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Despite tumultuous end, Dayton Moore legacy with the Royals will be remembered

Salvador Perez, Dayton Moore
Posted at 5:22 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 22:14:18-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dayton Moore's time with the Kansas City Royals is over.

On Wednesday, Royals chairman and CEO John Sherman announced longtime executive Dayton Moore has been fired as team president, a role he only received last year.

With Moore's departure, catcher Salvador Perez is one of the last important figures of the 2015 Royals team who's still with the organization.

Despite Moore's unfortunate end, his impact on the Royals and the city is still undeniable.

Moore came into the organization in June 2006 when the organization was at its lowest. The Royals were on the verge of losing 100 games for the third straight year in a row. The team was two years removed from trading away a young Carlos Beltran, and fan-favorite Mike Sweeney was getting older by the day.

Moore becoming general manager to the Royals made sense at first. Moore came from the Atlanta Braves organization, originally starting as a scout then working his way up to assistant general manager in 2005. The Braves's then-general manager was John Schuerholtz, who was the GM who built the 1985 World Series championship winning team.

Schuerholtz then joined the Braves in 1990 and would engineer a roster built around three future hall of fame pitchers in Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. The Braves would arguably become one of the teams of the 90s, appearing in five world series during that decade, including winning the 1995 World Series.

The move made sense, but Moore's first few years did not go well in the major league level, with the team still being a perennial 90 plus loss team in all but one season from 2007 to 2012.

Moore, however, was able to benefit from the draft position, drafting franchise icons Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas with their top 10 picks in 2007 and 2008. He also did well on the international free agent market, signing Kelvin Herrera, Salvador Perez and the late Yordano Ventura — all of whom would become key pieces in the future.

The Royals were also able to blossom under Moore, with icons like Alex Gordon and Zack Greinke developing into great players early on in his tenure, the latter winning the 2009 American League Cy Young Award.

However, Royals fans wanted the team back into competing post-season, and Greinke was getting more anxious to get back to the postseason. Greinke would eventually ask for a trade from the Royals after the 2010 season.

Moore made some difficult moves during the next two years, trading away Greinke to the Milwaukee Brewers in Dec. 2010, and then-top prospects Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery, and Wil Myers in Dec. 2012, the latter move had fans furious — so furious that Moore found the criticism insulting at the time.

It also didn't help that Myers won American League Rookie of the Year in 2013.

But the moves paid off. The Greinke trade got Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and Odorizzi from the Brewers, and the latter along with Myers and Montgomery, would be traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis.

Those moves would be instrumental in the future of the Royals as Escobar, Cain, Shields, and Davis would first help the team win 86 games in 2013, the team's first winning season since 2003. Then, in 2014, not only did they get the Royals back into the postseason for the first time since 1985, they would dominate their way to that year's World Series, winning the wild card game against the Oakland Athletics and sweeping not only top seed Los Angeles Angels, but also the Baltimore Orioles, to get the Royals a return to the World Series that year.

However, the Royals would lose in seven games that year to Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants. The most infamous moment of that year's World Series will forever be star outfielder Alex Gordon being 90 feet away from home in the 9th inning of game seven and whether third base coach Mike Jirschele should've waved him in and tested Giant shortstop Brandon Crawford's arm. Crawson was one of the game best defensive shortstops at the time.

Moore would then go into the 2014-15 MLB offseason looking to build a roster that was capable of returning to the World Series.

While the Royals would suffer a blow losing ace James Shields to the San Diego Padres in free agency, Moore was able to build a roster capable of returning to the World Series.

Moore signed designated hitter Kendry Morales, relief pitcher Ryan Madson, and starters Edinson Volquez and Chris Young during the offseason and in-season, acquired pitcher Johnny Cueto and utility infielder Ben Zobrist during the trade deadline.

All of that would amount to a 95-win season for the Royals, the top seed in the American League that postseason, and eventually the team's first championship in 30 years, defeating the New York Mets in five games in the 2015 World Series.

At first, the championship felt like more things could come for the organization, but the clock was ticking as Hosmer, Moustakas and Cain were all free agents after the 2017 season. It was unlikely a small-market team like the Royals could retain all three.

The Royals tried to still compete in 2016 and 2017, however, the Royals would only be able to be a .500 win team and two games under .500 in 2017.

The following offseason, Hosmer and Cain left the team as free agents, signifying an end to the best stretch of Royals baseball since 1985.

Moustakas would resign with the team for 2018, but the Royals would trade Moose to the Brewers during the that year's trade deadline.

There's certainly going to be criticism on the last few years of Moore's tenure with the Royals, as the Royals are now in their sixth-straight losing season, and as of now, 22 games behind first place Cleveland Guardians in the AL Central, by far the worst division in baseball.

Despite some future building blocks in Bobby Witt Jr, M.J Melendez, and Brady Singer, the Royals still look like they are a few years away from returning to the postseason.

However, his impact on the Royals will still be memorable and impactful. He built a roster that ended a long title drought for the city.

What's more, it was an omen that more good things were going to come for the city.

For Moore, his impact and legacy as the general manager of the Royals will still be remembered for years.