Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro is again a popular interview candidate for managerial jobs, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link) reports that the Royals spoke with Quatraro earlier this week as K.C. looks for Mike Matheny’s replacement in the dugout.
Quatraro has previously interviewed with the Pirates, Giants, Tigers, Mets, Athletics about their managerial openings within the last three years, and he was reportedly a finalist for the jobs in Pittsburgh (before Derek Shelton was hired) and New York (prior to Buck Showalter’s hiring). Quatraro is also pretty deep in the running for another job this offseason, as both he and Astros bench coach Joe Espada are being interviewed for a second time by the Marlins.
Just a few weeks away from his 49th birthday, a big league managerial post would be quite the early present for Quatraro, and the culmination of an 18-year coaching career. After seven seasons as a player in the Rays farm system, Quatraro moved onto various roles as a hitting coach, hitting coordinator, and minor league manager for the Rays until he was hired by the Indians prior to the 2014 season. Quatraro worked as Cleveland’s assistant hitting coach for four seasons, and this job could be a link to his chances with the Royals — as Rosenthal notes, Royals owner John Sherman was a minority owner in Cleveland during Quatraro’s tenure on the coaching staff.
Quatraro then made a return to Tampa Bay as a third base coach in 2018, and he has spent the last four seasons as Kevin Cash’s bench coach. The Rays’ constant success on a minimal budget has led to several members of the coaching staff and front office being poached by other teams over the years, so Quatraro could be the latest name to join a lengthy list.
It’s a new era in Kansas City, as longtime front office head Dayton Moore was fired after 16 seasons with the team, and Matheny was let go after three seasons as manager. Hiring Quatraro or another voice from outside the organization would help add some new perspective to the Royals’ operations, as new GM J.J. Picollo is a longtime member of the K.C. front office. The only other known candidate for the Royals job is an internal candidate in bench coach Pedro Grifol, who was also interviewed by the Marlins and has also reportedly received interest from the White Sox.