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Royals Hit a Home Run by Hiring Matt Quatraro as Manager

Kansas City is putting its faith in someone who appears to be the right man for the job.

For weeks on end, the baseball world wondered who the Kansas City Royals would hire to replace Mike Matheny as the manager of the club. That question was answered late on Sunday afternoon when it was announced that former Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro would be joining the organization as the 18th manager in its history.

With the 2022-23 offseason in full swing, Kansas City had always set a very soft deadline to wrap up its managerial interviews and make a final decision by or near the end of the World Series. Not only did John Sherman, J.J. Picollo and company accomplish that goal, but they also netted perhaps the hottest name on the big-league coaching market in the process. Quatraro, a favorite all along, ended up with the team that many speculated could make an ultimate move for him.

What could the Royals be getting with Quatraro? Is the 48-year-old the right pick for the job? Does this raise or lower expectations for the 2023 version of the club? The Inside the Royals crew gathered to discuss all things related to the Quatraro hiring. 

Shawn Bauman: The hiring of Matt Quatraro will be the first time the Royals have hired a skipper without any big-league managerial experience since Tony Pena. Pena went on to win Manager of the Year in that Cinderella season of 2003. A lack of talent development and front office savvy ensured the rest of Pena's tenure was not so rosy. The connection, though, is that much like Pena, Quatraro will have a group of young and hungry players who have as much to prove as he does. 

The new manager will need help with solid free agent pickups but all indications point to the fact he will be a leader everyone can get behind. It should be no surprise John Sherman went with someone he had a connection with during his time in Cleveland. Let's hope the winning atmosphere is contagious for the Royals.

Trevor Hahn: If anyone can figure out how to get a winning culture into the Royals’ locker room, it would be Matt Quatraro. He has been around small market teams that have had success in Cleveland and Tampa. There are still plenty of cracks to be filled within the organization throughout all the levels, but this is a start everyone should be behind. Keep building for the future and the fanbase will be pleased with the results.

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Mark Van Sickle: The hiring of Matt Quatraro is a breath of fresh air for the Royals. John Sherman and J.J. Picollo did the right thing by bringing in someone from outside the organization. The easy thing for the short-term would have been to hire one of their internal candidates but for the long-term, this was a move they needed to make. 

Quatraro has a record of success with a couple of small-market teams. Though he had never been the head guy before his hire in Kansas City, from all accounts he has the temperament and fortitude to be able to handle a young clubhouse. Add to the fact that I haven’t read a bad word about him from former players, colleagues or media members from his previous stints, and this all aligns to look like a home run hire for the Royals!

Jerry Edwards: The Royals did the right thing by going out of house for their managerial hire. As much as people might’ve liked Pedro Grifol, he doesn’t have the resume Quatraro does and would more than likely not have cleared out the dead weight of the Royals staff. Will Quatraro do that? As of right now, it’s to be decided. Logically, the hire makes sense on every front and there’s not going to be a lot of criticism around it. Quatraro is going to deal with a team that will be wet behind the ears in terms of experience, so don’t set your expectations high for next season. But if the Royals aren't .500 or better at the All-Star break by his third year, there will be problems.

Jacob Milham: The Royals named Quatraro as the franchise’s 18th manager, and I could not be happier — an experienced bench coach, but with two different franchises. He doesn’t have MLB managerial experience, which is really his only “concern." Players, execs, and pundits all have nothing but great things to say about him. This isn't saying that he will turn the franchise around overnight though. He has experience with young and cheap teams, so he will fit right in Kansas City.

Christopher Tenpenny: What excites me the most about the Quatraro hiring is that he appears to be a player's coach who will let this young core be themselves. There were too many rumors during the Matheny era of tense locker rooms. Guys won’t be on eggshells in the locker room and can now put 100% of their focus on learning how to be big-leaguers. The added emphasis on analytics will be a breath of fresh air and hopefully Quatraro brings Cleveland and Tampa's knacks for developing pitchers over to KC. I’m excited to see him grow with a young roster. There are going to be growing pains, but I believe the Royals took a big step toward future success with this hiring.

Jordan Foote: As I noted shortly after the Quatraro hire became official, the Royals couldn't have secured a much better name for their manager at this point in the process. Not only does the veteran coach come from a forward-thinking organization that is very friendly when it comes to analytics, but Quatraro has — by all accounts — what it takes to command and lead a young club such as this present Royals team. It remains to be seen what subsequent moves will be made to support Quatraro and his staff, but this seems to be a clear step in the right direction for everyone involved.