Alex Avila's solo home run in the bottom of the eighth in..."/> Alex Avila's solo home run in the bottom of the eighth in..."/>

Bye-Bye, Nedie, Hello Dayton Extension?


Aug 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore watches batting practice before the game against the Miami Marlins at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Avila‘s solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday afternoon probably earned Dayton Moore an extension.

Let’s get this out of the way right now: Ned Yost deserves to be fired today. He won’t be because his contract expires at the end of the season, and firing someone now probably wouldn’t help the Royals chances to make the playoffs this year anyway.

But when the time does come for the Royals to make a decision on Yost’s future, the Royals have to relieve him of his duties.

Removing Yost as manager is not about one decision he didn’t make in one game or about him as a person, but about his inability to maximize a roster’s ability to win games. Whether it is the continued insistence to bat Alcides Escobar second, his love affair with Chris Getz and Jeff Francoeur, apparent dislike for Louis Coleman and Johnny Giavotella, or, yes, leaving Jeremy Guthrie in the game for way too long, Yost has cost the Royals wins with his managerial decisions.

(Note: I’d put the amount of wins Yost has cost the Royals between four and six. It is a hard thing to measure, but, when you consider all of the factors, four-t0-six wins would be a very reasonable estimate.)

The best move for the Royals is for them to find a new manager for the 2014 season. And, frankly, if they wanted to let him go today, the Royals would be justified in doing so. But here is the Royals problem: No decision can be made about Yost’s future with the club until a decision is made on Dayton Moore’s contract.

Moore has one year remaining on his contract. This poses a massive problem for the Royals heading into November,  a month when a decision has to be made on who the Royals manager is going to be and free agency opens for players. It’ll also play a factor into whether or not the Royals can re-sign Ervin Santana or sign James Shields to an extension.

Here’s the beginning of the problem: To allow Dayton Moore to hire his third manager in seven seasons, there has to be some sort of admittance that Moore is “your guy.” So is he David Glass’ “guy?”

There are not very many general managers in sports history who have been allowed to hire three managers in seven years, most only get two hires at maximum. Glass has to decide whether or not Moore has earned the right to hire another skipper, and the decision will come with heavy consequences no matter which direction he goes.

If Glass decides Moore doesn’t deserve to choose the next Royals manager, then Moore should be fired after the season. Not trusting Moore to hire the right manager should also mean there is little trust that he will be able to find a suitable second baseman and right fielder, or make the right decision on what to do with Santana’s spot in the rotation.

If Glass does decide Moore has earned the chance to hire another manager, then Glass also has to decide about how many years he should extend Moore’s contract.

The worst position the Royals could be in this offseason is to have Dayton Moore on a one-year deal trying to go out and make player decisions and coaching hires for 2014. First, what manager wants to take over a job where he knows there could be an organizational overhaul in 12 months? Moore on a one-year deal almost solidifies the return of Ned Yost or the hiring of a Yost-like in-house candidate (read: Kendall, Jason).

Second, luring in free agents is already a hard thing for the Royals to do. Add in Moore’s one-year deal and that job becomes even tougher for reasons similar to why a good manager wouldn’t want to sign here.

Third, desperate times call for desperate measures. If you were not a fan of the Wil Myers-for-James Shields trade, then you are going to loath the deal Moore is going to cook up this winter in an attempt to save his job and fill the remaining holes on this team.

Without at least a 2016 guarantee, Moore has to play this season like it is his last. That will only spell disaster for the Royals future.

Simply, Glass has to extend Moore’s contract if he decides Moore is the man to hire the next Royals manager. And that extension is going to have to be significant enough in length for Moore to not feel the pressure of his job being on the line. Whether 2016 is enough – that’d constitute a two-year extension – I don’t know.

What we do know is Yost’s terrible performance this season has sped up the timeline on the Dayton Moore decision by a full year. And given the current state of the Royals, it is almost certain Moore will not be fired. What keeping Moore around long-term means for the Royals is up for debate. But what is not up for debate is Yost’s terrible managing probably just saved Moore’s job and got him an extension.

Well played, Dayton.