Transcript of the Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler Interview of Kansas City Royals General Manager Dayton Moore

RL: And we're pleased to be joined in the booth here in the top of the third inning by Royals General Manager Dayton Moore, and lets begin with the positives here and lets just start with the defense, which, in my estimation just talking with other team's scouts and coaches, is the envy of the league.

DM: Alright, its been spectacular, it really has, I mean truthfully every time…a ball is hit…I was just getting ready to say, every time a ball is hit you're looking for somebody to make a terrific play, and um, you know it’s a credit not only to our players, but its a credit to our coaching staff, and to all of the work that they do, all of the video work that they do to put those guys in the right spots, and of course the pitchers have to execute pitches, and uh, you know when they do, they tend to make plays, its, uh fun to watch our guys play defense.

RL: And there you go, there is (laughs).

RH: Why do they got to show that? Hey, ya know I'm just a fan, too, so I get a little animated at times, but you don't have to show that.

RL: That’s happened a thousand times this year. The reaction here in the booth. I mean, sometimes I wonder, Dayton, if he thinks he is still on the field out there. (Chuckles).

DM: Yeah, I wonder. I wonder.

RL: How do you feel today? Do you feel like this was, uh, part of the journey, or do you feel like there was a step back this season because of the record?

DM: Nah, I really always feel like we are moving forward, I mean in this game you got to always look at that all the time. I mean, you know, at this time last year, if you had told me that we'd have Alcides Escobar, Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon all signed to long-term contracts, a part of our future, I'd feel great about it and experience that Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer receiving is gonna be tremendous for us, going forward. Billy Butler continues to emerge as really one of the very best young hitters in the game, perhaps, other than Miguel Cabrera, maybe the best overall right-handed hitter in the game and is continuing to get better, uh, you know Lorenzo Cain, Dyson, we needed to see them healthy. I mean that has been the biggest disappointment, from a personnel standpoint, is that Lorenzo Cain hasn’t been able to stay healthy, but uh, I'm pleased with how our bullpen has performed. Certainly we want to win more games, you know, our goal is to win a championship here and Mr. Glass and Dan, have done a tremendous job, truthfully have given us every resource necessary to build this farm department, and build our scouting staff, to have these young players emerge at a major league level. Though, also have more players to continue to rise, and you know, our guys have done a tremendous job just embracing who we are, we don't make excuses for our market [size], we are going to compete in every avenue available for us to sign players and free agency is apart of that, the trade market is a part of that, and certainly, internally, our farm system, but we've got to be aggressive in all of those phases, and I'm very pleased with where we are.

RL: Lets dive into that, if you don't mind, because we've read the columns and the stories about how Mr. Glass has kept you from doing things which you have really wanted to do, and prevented you and the Royals from becoming a contending team in baseball. He's kind enough to join us tomorrow night, he can answer some of those questions, but, its something you've told many of us, in personal conversations, its not reported very often, but, what's your answer to that criticism?

DM: Well, I tell ya, you know its…everything that we needed to do our job successfully here in Kansas City has been given to us. And our ownership, I believe it’s a competitive advantage for the Kansas City Royals, because…very supportive. One thing about Mr. Glass is he owns a baseball team for the right reasons, he is a very passionate man about the game, he is one of the most unbelievable historians of the game that I have ever been able to sit down and speak with. He knows every single player in the minor league system, its amazing the questions that he'll ask you about a player in the Dominican Republic or a player we had just signed, or hadn't signed yet. He is a very astute baseball man, and I just really enjoy being around him. Its been great, every thing that he has been able to do for us, in giving us that opportunity to build a system and build an international market, and sign these players long-term, like I said. One of the criticisms that I always heard in coming here was, "We're not going be able to sign our players long-term." Well, the truth of the matter is we signed Joakim Soria before he became a two-time All-Star, we signed Zack Greinke, before he became a Cy Young Award winner, and the players I mentioned before, we signed to long-term contracts. So, we couldn't be more pleased, and we really feel that great things are headed for us in Kansas City.

RH: Dayton, you mentioned earlier that you don't make excuses for the market size that you're in, and in baseball, for you're performance on the field, you don't make excuses either. However, were you foreseeing four tommy johns on your staff? Two of your top starters, Paulino and Duffy going down with tommy john, Cain getting hurt, missing almost a full season, Salvador Perez wasn't even here, just until the All-Star break, how do you deal with that? I mean, that is a legitimate excuse, on top of the twelve game losing streak, what do you tell people? I mean those are legitimate reasons?

DM: Well, you know Hud, you don't make excuses for it, because its part of the game, everybody experiences setbacks, we have a tremendous medical team. I feel like our players are prepared to compete as good as any team can be, especially from a physical and mental standpoint, the growth level of our players are at a certain stage obviously, and they're learning their bodies and learning how to compete over an entire 162 game schedule. Injuries are a part of it, we got to be able to adjust and fortunately we have more depth, today, in our organization than we had in the past, we continue to deal with that, we'll get all of those guys back, we'll get Duffy back, we'll get Paulino back, we'll get Blake Wood and Joakim Soria, obviously is going to be a free agent at the end of the season. And we'll work to get him signed.

RL: A run comes home, and now rounding third and coming home to score is Berry, who else? Miguel Cabrerra. Lets go a little, lets get a little off topic for a moment here, Dayton, MVP, your thoughts?

DM: Well…

RL: Cabrera or Trout? I mean there seems to be, I don't remember such a debate, like the one we have right now.

DM: Well, you're right, I mean both of them are obviously terrific players who work for it. What Mike Trout has done is tremendous, he is going to be a fun player to watch for a long, long time, but Miguel Cabrera, changing positions, what he means to this team, to be able to compete to win the triple crown, is an amazing feat, really. And I just enjoy watching him play. You know when he steps into the batters' box, it is, it is, it is an event. And he is one of those guys, that everything stops, we've seen him improve at third base as the year has gone on as well. The fact, again, that he had to change positions, some of the things that he has to overcome, self-induced, obviously, that he has performed in an unbelievable manner, you know, all season, so to me Miguel Cabrera is the MVP.

RL: And he got a two run base hit off of Jeremy Guthrie, and kudos to you for making that move. You trade a guy with an ERA of 7 for a guy with an ERA of 6, and Jeremy Guthrie turns that into a 3.18 ERA with the Royals. Now, he's saying all of the right things, you know, this is a good ballpark for him, he really likes the team, he likes the coaching staff, he likes the defense. Are you confident that he's really going to strongly consider the Royals this off season?

DM: Yeah, I think so. We're just pleased to be able to execute that deal. We felt that Jeremy might take a few starts, once he came here to Kansas City, but from our scouting judgments, and our statistical analysis, we felt that he was going to rebound at some point in time, and we know that he is a great competitor, we know that he is an extremely prepared pitcher, and a focused pitcher, and we felt that he would get better. Hopefully, we'll be able to sign him long-term, but he has earned the right to be a free agent, and I think he will probably go through the process.

RH: Will Luke Hocheaver be in your rotation next year?

DM: You know, Hud, we are going to continue to believe in our players, and we appreciate everything Luke has done, as far as his effort. It hasn't worked out on the field for him, at this point in time. Let me just say this, that everything that you do, you're always trying to improve, and as soon as we find an adequate replacement for any of our players on the field, you move forward. That is how the game works. And at this stage we're going to continue believe in every player that puts on a Royals uniform, and we'll make those necessary evaluations in the off season, when we have a full plate in front of us, and where you can digest all of our opportunities, you make that decision. I've learned that you make those decisions when you have to, and you don't make preconceived notions.

RL: Its been a tough inning for Jeremy Guthrie, as we continue to visit with Royals General Manager, Dayton Moore. Now, this is just information for us, because it was public, but, you have conversations with Mr. Glass all the time, but he injected some life into the fanbase, when he came out last week and said "He's all for you having the resources to go out and improve the starting rotation the way you see best fit."

DM: Well, you know, its always been that way, I have always felt that whenever we have been in a position to put our baseball team in a position to win more games, Mr. Glass has always been supportive of that opportunity. You know, in 2009, 2009 as you recall, September of actually 2008, we won 18 games, I think, in September, Mike Aviles was third in Rookie of the Year in balloting, Gil Meche, Zach Greinke, they finish I think eighth in the American League in strikeouts, and we were feeling really good about our team, we didn't feel like the American League Central was going to be unreachable, or unwinnable in 2009, and we were really aggressive and we stretched the payroll to about $76 - $77 million at the time, and upped it quite a bit. And that was through the conversations that Dan and I had together, and we felt that this team would compete, and had a chance to win, and we started of 18 and 11, or whatever it was, Ryan, as you recall, we just didn't stay healthy. And our farm system wasn't built to a point where we could recover from some of those injuries.

RL: Can you stick around for another half inning?

DM: Absolutely.

RL: That was General Manager of the Royals, Dayton Moore. The Tigers get two at the top of the third and have a two run lead.

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