Kansas City Royals: Does Dayton Moore deserve an extension?

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

With the rumblings that Kansas City Royals General Manager Dayton will receive an extension, I guess it begs the question if he actually deserves one.

Prior to Dayton Moore taking over the General Manager position for the Kansas City Royals, Allard Baird held the position since June 2000. Under Baird, the team traded away key players in Jermaine Dye, Carlos Beltran, and Johnny Damon, all who went on to become prominent players in the league and winning a World Series with a team not named the Royals.

After a slow start to the 2006 season, Baird was out as GM and Moore was in. The Royals under team owner David Glass had never been as interested in the international free agent prospects prior to Moore taking over. And his first big signing in free agency was none other than Gil Meche at the rate of $44 million over the course of 4 seasons. Meche was a solid pitcher for the Royals at the time and finished his tenure with a 4.27 ERA in 100 starts with the team.

In 2011, Moore signed Melky Cabrera to a one-year contract worth $1.25 million and would set career-highs in home runs (18) and RBI’s (87) that season. One year of Yuniesky Betancourt, 3 years of Jeremy Guthrie, 2+ years of Omar Infante, 1+ year of Kendrys Morales, 1 year of Alex Rios, and 1+ year of Edinson Volquez have left Moore with an underwhelming list of free-agent signings.

One area that I feel Moore has excelled at is through the draft. Being a small-market team, the Royals are going to naturally rely on their farm system to produce prospects for the big league club. For the fans clamoring for Moore’s firing, it’s going to be awfully difficult to do that given that four of the Royals’ minor league affiliates just won their league championships.

Additionally, given what we saw with Triple-A Omaha winning back-to-back league championships in 2013 and 2014 and the eventual playout in the big leagues the following seasons, one could make a great argument that the Royals big league roster looks in good shape in the not so distant future.

Moore was part of the Braves scouting department prior to coming to Kansas City, a scouting department that helped the Braves win 14 consecutive division titles. 2014 and 2015 were magical seasons with the Royals finishing on top of the world in the latter year, and they are trying to get back there quickly. The big league roster is full of holes right now but there are definitely some pieces in there that they can work with.

Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi, Jorge Soler, and Hunter Dozier are all guys that you can gather support players around. That’s, of course, assuming that Merrifield is not unloaded this offseason. In just a couple of seasons, the Royals can have a boatload of prospects ready to make their major league debuts from pitching prospects like Kris Bubic, Brady Singer, Austin Cox, Jackson Kowar, and Daniel Lynch to position prospects like Brewer Hicklen, Khalil Lee, Tyler Hill, and Kyle Isbel.

Certainly, the pitching prospects dominate the list of hopefuls coming up which means that Dayton Moore, who will no longer be handcuffed by David Glass’ financial restrictions, can have a little more freedom to surround the big league roster with support players.

Moore has also helped the Royals catch up with the modern age of analytics. With spin rates, sabermetrics, and pitch usage tendencies becoming all the rage, he’s helped them take the next steps to field a more competent team.

"I wouldn’t say the Royals are big on analytics” Kris Bubic recently told me “But they’re definitely making strides to use all the technology available to aid player development. For me personally, I love analytics. If a technology or a tool is out there and can help me and the rest of the organization get better, then why not put it to use? I understand that there is a human element to the game and your eyes can tell the story a lot of times, but it’s also beneficial to have something that’s quantified to confirm what you’re seeing on the field."

It’s already being rumored that the Royals plan to extend Moore once new owner John Sherman takes over and I am interested to see how they approach this offseason. With now less than two weeks to go in the regular season, the team is headed for its second straight 100 loss season and a top 5 draft pick.

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Combined with a badly needed power-hitting slugger in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Royals should be proactive in the free-agent market or it could be more of the same next season. One thing is for sure. They cannot have the exact same rotation as this year or the Royals will see attendance drop for the fifth consecutive season.