The major KC Royals leadership changes that began in September with the firing of longtime KC executive Dayton Moore, continued with the dismissals of manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred just hours after this season ended and, most recently, with the hiring of Matt Quatraro to succeed Matheny, seems to be ongoing.
It looks like another key baseball staffer is moving on.
What may soon prove to be the latest alteration of Kansas City’s leadership landscape—the departure of bench coach Pedro Grifol—is being widely reported today.
But if those reports pan out, Grifol won’t be going far, and the Royals will see him frequently.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney (Twitter link), The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link), and Jon Heyman of MLBNetwork and The New York Post (Twitter link), Grifol is apparently Chicago’s choice to replace Tony La Russa.
Skippering the White Sox, an American League Central rival of Kansas City, will be Grifol’s first big league managing job. He was an early candidate to replace Matheny but, as they’d done before when they hired Matheny to replace Ned Yost after Yost retired, the Royals chose someone else.
Grifol also interviewed for vacant managerial posts in past seasons with Baltimore, Detroit and San Francisco, and recently with Miami.
The KC Royals will lose an experienced coach if Pedro Grifol goes to Chicago.
Although at this writing the White Sox hadn’t confirmed Grifol’s hiring, all signs point to him leaving for the South Side, a move that will leave a gaping hole in Kansas City’s dugout. The club’s bench coach since the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he also served stints under Yost as catching coach, special assignments coach, and quality control/catching coach. He also worked with hitting coach George Brett during the 2013 season, then assumed all the responsibilities of tutoring the club’s hitters when Brett stepped down later that season.
Time will tell who Quatraro picks to replace Grifol, whose departure will allow the new manager to fill the position with his own choice. The Royals previously indicated hitting coaches Alec Zumwalt, Keoni DeRenne and Mike Tosar, all of whom served under Matheny, are coming back.
It looks like Pedro Grifol is leaving the Royals.