Dayton Moore on Royals Shifting to J.J. Picollo as GM: ‘It Was the Right Thing to Do'

The Royals' new president of baseball ops is excited for what the future holds for the organization.

On Tuesday, there was quite a bit of news that came out of the press conference at Kauffman Stadium.

Kansas City Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman, the man who called the press conference, announced that Dayton Moore would be promoted from the team’s general manager to the president of baseball operations.

Sherman added that longtime assistant to Moore, J.J. Picollo, would be promoted and become the seventh general manager of the Royals organization.

Sherman also mentioned he and the ownership group were looking at all avenues for what to do when the stadium’s lease ended in 2031. Many have come to the conclusion that a downtown ballpark in the heart of Kansas City would be the logical choice for the ownership group, but that was not said outright during this particular press conference.

On Wednesday morning, Moore joined KCMO Talk radio on 710 AM/103.7 FM with morning show host Pete Mundo to discuss many topics. Among them were the promotion, how he feels about Picollo taking over his former role and his thoughts on the potential of a downtown stadium. Mundo asked Moore about what made him comfortable changing roles within the organization at this time.

“We’ve been studying the structure over the last few years,” Moore said. “Evaluating the structure and seeing how other organizations in the game have been able to operate in this manner and evaluating the skill set of our employees at the higher level and evaluating where we are as an organization in our development as we prepare to win and strive to win another World Championship. It became clear over the last few months and going through the draft it’s probably the right thing to do for our organization at this time. The front office has evolved immensely.”

Moore continued to discuss the expansion and growth of the front office.

“Front offices have evolved over the years," Moore said. "When we got here in 2006, there were nine guys in the front office and now there are 34. We had 85 employees worldwide in baseball operations and now we have 266… it’s very complex. I’ve got to be freed up to think big picture and most importantly, it allows our very qualified people — and in this case, J.J. Picollo— a chance to manage the everyday operations and everything that goes into that over 162 games and all the moves that need to be made.”

Moore seemed confident in Picollo's abilities and hinted that Picollo and some of the other front office counterparts have been in control of some of the aspects of the job in recent years.

“Watching all the players with injuries... and players forcing our hand in the minor leagues… J..J is qualified to do that and has been qualified to do that for many years. Those guys have been doing it for the past few years and I’ve just put my stamp on it and said ‘let’s do it,’ so it was just the right time.”

Mundo mentioned that Picollo had been a hot commodity around Major League Baseball over the past several years and was curious if that had anything to do with the organization wanting to retain him in the role as general manager.

“That didn’t factor in at any level… we’ve always been proactive in helping employees pursue other opportunities if it would help them and their families," Moore said. "J.J. has had other opportunities to go to other places in different positions and decided to stay here. I’ve known J.J. and his wife for 30-plus years. It’s always been natural conversations about his career and his path and what’s best for his family but there was no immediate situation that forced us to make a decision like this. It was the right thing to do.”

Mundo was curious about some off-the-field circumstances with the Royals and wanted to know Moore’s thoughts on the possibility of a new stadium and new location in Kansas City.

“I trust John Sherman,” Moore said. “He’s very thoughtful. He listens to people. He’s always going to do what’s in the best interest of Kansas City and how we can make the community even stronger. We’re going to use baseball and the Kansas City Royals as a platform to continue to do good in the Kansas City community. Whatever John (Sherman) ultimately decides, I am going to support. I know it’s well thought out. I trust him greatly. He cares deeply about this community and cares about people.”

No one knows exactly how everything is going to play out moving forward, but Moore seems to be excited about the future of the Kansas City Royals and the direction that the organization is headed — both on and off the field. 

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