J.J. Picollo, a long-time lieutenant of Dayton Moore and a Royals assistant general manager, has surfaced as a candidate for the Minnesota Twins’ vacant general manager position, The Star has learned.
Minnesota’s interest in Picollo was first reported by Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball. The Twins are looking for a new general manager after firing longtime executive Terry Ryan in July. They have a long list of candidates, according to Heyman. The known candidates include the Chicago Cubs’ Jason McLeod, a senior vice president of scouting and player development.
It’s unclear if Picollo is set to interview with the Twins or if the Royals have granted permission for the Twins to speak with Picollo. Moore, the Royals’ general manager, declined to comment on the matterTuesday, saying it “would be inappropriate to comment on another club’s general manager search.”
The Royals and Moore, however, have a long history of encouraging high-ranking members of the front office to interview for open general manager positions. Last fall, Picollo interviewed with the Philadelphia Phillies for their general manager vacancy. He was among a final group of candidates before the job went to Matt Klentak, an assistant general manager with the Los Angeles Angels. He also interviewed for the Houston Astros’ general manager position before the 2012 season. That job eventually went to Jeff Luhnow, then an executive with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Picollo, who joined the Royals in 2006, has been a pillar of the club’s front office for a decade, helping guide the club’s turnaround from perennial loser to a World Series champion in 2015. Picollo is in his second season as the club’s vice president/assistant general manager for player personnel, but he has previously served in other capacities.
From 2008 to 2014, Picollo was assistant general manager for scouting and player development, helping build one of the top farm systems in the game, including a minor-league talent pool that produced Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy and Greg Holland, among others. Picollo worked as director of player development from 2006 to 2008.
Picollo followed Moore to the Royals in 2006 after spending close to seven years with the Atlanta Braves. While in Atlanta, Picollo worked as an area scouting supervisor, as an assistant director of player development and director of minor-league operations.