It continues to look as if the Royals’ next manager will come from within the organization. Special advisor Mike Matheny is still “the strong favorite” to land the position, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter links). However, the Royals aren’t simply going to hand him the job. They just completed a two-day interview with bullpen coach Vance Wilson, Sherman reports.
Matheny, who managed the Cardinals from 2012-18, has also landed on other clubs’ radars this fall. But he rebuffed at least one team – the Mets – per Sherman, who adds Matheny indicated to New York he’s focused on getting the KC gig. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see that happen, as the 49-year-old Matheny has looked like an obvious potential successor to now-retired manager Ned Yost since the Royals hired the former last offseason. Of course, that’s not to say Royals fans would be content with the selection of Matheny , who was an oft-derided figure during his time in St. Louis.
Like Matheny, Wilson brings several years’ experience as a major league catcher to the table. Although Wilson hasn’t gotten a chance to manage in the majors yet, he did serve as a skipper for multiple low-level Royals affiliates for a combined seven years. The team promoted Wilson, 46, to its MLB coaching staff entering the 2018 season.
Aside from Matheny and Wilson, two other Royals assistants – quality control/catching coach Pedro Grifol and bench coach Dale Sveum – have been mentioned as possibilities to take over for Yost. There’s no word on whether they’ve formally interviewed anyone but Wilson, however, and Grifol has drawn serious interest from at least one other known club (the Giants). With an ownership change on the way, the Royals don’t have much choice but to take their time with this decision.