Royals fire Dayton Moore as president of baseball operations


Dayton Moore, the architect of the 2015 World Series champion Kansas City Royals but the steward of a franchise in the midst of its sixth consecutive losing season, has been relieved of his role as president of baseball operations. Royals owner John Sherman announced the firing at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, in what could be the first in a series of sweeping changes for a team that fell far short of expectations in 2022.

“Dayton resurrected this franchise. It was not in a good spot,” Sherman said Wednesday. “Today I want to make sure that my feeling is gratitude.”

Moore had overseen the Royals since 2006. JJ Picollo, his longtime lieutenant, took over as general manager near the end of the 2021 season. Sherman said Wednesday that Picollo will take over the baseball operations department moving forward.

“I’m really thankful for the opportunity,” Moore told The Athletic. “I’m proud of our culture and what we accomplished in Kansas City. I’m disappointed we weren’t able to see it through. But I have confidence in John Sherman, JJ Picollo and the entire baseball operations department to finish it off.”

Moore’s era will end with a club stocked with intriguing talent, like 22-year-old shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., but struggling to compete at the big-league level. The fate of manager Mike Matheny, whose option for 2023 was exercised by the Royals on March 31, is also in question, with Sherman indicating that any decision on Matheny’s future will be left to Picollo. The Royals entered Wednesday 22 games out of first place in the American League Central.

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