Kansas City Royals Dayton Moore a top 5 General Manager?
When Dayton Moore became the General Manager of the Kansas City Royals on June 8, 2006, he had no idea what he was in for. The team was at an all time low. With a starting lineup full of no-names, the Royals had just lost 100+ games for the 3rd season in a row. They became just the eleventh team in major league history to be that bad for that many years in a row.
Moore wasn’t just expected to build a winning baseball team from virtually nothing, but to restore the community’s faith in the Royals. Needless to say, he had his work cut out for him.
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He preached patience right from the start, often asking fans to “trust the process.” This rarely went over well. For a fanbase that hadn’t seen playoff baseball since 1985, the last thing they wanted to hear was “be patient.” And who could blame them? Much to his credit, Moore was always honest about how long it was going to take.
Some will say that taking so long to turn the team around automatically disqualifies Moore from being considered a top-tier General Manager. When you break it down, however, I’m not sure how anyone could have done it much faster. Consider the following:
- The year Moore took over as GM, Zack Greinke played in the minors, and Billy Butler and Alex Gordon were in the Royals’ farm system. Other than those three, no one who was in the Royals system at that time has gone on to be successful in the major leagues.
- On August 13, 2006, Moore hired Rene Francisco as International Scouting Director. Towards the end of the year, he went down to the Dominican Republic and signed Salvador Perez and Kelvin Herrera.
- These were the first two major acquisitions the team made with Dayton Moore at the helm.
- In 2007, the team drafted Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy, Greg Holland and David Lough.
- Aside from Lough, those are 5 key players from the 2014 World Series team, all acquired in Dayton Moore’s first full year as GM.
- In 2008, the team drafted Eric Hosmer and Yordano Ventura—7 key players.
- In 2009, the team drafted Wil Myers, key in acquiring James Shields and Wade Davis.
- In 2010, when Zack Greinke demanded a trade out of Kansas City, Moore used him to bring in Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain and Jake Odorizzi (another key piece in the trade for Shields and Davis).
Those moves alone bring the total to 11. 11 key players on the 2014 pennant-winning team, all acquired within Dayton Moore’s first 4 years as General Manager. Add that to the fact that he’s been able to increase the payroll almost every year, has beefed up the farm system, and has made a number of reasonable free agent signings, and it’s hard not to feel he’s done an impressive job. Yes, it took longer than many would have liked, but one thing is clear: the patience has paid off.