09/08/09 6:46 PM ET
Moore answers questions online
Royals GM hosts monthly Royals Relay chat
By / MLB.com
Dayton Moore: Thank you for joining me today, let's get started.
adamb1969: What are the chances of Joakim Soria being moved to the rotation next year?
Moore: We are continuously evaluating our players for the purpose of putting them in the right roles. Soria certainly has the pitchability and the open-mindedness to be a starter. However, there are no immediate plans to put him in that role. In considering Soria as a starter, long-term health is the most important criteria in making that move.
kurtiebrd2: With Yuniesky Betancourt signed for the next few years, what will you do with Mike Aviles when he returns?
Moore: Bentancourt will continue to compete to earn a starting spot as will Aviles. When Aviles was first diagnosed with the injury, we expected him to return mid-June. However, Jeff Blum, who is our physical therapist, thinks he might be ready sooner than that. Once he is healthy, Aviles will be given every opportunity to compete and win a spot somewhere in the infield.
jayhwk89: Are you concerned with the lack of production from top prospects Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer?
Moore: No, not at all. We are actually very pleased with how they are performing. I was just in Wilmington, DE., last week. Moustakas is going to be an impact bat in the Major Leagues for a long time. Even though I only saw Hosmer work out, he was very impressive.
lkv33: What are your thoughts on the catching situation for 2010? Will the club try to keep John Buck or Miguel Olivo? Will Brayan Pena have a chance to be the starter?
Moore: Our evaluation of our catching situation is on-going. All three of those catchers bring something different to the game. As you know Olivo is a free agent at the end of the year. Buck and Pena are controllable contracts. But we won't make any decisions on any of the three catchers until a decision must be made.
royalsway29: Hello Dayton. Billy Butler took a huge step forward in his progress. Do you see him being a consistant 25-plus HRs and 100 RBIs guy in the near future?
Moore: Butler has exceptional hitting tools and we see him as a middle-of-the-order production bat. His first-base play has improved greatly and has definitely been one of the bright spots of our team in 2009.
cubsandroyals2889: Will you be trying to sign a power hitter this offseason?
Moore: In evaluating the free-agent opportunities for our baseball team, it is very scarce but we will look to add as many quality players as we can that upgrade our team.
kcfan58: With Coco Crisp out for this season, what are the chances that we are looking at free agent center fielders this offseason, or will we look to replace him with someone within the organization like Mitch Maier?
Moore: Maier has done a tremendous job and continues to improve. With Crisp's help, we will evaluate his potential in 2010 based on his ability to recover from injury.
nwroyal: Any update on the Aaron Crow negotiations? If he signs soon, will he pitch in the Arizona Fall League?
Moore: Nothing to report at this time. We are very hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to reach an agreement. As you know, Crow played at a local program and this is his boyhood team. It is our expectation to make him a Kansas City Royal.
fortmyersroyal: Does [chairman/owner] David Glass watch more Royals games on TV or in person?
Moore: Glass is one of the brightest baseball people that I know. He is in attendance for the majority of our home games. He is extremely supportive and understands our long-term plan in Kansas City. We are fortunate to have him in Kansas City. He allows the baseball people to operate in a way in which we are able to make all the necessary baseball decisions.
Moore: That being said, he is a very competitive and demanding owner.
jumbley: Mr. Moore, why is this team so bad? Plz answer. Thx.
Moore: In 2007 we won 69 games. In 2008 we won 75. Going into the 2009 season, we expected to win 78 to 84 games and compete in our division if everything went perfect. Unfortunately, we sustained several injuries to many of our key players including Crisp, Alex Gordon, 2008 Player of the Year Aviles, DL time for Jose Gullien, Soria and other members of our bullpen. Our farm system at the upper levels lacks depth and enough talent to repair the 25-man roster in a way that could have kept us on pace to win 78 to 84 games. To put it in perspective, in Atlanta in 2005 we had several injuries to some of our key players -- none of by the way were season ending -- and we called upon 18 players from Double-A and Triple-A that helped repair our roster and allowed us to win our 14th straight division title.
Moore: Our farm system is just not there, yet.
Keebler: Your job seems to have a lot on its plate. What kind of things do you do as an outlet from the everyday grind?
Moore: It is very difficult to get away. Spending time with the family and getting involved in our children's activities is probably my main outlet.
cubsandroyals2889: Is there a chance you can sign Butler to a long-term deal this offseason or is that too far away to worry about?
Moore: We recognize the type of year Butler has and his future potential as a middle-of-the-order bat and we will always do our best to keep good players here long term. There are three questions that have to be answered when you sign a player long term. The first is obvious, will the player continue to perform at a high level. Second, will the long-term contract rob the player the incentive to continue to perform at that level. Three, long-term health and of course the player has to have a desire to stay here and play in Kansas City.
kcbottom9: Hi Dayton. I've been really impressed with what Betancourt has bought to the team since he arrived in Kansas City. You have spoken before about the importance of solid defense, especially up the middle. Can we expect a second baseman with a good glove to compliment?
Moore: Pitching, defense and speed are very important to the success of our team. The types of players that we are trying to sign through the Draft and internationally will reflect pitching, speed and defense. In fact, the Los Angeles Angels are a model of player-profiling for what we are trying to do here.
kc_daniel: How much of a role does sabermetrics and high-level statistical analysis have with the Royals?
Moore: It is an important part of every decision that we make. In acquiring talent, we blend traditional scouting and statistical analysis with every decision we make. When we acquire a player, we recognize that there are deficiencies in some areas, but often times we are picking from a pool of players where there are many of those deficiencies but we use statistical analysis by evaluating every talent pool that exists. I was trained that way through John Schuerholz and others.
nwroyal: Wil Myers has had a great start in the Minors, will he play catcher in the instructional league? Is there anyone you would compare him to?
Moore: We like Myers a lot and he has gotten off to a great start. It is our plan to develop him as a great catcher. He has the future potential to impact offensively and defensively.
kdolan: Obviously, it has been a very disappointing season for Royals fan. Is there anything they can be hopeful for next season?
Moore: It is very important for Butler to continue to take a step forward, Gordon as well. Our starting pitching is potentially very solid. We have two things that a lot of clubs don't have, an ace starter and a legit closer and we have them signed through 2012 and 2013. I believe our bullpen will perform much better in 2010 and I expect more consistency our of our defense. We will look to improve in other areas that we can. Getting some of our players back healthy will be very important for the 2010 season.
kcking2: Hey Mr. Moore ... Congrats on the extension! What advice would you give a college kid that wants to follow in your footsteps and become an MLB GM?
Moore: There are different paths for different people. I can only relay my experiences. I played as long as my ability would allow. Then I began a coaching career, worked as an associate scout, then became a full-time scout and was fortunate to be asked to join the front office in Atlanta as the assistant director of scouting and then continued to earn future opportunities. The most important aspect of doing anything you want to do is follow your passion and do not compromise your integrity in reaching your goals. My focus was never on becoming a GM, it was simply doing the very best I could at whatever my job description was.
rdbrown27: You say you want to focus on defense, and yet this team is a terrible team defensively. What do you plan to do to make this a great fielding team?
Moore: We have to get more athletic. I feel like we have done that in Bentancourt. Butler has improved at first. Alberto Callaspo was very sure-handed in 2008 and has struggled at times this year. We need to improve our blocking and receiving skills behind the plate, and we will address that. Our outfield defense has been solid. The bottom line is, defense is about concentration and athleticism and we have to continue evaluating opportunities to upgrade in those areas.
kcking2: How do you deal with "signability" issues in the Draft? Are you a "take the best guy" GM or "take the best value" GM?
Moore: You always want to take the best player that has a realistic evaluation of themselves from a financial standpoint. We have a budget -- as do 90 percent of the other teams that compete for talent through the Draft -- and sign international players, but you always want to take the best available players.
nomarfan11: Why give up a top-flight prospect like Dan Cortes for Betancourt when in all likelyhood the Mariners would've designated him for assignment?
Moore: It is highly doubtful that he would have been designated for assignment. Prior to making any deal, I receive the evaluations of our scouts, our coaches and instructors. I make a decision based on that important input with regard to what the player will be in the future, what the player's makeup is and weigh that against the potential player that we would acquire and what our needs are short term and long term. In that particular case, our need for a shortstop was very important and we feel like the strength of our farm system at this time is arm strength and I have complete confidence in J.J. Picollo to continue to fill our pipeline.
royalsnut2: Our Latin Academy has been in place for awhile now, are we seeing some benefits coming up?
Moore: From 1996 to 2006, the Royals were last in baseball as it pertains to the resources committed toward Latin America. Beginning in 2007 to the present, we are in the top third of baseball. We have been very aggressive in signing and developing international players, but historically it takes four to six years for those young players to potentially be in position to help your Major League team as they face difficult challenges in assimilating to the U.S. culture and our style of play. I am confident that we are developing a Latin American program that we can all be proud of.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.