The “process” — that oft-favored word of Royals general manager Dayton Moore — will continue for at least three more seasons.
The club announced Friday that it had reached agreement with Moore on a two-year contract extension that will extend his tenure through 2016. If he completes the deal, he will become the longest-serving general manager in franchise history.
“When Dayton’s contract was extended during the 2009 season,” club president Dan Glass said in a statement released by the club, “I felt that this franchise had begun to turn the corner and that we were pointed in the proper direction.
“It’s been a challenging process, but we are now seeing tangible evidence that the process is working, thanks to the tireless efforts of Dayton and his Baseball Operations staff. Dayton is not only an outstanding baseball man, but he’s very much a part of our family and one of the top individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.”
The move comes less than two months after the Royals reached a new two-year deal with manager Ned Yost through 2015 and follows the club’s most successful season, at 86-76, since 1989.
“I’m very proud of the entire organization,” Moore said, “especially our scouting and player development departments for their dedication and commitment to the Royals. It’s a tremendous honor and privilege to work with Mr. (David) Glass, Dan and the entire family.”
Moore said he began serious negotiations “a couple of weeks ago” with Dan Glass and reached an agreement on Wednesday. The club withheld the announcement until after Thanksgiving.
“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Moore said, “in putting young, talented players on the field who have a bright future. We certainly want to continue to do everything we can to add to those players and create a winning atmosphere where our fans get a chance to enjoy the team.”
The Royals had three All-Stars in 2013 for the first time in 25 years — and each was a homegrown player: catcher Salvy Perez, left fielder Alex Gordon and closer Greg Holland.
The club also achieved a franchise first by producing three Gold Glove winners for defensive excellence. Again, all three were homegrown: Perez, Gordon and first baseman Eric Hosmer.
And Moore, 46, saw his club finish with a winning record for the first time since he replaced Allard Baird as the Royals’ general manager on May 31, 2006.
“It’s never easy to deal with losing,” Moore said, “but, at the same time, we’ve been fortunate that Dan and Dave have been very supportive. During those early years, we knew we were building an international program. We knew we were developing (players) and felt we were having (high-)quality drafts.
“Obviously, that’s where our focus was. We were motivated by building an organization. We weren’t going to allow the losses at the major-league level, during that period of time, take us away from what our goal was.”
Moore came to the Royals after 13 years in the Atlanta organization and inherited a franchise slogging through its third 100-loss season in four years. He often implored the club’s fan base to “trust the process” through the lean years of the rebuilding plan.
“Our goal was that by 2012 and 2013 to have a core group of our players that reflected homegrown talent,” he said. “We wanted to sign as many quality players long-term as possible. We’ve been fortunate to do a lot of that.”
Moore ranks 10th among major-league general managers in terms of longevity but will, if he completes his new contract, rank first among the six men to hold the position in Royals’ 45-year history.
Herk Robinson served 10-plus years as the club’s general manager before Baird got the job in June 2000. John Schuerholz held the job for 10 years prior to Robinson before leaving to fill the same job in Atlanta, where he hired and promoted Moore.