The Royals will hold a press conference this afternoon to discuss “several items pertaining to the organization.” According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Royals will promote Moore to President of Baseball Operations and will promote longtime assistant J.J. Picollo to General Manager.
Picollo was one of Dayton Moore’s first hires in Kansas City, joining the club in 2006 as Director of Player Development. He was promoted to Assistant General Manager in 2015. He got his start with the Atlanta Braves in 1999, eventually earning the title of Director of Minor League Operations. Picollo first met Moore as a player for George Mason University, where Dayton Moore once served as an assistant coach. He would be drafted by the Yankees as a catcher, but spend just five games in the minors. He coached for five years at both George Mason and The George Washington University.
Picollo has drawn interest from several other clubs as a potential general manager, so promoting him to the title in Kansas City will allow the Royals to prevent him from taking other similar jobs. The Twins interviewed him in 2016, he was a candidate for the Angels’ job in 2020, and his hometown Phillies considered him in both 2015 and 2020.
Many clubs around baseball have adopted the model of promoting a long-time general manager to club president to promote a top assistant to general manager. Billy Beane of the Athletics, Kenny Williams of the White Sox, Andrew Friedman with the Dodgers, and Theo Epstein when he was with the Cubs all ascended to club president roles. Operationally, don’t expect much to change, as Moore will still oversee all baseball operations. There could be more title bumps announced in the organization at this afternoon’s press conference, especially with the progress made with minor league development this season.
Picollo officially becomes just the seventh general manager in Royals history, following Cedric Tallis, Joe Burke, John Schuerholz, Herk Robinson, Allard Baird, and Moore.