as well. Witt, Melendez, and player Michael Massey both play OPS+ just north of the 100. Meanwhile, first base officer/designated hitter Vinny Pasquantino made his way to 123 OPS+ while displaying both power cut and contact. Defender Kyle Ispel and first baseman Nick Prato are the only ones who have suffered so badly.

The bad news is that this squad hasn’t been able to beat the terrible rotation. Bless Brady Singer for reinventing himself after being demoted early in the season, as he was the only bright side to this group outside of Zack Greinke’s reunion tour. In fact, Royals have given seven bowlers at least five start times this season, and Singer and Greinke are the only bowlers with an ERA+ over 95…or 90…or 87…or 85…or Any number down to 81. (Jonathan Hesley entered Wednesday with 80+ ERA.)

Here’s a not-so-fun fact that helps explain why the royals are where they are in this regard: They’ve drafted 10 first-round bowlers since 2014; Only one of those ten, Singer, is still with the organization and is on a positive path. Finding out if the scouting department or the development team is responsible for someone else’s problem; All we can say is that this is a lot of wasted time and capital project.

If you’re a Picollo (or Mystery Executive X), you’ll probably want to focus on the positives. This means highlighting that Witt, Melendez and Pasquantino feel like potential cornerstones; How Salvador Pérez overcame the difficult month of May; And how Singer proved that members of the royal family aren’t actually incapable of developing an arm. Now, if they could repeat this process four more times, they might have something here.

Farm System Overview

As mentioned earlier, the royals have graduated most of their seniors to majors during this season. All the upstream movement has left this royal family with an understandably weak farm system.

Outfielder Gavin Cross, the ninth pick in the July draft, is the top name worth knowing here. He expects to become an above-average hitter after improving his strike, walk and power numbers last spring at Virginia Tech. He did better at the hockey position than most scouts expected, and the royals have even now continued to play him there. Kroos doesn’t have a lot of flash in his game, yet he’s been in the top 10 defendable and should mature into a player of basic caliber.

The royal family has stumbled upon other recent top picks. Left pitchers Asa Lacy (No. 4 in 2020) and Frank Mozzicato (No. 7 in 2021) haven’t advanced as well. Lacey has dealt with back issues that have led him to 28 runs this season. He walked more than his hits (42 vs. 35) when on the hill, which indicates he’s a long way from harnessing his arsenal. Mozzicato, who enjoyed as much helium as anyone in 2021 as a small Southerner to drop, also struggled with his driving in 19 starts. He averaged nearly seven walks per nine innings.

Elsewhere, royals Alec Marsh (compensatory pick in 2019) saw him score 7.32 ERA in over 110 Double-A rounds, and companion player Nick Loftin (compensatory pick in 2020) saw his strike rate nearly double after being promoted to Triple-A . This is not, as the children say, what you want.

The royals have added several prospects in middle deals, including defender Drew Waters and pitchers Andrew Hoffman, TJ Sikkima and Pick Wey. Waters used to be highly respected, but it has lost its luster in recent years due to strike issues. We can go on, but you probably get the point by now.

budget forecast

This should come as no surprise given its reputation as a small market franchise, but members of the royal family have one of the lowest salaries in majors. They are ranked 23rd in spending, According to Spotracwhich puts them in the foreground Tampa Bay RaysAnd the Miami Marlinsand the Guardians, among other budget-conscious clubs.

As expected, members of the royal family do not have many long-term financial commitments. The largest of the group belongs to Salvador Pérez, who owes more than $20 million annually through the 2025 campaign. Hunter Dozier and Michael A. Taylor are the only other royals with guaranteed contracts, and they will have about $12 million combined in 2023.

Members of the royal family have a huge number of players eligible to referee and whose prizes will determine the shape of their final payroll. At the same time, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Piccolo (or the new CEO) frees up extra cash by cutting ties with the likes of Adalberto Mondesi, Luke Weaver, Amir Garrett and possibly Brad Keeler.

Even if the royals match that year’s opening day payroll number ($94 million), they should have plenty of room to make moderate additions, if they so desire.

Three big questions

1. Is the biggest reform coming?
It’s reasonable to wonder if there are other changes in store when the franchise kicks someone out of Moore’s stature and service time. Even if Sherman stuck with Piccolo as a baseball executive, that doesn’t mean he’d agree to keep the entire front office or coaching staff in place. This might seem like an obvious starting point for coach Mike Matheny. The Royals exercised his option with the club for next season again in March, but there is no sense in bringing him back to service in a lame-duck capacity.

2. Can promotional development be saved?
The answer to this question is unknown from the outside. However, the royal family’s inability to turn these high-ranking bowlers into important contributors to the big league is troubling, and needs to be addressed. On a related note…

3. How much will Sherman spend?
Generally, this question is asked in relation to the big league payroll. This is part of it, no doubt, but there are other aspects within the organization that are worth spending on. Take, for example, the problems of developing a Royals player. If these stem from a backward Kansas City in terms of technology and analytical prowess, Sherman will have to fund any costs to help them get closer to the bleeding edge. He must know from his time around The Guardians that these things often pay for themselves.