KC's Moore encouraged by progress
General manager discusses offseason, team's future with fans
Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore participated in a live online chat Tuesday as part of the Royals Relay chat series.
Dayton Moore: Thank you for joining me today. Let's get started.
goroyals21: Are you happy with the way the Royals have improved year by year since you've been here?
Moore: Absolutely, we are very encouraged by where we are today as an organization in all aspects of our organization. Not only in improving our Major League talent on the field but in our front office talent and the direction of our Minor League team.
goroyals21: What are your goals for the Royals this season?
Moore: Our goal every year is to win our division. We are more prepared to win in 2009 than we were in '07 and '08, but our goal every year is to win our division.
cpittier: What are your priorities as you enter the Winter Meetings?
Moore: With trading Leo Nunez and Ramon Ramirez, our obvious need is right-handed relief pitchers.
osugopokes: Is second base still a priority or will it be filled internally with players already in the organization?
Moore: We're comfortable with the middle infielders we have. We will look for the opportunities to improve in that area. Our bullpen remains our top priority.
bill_m: I like the moves you've been making since season's end. What are your plans for Billy Butler in 2009?
Moore: Billy Butler is a very talented young hitter. We expect him to impact our team in a positive way in 2009 whether it be at first base, DH or a combination of playing time at both positions.
royalsway29: First off, I wanted to say you've done a wonderful job as Royals GM. Hopefully we'll be back to a winning tradition in KC. My question is, which part of renovations at the stadium are you most excited about?
Moore: The entire renovation project will be spectacular in the eyes of our fans and players. The newly renovated Kauffman Stadium will be something we'll all be very very proud of. I believe it will be a destination place for our entire community and our great fans that love the Royals.
defchief58: Danny Duffy is a local kid where I live, and he is a great kid by the way. I was stoked when you drafted him. What is the projected time frame for him?
Moore: It's unrealistic to put timeframes on Minor League players' arrival to the Major Leagues, but we've been very impressed with Daniel Duffy as a person and competitor. He works hard and makes necessary adjustments in his position. He has earned the opportunity to meet next years' challenges in Wilmington. We like his upside as an impact Major League pitcher.
nanuq: Is Jose Guillen's defense good enough to play him in right field regularly?
Moore: Jose Guillen's routes in the outfield are very good. You very rarely see him make a false step, and he has one of the best throwing arms in all of baseball, which keeps runners going from first to third. Jose is committed to coming into Spring Training in much better shape, which should eliminate issues with his lower half.
kcscoliny: Where is Eric Hosmer going to start next season?
Moore: [Asst. GM] J.J. Picollo and our player-development staff will ultimately make that decision. Eric had a very good instructional league. We will evaluate his progress in Spring Training and be better prepared to make that decision in March, but I would look to him to start the season in the [Class A] Midwest League [Burlington].
igons54: What has [senior advisor] Mike Arbuckle brought to the front office? He seems to be very good at identifying talent.
Moore: Mike has a great track record in scouting and player development, as evidenced by the success of the Phillies and all the homegrown talent they had on the field. He'll work closely with our scouting and development department as well as myself.
youngrfan: Does fan input affect the decisions you make sometimes?
Moore: I listen to our fans and respect what they have to say, but I have to make my decisions based on the input and recommendations and evaluations of our leadership team at the Major League, scouting and player-development levels.
royalsn09: Congratulations on bringing more power and defense to the organization this fall. Now on to the bullpen. Do you see Kyle Farnsworth as an option given his American League experience and ability from the right side?
Moore: It would be reckless and inappropriate for me to comment about particular players, but we have to be focused and open minded with every potential opportunity to build a championship caliber bullpen.
dharsh11: How will the economy effect the Royals and the moves you might make during this offseason?
Moore: We all recognize the downturn in our economy, but our focus is putting the best team we can on the field, and we are fortunate to have ownership that is willing to improve our Major League payroll 20-25 percent from last year.
moore09: Was the Coco Crisp deal your idea or [Red Sox GM Theo] Epstein's? Either way, I see it as a serious home run for us.
Moore: Any time you make a deal. you have to have two willing participants. Theo and I actually spoke last offseason about Coco, and continued to dialogue the second half of last season and into this offseason.
royalsn09: Would Carlos Rosa be a better asset for the '09 Royals as a starter or reliever?
Moore: Carlos Rosa has a power arm with a developing slider and a solid changeup, and we feel that he could be a viable option to compete for a bullpen spot in the spring.
ccox: In an average week, how many phone calls do you get about trade requests from other organizations?
Moore: I get a quite a few calls from our own scouts recommending different scenarios, and if I feel that the recommendation has potential, I will reach out to the appropriate general manager. There is basically about four periods of time in a year where you are having dialog with other general managers trying to determine possible matchups for trades.
bdk5735: As a U.S. Navy veteran, and with all the military bases in the Royals footprint, why don't they have a camouflage uniform for special occasions such as the Fourth of July?
Moore: The Glass family is very mindful and supportive of the commitment that our men and women in uniform make for our country. Each season we have special ticket offers and a Military Appreciation Day celebration. We will continue to honor those serving our country in 2009 as well.
cpittier: Will the Royals be able to spend as much on the '09 June Draft as they did in '08?
Moore: Our budget for signing players through the Draft and internationally is very competitive and provides us every opportunity to sign an abundance of quality players. The Glass family has directed us to build the best farm system in baseball. We will continue to be aggressive in signing the best available talent.
dharsh11: Do you watch other sports, and if you do, how close do you follow them? Who is your favorite non-baseball team?
Moore: I enjoy watching other sports and I pull for all of our local teams. I love the energy and excitement that those teams bring to our community.
moore09: How do you plan to unclog the logjam of players at first base/DH?
Moore: Those decisions tend to work themselves out. There is obvious competition there, and certainly other teams in baseball recognize our depth in that position. Some of those players at those positions have [Minor League] options as well.
lurtcho: Where do you see the Royals in three or four years?
Moore: We recognize and our fans recognize as well as people throughout baseball recognize the improvement in all aspects of the Kansas City Royals. The only prediction I will make is that we will continue to hire the best people available and be aggressive in acquiring the best talent that we can through every talent pool.
goroyals21: I've heard numerous rumors about Mark Teahen getting traded. Are any of those rumors true?
Moore: Obviously, I was very disturbed about some of the rumors that have been in print concerning Mark Teahen being traded. It is not my style to comment on rumors concerning our players, but I would say that Mark Teahen, in my mind, is more important to our team today then he was in all of 2008 -- and he was very important to our team in '08.
moore09: If the season started today, what would be the starting pitching rotation?
Moore: We feel that we have potentially five very good starters, and we are always looking to improve our Major League starting pitching depth.
basicslop: What does [new hitting coach] Kevin Seitzer bring to the batting cage and the clubhouse that you like?
Moore: Kevin is one of the most passionate baseball people that I've been around. He loves the Royals. His experience and expertise as a Major League hitter and hitting coach will benefit our players and our entire organization.
cheetah4: What are you expecting from your scouting staff this year?
Moore: I always expect our scouting staff at every level to make strong recommendations. I expect them to have conviction in those recommendations and to qualify their judgments.
p90xerinne: Any dates set yet for the Royals Caravan, and who will be involved?
Moore: The details are being finalized. The caravan will once again hit 30-some cities before and after FanFest, which is taking place Jan 17 and 18 at the Overland Park Convention Center.
Moore: I have time for just a few more questions. Thank you for all your great questions so far.
bwalk18: In your opinion, is Alex Gordon still on track to be the productive hitter we drafted him to be?
Moore: Alex has tremendous talent, and we expect him to continue improving and establishing himself as an impact Major League player.
holidaymvp: What is going to be the greatest strength of the 2009 Royals lineup?
Moore: I anticipate we will have much better balance offensively, with speed and on-base [potential] at the top of the lineup and power on the left and the right sides in the middle of the lineup. I also look forward to continued improvement from our young starting pitching. We were very pleased with the way Gil [Meche] and Zack [Greinke] threw the ball and improved. We were very encouraged by the way Kyle Davies and Luke Hochevar pitched and the way Brian Bannister finished and, of course, the dominance of Joakim Soria saving 43 of 45 games.
kcbatterup: What do you think of Crisp saying he will steal 40 bases this year?
Moore: It's important for players to expect themselves to do well. He is more than capable of accomplishing that goal. Coco's energy, experience and expectations will have a great impact on the rest of our lineup.
bees2009: What are the plans with John Buck? He seems to be quite an icon with the public.
Moore: We have two very talented catchers whose skill sets complement each other very well. Miguel [Olivo] and John understand that for us to win, it is important for them to pull for one another and be productive in whatever role [manager Trey Hillman] asks them to perform.
cpittier: Will Mike Moustakas see time in Double-A Arkansas in '09?
Moore: We expect Mike to begin the season in Wilmington and have a full year there. He is a very talented all-around player with great character and passion to win.
Thank you for this opportunity. I'm very excited about the 2009 season. Winning 18 games in September, the offseason additions we've made thus far and how those players blend with our current players puts us in a great position to continue improving and reaching our goals as an organization in 2009. Finally, with the newly renovated Kauffman Stadium, I can hardly wait for Opening Day. We should all feel very proud in our association with the Kansas City Royals.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.