Kansas City Royals new owner John Sherman will have to hire the right manager once he takes over, but can the team afford to wait that long?
When John Sherman is handed the keys to the Kansas City Royals, his first move will be to hire a manager to replace Ned Yost, who had been with the team since 2010. Yost, 64, decided to call it quits once he knew that the worst, in terms of the rebuild, was over. Certainly, finding a new manager will be one in a series of moves needed to repair the franchise this offseason.
Sherman is expected to be announced as the new owner on November 21 at the Major League Baseball owners’ meeting in Arlington, Texas. That being said, one would also expect that he’ll get to work after those meetings conclude which raises the question if he’ll already be behind? With the playoffs in full swing now, the majority of teams are starting to figure out their plan for the offseason. Like the Royals, several other teams will be searching for a new manager including the Giants, Cubs, Padres, Pirates, Mets, and Angels.
History has proven that discussions with available managers begin shortly after the regular season is over and many teams locking down their new managers in late October. Look no further to recent examples like Joe Maddon, who had agreed to become the Chicago Cubs manager on October 31 and was formally introduced on November 3, 2014.
Same for Gabe Kapler who agreed to become the 54th manager in Phillies’ history on October 30, 2017. Alex Cora, November 2, 2017. AJ Hinch, September 29, 2014. You get the idea. Certainly, there are cases where managers are not hired until late November or early December like Aaron Boone (Yankees), Kevin Cash (Rays), Dave Roberts (Dodgers), which would be ideal given the timeline of the Royals ownership.
However, with so many managerial openings this offseason and some teams already pursuing interviews, a good argument could be made that several of these candidates will already have new homes by the time Sherman takes over. The timing of the team’s sale is coming at the perfect time, no doubt.
With several pieces already on the big league roster and a bunch of promising pitching prospects set to make their big league debuts within the next couple of years, the organization looks to be headed in the right direction. But Sherman needs to nail the managerial hire. Ideally, one that would be around long-term to see this team become competitive again.
You would hope there are some discussions going on behind the scenes with Dayton Moore on potential candidates prior to November 21. The last thing Royals fans would want to see is John Sherman making a “lazy” hire from within. And from within, I specifically mean Dale Sveum or Mike Matheny.