Royals general manager Dayton Moore will have at least two more years to prove that he can get the once-wayward franchise that he took over in 2006 back to the playoffs.
After leading Kansas City to its best record in more than 20 years this past season, Moore was rewarded with a two-year contract extension Friday. The new deal, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, would keep him in charge of baseball operations through the 2016 season.
"When Dayton's contract was extended during the 2009 season, I felt that this franchise had begun to turn the corner and that we were pointed in the proper direction," Royals president Dan Glass said in a statement. "It's been a challenging process, but we are now seeing tangible evidence that the process is working."
Moore took over an organization that would lose at least 100 games for the third straight season in 2006. But he quickly set about rebuilding the Royals' farm system, using savvy moves and intelligent drafts to build it into one of the most talented in baseball.
Many of those homegrown players have matriculated to the major leagues over the past couple of seasons. Among those who contributed to an 86-76 finish, the Royals' best since the 1989 season, were Gold Glove first baseman Eric Hosmer, All-Star catcher Salvador Perez and All-Star closer Greg Holland, all of whom arrived in Kansas City under Moore's watch.
The Royals have also locked up several of their homegrown stars to long-term, club-friendly contracts, including Perez and Gold Glove outfield Alex Gordon.
"I'm very proud of the entire organization," Moore said, "especially our scouting and player development departments for their dedication and commitment to the Royals. It's a tremendous honour and privilege to work with Mr. Glass, Dan and the entire family."
The Royals rewarded manager Ned Yost with a two-year extension in October, which meant that for the past couple months he'd been working on a longer contract than his boss.
Moore had said all along he wasn't worried about a new deal getting done.
The team has been modest in free agency this off-season. The Royals are likely losing right-hander Ervin Santana, but they've already signed left-hander Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract. They're also looking to upgrade in right field and at second base.
Moore was born in Wichita, Kan., and grew up a Royals fan. He played baseball at Garden City (Kan.) Community College before graduating from George Mason.
After a brief stint as a college coach, he joined the Atlanta Braves as a scout, and slowly rose through the ranks. He took over as assistant general manager in 2005, and interview for the Royals vacancy created by the firing of Allard Baird a couple of months later.
"Dayton is not only an outstanding baseball man," Glass said, "but he's very much a part of our family and one of the top individuals I've ever had the pleasure of working with."