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Royals interview Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro for managerial opening

Quatraro brings smarts, but a quiet demeanor

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Royals interviewed Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro for their managerial opening this week, according to Ken Rosenthal. Quatraro has already interviewed with the White Sox and will have a second interview with the Marlins.

Quatraro has been a coveted managerial candidate for a few years, interviewing in the past for openings with the Athletics, Giants, and Mets. After a short minor league career with the Rays, Quatraro became a coach with them, managing in the minors from 2006 to 2009. He then became the team’s minor league hitting coordinator before moving on to Cleveland’s Major League staff as assistant hitting coach in 2014. He joined Tampa’s big league staff in 2017 as third base coach, then became bench coach in 2018.

Quatraro is respected around the game, as an example of the model organization when it comes to using analytics, the Tampa Bay Rays. He has been instrumental in working with manager Kevin Cash, has worked a lot with outfielders on defense, and has been praised as a good communicator by former catcher Anthony Recker.

“He understood how to interact with players, getting to know them on a personal level before suggesting any changes in what they were doing. I thought that was very important. He was a student of who you are first, and not just someone telling you what to do. You learn to trust a guy like that.

“He’s supremely intelligent and he was very observant, very organized. And when he spoke everything was always well thought out. To me, those kind of people tend to be the best leaders.”

Quatraro is described as a quiet leader, not full of personality or a rah-rah guy. Execs compare him to Padres manager Bob Melvin.

“I know Matt fairly well and I see a lot of similarities with Bob,” the exec said. “They’re both very bright, studious, and they’re both low-key personality-wise but very good communicating and developing relationships with players. The big unknown is always how a guy will handle the stress that comes with managing, especially the first time around.”

David Lesky reported that the Royals were high on Quatraro, so it is not a surprise they have interviewed him. They also interviewed Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan this week.