Dayton Moore Q&A
We want to thank everyone for submitting some great questions for Dayton Moore! As you can imagine, we had a number of emails submitted and we are excited that we were able to answer a majority of your questions!
I listened to a recent interview on the radio with Mr. Moore and he stated the most important thing for an organization is to develop pitching. What does Mr. Moore plan to do in the interim with regards to pitching? Also, who are our brightest young arms in the farm system? – Jon
We are constantly evaluating opportunities to acquire young pitching that we can develop and groom as possible Major League pitchers. I believe the draft is a key component of acquiring pitching. Based on this past year’s draft, you can see the number of pitchers that were selected. The bottom line is you have to develop your own pitching because when it comes to trades, you just aren’t going to obtain a top notch pitcher in exchange for a position player.
What are your goals for the remainder of the 2006 season and the off-season? What kind of changes and improvements can we expect? John K. Topeka, Kan.
Our first objective is to evaluate our staff throughout the organization. It’s important that we have leaders in place that are among the very best in the game. We are going to be adding additional staff, developing our own staff and looking to acquire some of the top evaluators and player development individuals in the game.
During the month and a half before the trading deadline, how many trades do you field or discuss during a week’s time? Also, how do you determine the value of a player? – Trent Rose, Oakley, Kan.
We are constantly having dialogue with other organizations. Our scouts have discussions with other scouts. It’s not really reacting to trade offers, but a continually assessing the needs of each individual team. In most cases there are very few fits. But you identify which organizations you match up with and try to create a value for value deal.
Other than the won-loss records of the Braves and Royals over the past five years, what major differences have you noticed in the operation of the two organizations? Jim Kasparek, Grand Island, Neb.
It’s still too early to say as I’m still identifying the differences.
Do you anticipate getting more speed players like Joey Gathright?
There are not a lot of speed players out there. We will always look to improve the club anyway we can. Ideally, you want speed at the top and bottom of the order. Our objective is to create a balanced lineup and speed is a big part of that.
What is Ken Harvey’s future in the organization?
Ken is currently rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon, so we’ll have to see how he recovers.
Do you see the Royals calling up Zack Greinke before the All-Star Break? If not, when do you see him coming back up?
Zack definitely won’t be back before the All-Star Break. Zack is right where he needs to be and we don’t have any particular dates for his return. He is pitching well and we expect him to continue pitching well.
Do you see Mike Sweeney staying on with the club past this year?
Mike is under contract through the 2007 season, so yes.
When Mike MacDougal returns, is he going to close or set up?
We are very fortunate to have two powerful gifted pitchers in Mike MacDougal and Ambiorix Burgos. We will make that decision when it is appropriate.
My question is what do you think is your number one priority right now? – Tobias Hall, Kansas City
My number one priority is to evaluate our 40-man roster and find ways to improve it.
As the trade deadline closes in will you try to ship the veteran guys out for some good prospects and if so, how many do you think will be traded and what are you looking for in return? – Corey, Montrose, Mo.
I’ll never comment on another team’s players. But we will listen to all potential opportunities. We are not actively trying to shop our players. But if we make a decision, we certainly expect to get value back.
What is the best way to reload the minor league system with pitching to ensure our big league club’s future success with the starting rotation? – Pat, Blue Springs
Draft quality pitchers and by having a very strong, aggressive international program.
I’m wondering if you have had a chance to observe some of the prospects in the Royals organization? We know about Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Mitch Maier, but are there others we have not heard of that have caught your attention? D. Routh, Wichita
We have some good young players that we like. Erik Cordier is a right-handed pitcher that just got moved up to Class A Burlington. We also have another right-handed pitcher at Burlington with Carlos Rosa. Angel Sanchez is a shortstop that may surprise some people.
I recently read where you stated your job is to make it difficult for the manager and his staff to select the team following spring training. That implies that you don’t have the final authority in selecting the 25-man roster. Is this true? I know your main focus is on selecting the right players to be in the organization and forming the development system for those players, but don’t you also get to choose which of those players actually play in Kansas City? – David, Nebraska City, Neb.
Together we will discuss who will be on the club. But if I hire a manager to manage a team, he should also have a say in who is going to be on his team. But this will be a decision we make together.
I was wondering what kind of team you plan on building? A team with speed and versatility and great pitching or a team with veteran help for the young players? – Eric Pangelinan, Cusseta, Ga.
We want a balanced lineup, power on the corners, speed up the middle and good starting pitching and some power arms in the bullpen. If we can do all that, things should come together nicely.
I like the idea of adding speed and defense in the short term, but what do you see as our strategy for improving the pitching staff? Do you see the rotation on a contending team in the future consisting mostly of free agent acquisitions or young players that are homegrown? – Mark Jurado, Kearney, Mo.
We certainly want young players that are homegrown. But that’s assuming we have Major League caliber players that are ready to contribute at the Major League level and right now I don’t think we do. You either have to acquire them or develop them. You only have three ways to acquire players (draft, trade, free agency), so we have to be poised to bring talent to our club in every avenue.
What is the time table for Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Chris Lubanski arriving in Kansas City? – Connor Meier, Wichita, Kan.
We’re never going to put unrealistic expectations on our players and give them artificial timelines. We are also not going to put a cap on their potential. Every player develops at different speeds. These players are at Double A now and realistically you would expect them to contribute at Triple A next year.
Is there any way the Royals would make a trade such as the Jason Johnson trade to the Red Sox where the other team would take on salary without any compensation in return and we would just dump salary to help sign draft picks or improve our system in some other way?
No we’re not trying to dump salary. We’re looking for young talented players that we can grow with and identify with that will ultimately help us win. We are not taking shortcuts. We want our fans to understand the process. We want to build a farm system which will provide us with talent at the Major League Level. We want to win, the coaching staff wants to win, the front office wants to win, but we cannot abandon the process. The process is to build a championship caliber team that will last for the long haul. You cannot cut corners to achieve this.
Are there any plans to move the Single A team from High Desert, given the inflated numbers? – Joel Kammeyer, Bethlehem, Pa.
It’s not as easy as that. There has to be opportunity to move somewhere else before you can leave.
What are your long term plans for Kansas City’s Triple A and Double A franchises? Do you see them remaining in Omaha and Wichita? – Greg Smith, Omaha.
It depends. It’s premature to make that decision. I certainly see us in Omaha and Wichita for next year.
Some have criticized the Gathright trade, saying that David DeJesus does not provide the type of offensive production (namely in terms of power) that a corner outfielder typically should. What is your response to that criticism? – Kevin, Kansas City
David is a very talented player. He’s hitting .330 as we speak today, which is very good production for a winning outfielder. This organization realizes that David can also play centerfield.
Is there any chance Andrew Sisco might be tried as a starter in the future?
We are comfortable with Andrew Sisco in the bullpen.
With Alex Gordon in the system, is there any chance Mark Teahen would move to the outfield?
No. Alex Gordon is still in the minor leagues and Mark Teahen is a Major League player. As Gordon’s bat becomes Major League ready, we’ll evaluate what we need to do to give him opportunity in the Major Leagues. Mark is a very talented player as well. We are very fortunate to have two talented, versatile athletes.
My question is how impressed have you been with the maturity and advancement of Alex Gordon thus far – not only at the plate, but in the field as well? – Dennis P., Kansas City, Mo.
I’ve only seen Alex play two games, but our people really like him and believe he is a great part of our future.
What sorts of changes and programs you will be adding to our minor league system and developmental programs?
We have to have consistent development programs. We need a set of absolutes for our hitters and our position players. The main component to developing players is a consistent approach. Then you have to continue to develop their strengths and make sure that they hold on to those strengths.
Will the Royals be buyers this winter on the free agent market for starting pitchers? Kevin, Atlanta, Ga.
Yes. We’ll evaluate all opportunities to acquire starting talent. Again, we are looking to do things for the long term not for the short term. Any acquisition that we make will be with the long term success of the Kansas City Royals in mind.
Thanks for sending me your questions. It’s been a pleasure becoming a part of the Kansas City community. I hope this will help our fans understand our goals and objectives for the future. I would ask our fans to be patient, because a lot of what we’re going to be doing is not going to be seen by the fans. We are going to build the best scouting and player development system in baseball and once we do that, it will help build consistency at the Major League level. But we are also not losing sight of putting a quality team on the Major League field. Thanks for your support and we’ll see you soon at Kauffman Stadium!