KC Royals Manager Search: What the heck is going on?

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

Not since the Oct. 6 ballpark press conference the KC Royals convened to address the previous evening’s departures of manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred has any noise about their successors disturbed the offseason quiet of Kauffman Stadium.

And save for its confirmation that KC coaches Pedro Grifol and Vance Wilson are candidates to succeed Matheny—word that also came during that Oct. 6 gathering—the club hasn’t named any other baseball people who General Manager J.J. Picollo might be considering.

Just what is going on at The K? Where does the search stand?

Good questions.

Whether the KC Royals have interviewed any prospective managers is unknown.

Presumably—and hopefully—Picollo has conducted at least some formal talks with folks in whom he’s interested. But if he’s interviewed anyone, he isn’t saying. Nor is anyone else around the Royals.

As present members of the organization, bench coach Grifol and third base coach Wilson should have been easy to access by now. After all, Matheny was unemployed within hours of the club concluding its season in Cleveland, and surely the two coaches had Kansas City ends to tie up before heading out for the winter. Even if they went home immediately, interviewing both by now shouldn’t have been difficult.

Kansas City minor league manager and former KC player and coach Tony Peña Jr., whose qualifications for the job we recently addressed, would also likely be easy to interview if Picollo is interested.

And the club hasn’t confirmed (and probably won’t) NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Jim Salisbury’s report that Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan (yes, he’s John Wathan’s son), a long-time minor league skipper before joining the Phils’ coaching staff in 2018, was scheduled to interview with the Royals Thursday. (Philadelphia had the day off from the National League Championship Series).

Mum is also the Royals’ word on any of the veritable plethora of managers, coaches, and other baseball folk mentioned by any number of outlets and social media prognosticators as potential Matheny replacements. Those names include six possibilities, with Peña and Wathan among them, we wrote about back in July.

KC Royals candidate Pedro Grifol seems to have interviewed elsewhere.

The quiet shrouding Kansas City’s search for a manager hasn’t spread to other clubs’ searches for new skippers; in fact, reports indicate Grifol is apparently a candidate for at least two jobs, with the White Sox’ vacant position being one, and Miami’s open managing job the other.

So, Kansas City might want to move quickly if Grifol is its top choice. But until the Royals name Grifol, or someone else, to succeed Matheny, expect the silence around The K to remain deafening.

Gold Gloves, MLB Playoffs, and more. dark. Next

What’s up with Kansas City’s manager search? We probably won’t know much until it ends.