Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol is getting interest from multiple teams with managerial openings, according to a report from Enrique Rojas of ESPN, who lists the Royals, White Sox and Marlins as those who are interested in Grifol.
Grifol, 53 next month, was drafted by the Twins and played in the minors from 1991 to 1999. He got as high as Triple-A but never got the call to the major league level in his playing days. He subsequently transitioned into other roles, such as the director of minor league operations for the Mariners and then joining the Royals’ coaching staff in 2013.
His name has frequently come up in past managerial searches, a reflection of the respect that Grifol has around the game. Prior to the 2018 season, he was a candidate to manage the Tigers, then was considered by the Orioles a year later. He was in the running for the Giants and the opening in KC prior to 2020 but lost out to Mike Matheny, who was in the chair for the past three years but got fired recently. He was then up for the job in the Tigers’ dugout again prior to 2021 but lost out to A.J. Hinch.
There’s been a lot of shakeup within the Royals after another disappointing season. In addition to Matheny, the club has also parted ways with pitching coach Cal Eldred and president of baseball operations Dayton Moore. In the case of Moore, general manager J.J. Picollo was promoted to take over, keeping some semblance of continuity despite the obvious desire for change. It’s possible that the same approach could apply for the managerial vacancy, with Grifol potentially getting the bump from the bench coach position into the manager’s chair.
It seems the Royals will have some competition for Grifol’s services, however, with the reported interest from the White Sox and Marlins. The Sox will be looking to replace Tony La Russa, who recently announced he is stepping down due to health reasons. In the case of the Fish, they and Don Mattingly announced a mutual decision to not continue their relationship beyond 2023. In addition to those clubs, there will also be others looking for new skippers. The Blue Jays and Phillies are currently in the postseason and playing with interim managers, who could potentially be retained for the future. The Rangers fired Chris Woodward midseason and replaced him with Tony Beasley on an interim basis, with Beasley recently undergoing an interview to stick around and remove the interim tag from his title.