The number of managerial vacancies around baseball continues to increase, with the Phillies dismissing Gabe Kapler this week, joining the Royals, Giants, Padres, Cubs, Angels, Pirates, and Mets as teams with managerial openings. Now teams must sift through a deep pool of candidates to find the right leader of their club.
The San Francisco Giants have begun interviewing candidates, and according to reporter Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Royals’ quality control coach Pedro Grifol has already had an interview with them.
The Giants have also interviewed two members of their own coaching staff - hitting coach Hensley Meulens and third base coach Ron Wotus, as well as Athletics quality control coach Mark Kotsay.
MLB Network reporter Jon Heyman adds that Grifol is a “hot name”. Grifol has been lauded for his ability to be an intermediary between the analytics department and on-field coaching staff and for being bilingual and connecting with Latino ballplayers.
Jeffrey Flanagan had previously reported that Grifol “definitely would be in the running” for the Royals’ opening, as well as hitting coach Dale Sveum. Special advisor Mike Matheny, who previously managed the St. Louis Cardinals, is widely considered to be the frontrunner candidate.
Grifol is a hot name. His Royals also are interviewing him https://t.co/cgMMnjVVTw— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 12, 2019
Grifol told Alec Lewis of The Athletic he was “extremely attached” to the Royals after seven seasons in Kansas City.
“There’s no doubt this is a great place to be,” Grifol said. “It’s a great environment. We’ve got great leadership. Dayton has been unbelievable. There’s some change going on. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t control that, nor do I want to control that. We get put in places for a reason, I believe. If this is the place where I’m put next year in whatever capacity, then this is the place. If not, then I have to start relationships somewhere else.”
The Royals have not given a timetable for hiring a manager, although Jeffrey Flanagan writes that formal interviews “will be in the weeks to come”. One wrinkle could be the transition to new ownership, with John Sherman set to be approved as new Royals owner in November, but according to Flanagan, Sherman has been in contact with Dayton Moore for months.