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Dayton Moore, a Kansas City Royals executive since 2006, was fired Wednesday.
This front-office move comes as the Royals have been below . 500 for the sixth straight season and own a record of 59-89 in the American League Central playing Wednesday.
Team owner John Sherman announced the move at a press conference, where Moore spoke about the situation before leaving.
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Sherman, who bought the club from David Glass in 2019 and kept Moore as general manager, said: “I think the goal is clear: to compete for the championship again and we are making progress towards that goal. I need to confirm,” he said. He will become president of baseball operations in 2022.
“We stepped back to 2022 and it happened. It happens to great teams. That was a big reason for making this.”
JJ Piccolo, who Sherman hired as GM this season, will now assume the role of head of baseball operations. He was the first person Moore hired since he took over as GM in 2006, but that dynamic never worked out.
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“I’ve known JJ since I was 21,” Moore said in a short speech. He is ready to lead baseball’s operations department in a sensible way.
Moore’s influence on the Royals is undeniable. He took over in 2006 and the team finished that year with their third consecutive 100-loss season. Slowly but surely, Moore and his team came to trust the process of acquiring and developing young talent.
The Royals were slow to emerge as World Series contenders, but they went all out in 2015, defeating the New York Mets in five games.
Moore and his team were joined by current team members Salvador Perez, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Witt Merrifield and most recently Bobby Witt Jr.
“He’s a great guy, a great person,” Perez said.
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One thing Moore has consistently dealt with, like other clubs in the league, is a small market budget. When players like Hosmer, Cain and Moustakas reached their peak of play, he had to make the decision to let them go and get a lucrative deal in free agency.
Moore’s draft wasn’t the best either, so they didn’t get the spark they did in 2015. After all, without the hefty budgets of teams like the Dodgers, Mets, and New York Yankees, the Royals have to draft well and compete by developing young talent. The Tampa Bay Rays are a prime example of that success.
While Moore awaits new opportunities in the MLB, that would be Piccolo’s goal now.
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“There’s a gap right now between where we are and where we expected to be,” Sherman said. I don’t feel