clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

It's past time to trust Dayton Moore, Royals fans

The acquisition of Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist are the culmination of Moore's famous process.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Trust the process. Remember how ridiculous that sounded in July of 2009, with the Royals on their way to a 97 loss season? That club actually acquired Yuniesky Betancourt by choice just two weeks before and was wasting what was then Zack Greinke's best season. That wasn't the whole quote though. Not even close. Here's what Moore said in mid-July, 2009:

"Let’s just trust the process. If other people don’t want to trust the process, that’s fine. If other people want to abandon the process, then abandon it. I’m not abandoning the process. I believe in the process.

"You get a good group of people together. You work hard together. You trust in one another. You go through the difficult times. You work hard to make good decisions. You keep guys together and, eventually, it will happen."

That's exactly what Moore did, and now, as Kansas City has the best record in the American League, is making big moves to prepare itself for another deep playoff run, and is coming off its first World Series appearance in 30 years, I finally do trust that process.

Dayton Moore was hired away from the Braves to run the Royals in 2006, taking over for the woeful Allard Baird administration.At first, he wasn't much of an improvement. His Royals lost at least 87 games in each of his first six full seasons. At first, he largely sat on his hands, making minor deals. He signed mediocre free agents that didn't require draft pick compensation. He traded with other clubs sparingly.

Meanwhile, high draft picks and a strong amateur scouting program allowed him to add Joakim Soria, Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy, Greg Holland, Salvador Perez, Kelvin Herrera, Eric Hosmer, Yordano Ventura, Aaron Crow, and Wil Myers to the organization in his first three years on the job. When GMDM uttered that widely mocked phrase, he already had much of the core of this club in his organization. What he was doing was entirely behind the scenes, however.

His later work has been far more public. He traded Greinke for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffress, and Jake Odorizzi. He sent Odorizzi and Myers to the Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis. And now he's pulled off these two masterstrokes, getting the Royals exactly the players they need at the exact time that they need them most.  Despite acquiring first Johnny Cueto, then Ben Zobrist, two of the biggest names on the trade market this deadline, the Royals still have four of their six top prospects from the start of the season, including highly coveted shortstop Raul Mondesi Jr. That's kind of mind boggling.

That's not to say that Dayton Moore doesn't have weaknesses. He did sign Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Vargas, Omar Infante, and Alex Rios for instance. Myers looks like a productive player, even if he's hurt this year in San Diego, and Odorizzi has become a terrific pitcher in Tampa. But he also took chances on Edinson Volquez, Chris Young, Ryan Madson, and Kendrys Morales. He and his staff had the inspired idea to try Alex Gordon in the outfield. Every single player he got for Greinke has turned into a valuable asset. On balance, Moore's process has worked and he's proven himself (and his front office team) an excellent judge of amateur talent.

It was a long, hard road for Moore to get to the top and to show that he's one of the better general managers in the game today. But it's going to be harder to stay on top, as his players get more expensive (Kansas City's market size is not changing) and as he has lower draft picks and less international money to work with. Perhaps we need to trust that Moore has a process for that too.