On October 30, 2012 at 9:44:52 PM EDT, KCRoyalFan wrote:
I got to talk briefly today with GMDM (General Manager Dayton Moore) for non-Royals fans. Actually, if you're not a Royals fan you can just tune out.
First off, I was impressed that he took the time to talk to and field questions from those of us who showed up at the season ticket holders Select-A-Seat event. It wasn't advertised to us that he would be there, but he took the time to do it. I appreciated that.
Concerning statements: I'm paraphrasing, so don't interpret my quotes as direct quotes, but they're as close as I can remember:
"We're never going to have an $85 million dollar payroll."
At face value that statement alone is jaw dropping. We all know the numbers being thrown around out there - that by 2014 the TV deal will give every team an extra $25-$30 million per year. Given that in recent years the Royals payroll has been as high as $70 million, a payroll of $100 million in the next few years does not seem out of the question. I'm not going to hold him to that and ridicule him for it, though. A fellow fan immediately asked the follow-on about the TV deal. He deflected it a little, saying that the numbers thrown around on the internet aren't necessarily accurate, but that every team having extra money won't make the Royals able to spend more than the big market teams. A valid point, but if he truly meant that they will never spend $85 million, the only logical conclusion would be that they would be pocketing more profit. I sure hope that's not what he meant.
"We are always going to be a young team."
That says to me that he expects the pattern of letting our best players go when they reach free agency continue. I don't know how else to take that.
This was a response to a direct question that I asked him - "Do you believe you can contend for the playoffs with Luke Hochevar in the rotation?" The "..." was helpful, but not entirely comforting. I knew he couldn't respond by saying, "Absolutely not - it's my mission to get rid of him." He acknowledged my frustration, and he could probably see some anger in my eyes as soon as he said yes. He said that he will be looking to improve upon Luke's spot in the rotation (but didn't clarify whether that would definitely be by replacement or by Luke somehow finally putting it all together magically) and said that he will always support his players as long as they are in the organization (which at least gives me some measure of hope that he could be let go in the offseason).
He reiterated his standard lines about taking time to build. Afterwards in a smaller group he said that he really thought it would be 2014 before they were ready to contend from beginning to end of the season. I agree, but I really feel that creatively they could make a strong push to move that timetable up by a year, and there doesn't seem to be a willingness to expend the money to do that. He made a statement something along the lines of "If you had access to all the information I have, you would make a lot of the same decisions as me..." I can't refute that, but it seems disingenuous, particularly when there is a mountain of knowledge out there in the public arena that other teams seem to take more seriously than the Royals do.
He said that Wil Myers will be competing for a starting position in 2013, but of course didn't promise to replace Frenchy.
He also said they were offered a trade by an unnamed team the other day: 2 unnamed pitchers (one of whom was "half a year away" from the majors and the other "a year and a half away") in exchange for Sal Perez. He said this to illustrate that he considered his virtually untradeable players to be Sal and Escobar. I can certainly agree with that.
Altogether, I came away glad to have the chance to hear him talk directly and answer questions. He personally came up to me afterwards and thanked me for asking the Hochevar question. I believe he wants to win. But I also believe that his hands are tied when it comes to money. Nothing he said alleviated that concern. I'm also not convinced that he's paying enough attention to advanced statistics. I'm thinking of more questions I wish I could have asked right now. I'm also sure I'm missing something else interesting he said. Oh well. Ultimately, all we can do is hope. Which I'm afraid may be Dayton's ultimate strategy as well.