The Royals announced that they’ve hired former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as a special advisor to the team’s player development staff St. Louis fired Matheny in July despite the fact that he was signed through the 2020 season.
“This is a great opportunity to have Mike become a member of our organization,” said Royals general manager Dayton Moore in a statement announcing the move. “It has always been our policy to hire the best baseball people we can and this is a perfect example of that. Mike has contributed so much to our game as both a player and a manager and has a wealth of knowledge that can only make us better. I’m excited about the possibilities of what he’ll bring to our organization.”
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch linked the Royals to Matheny back in August, and several reports since that time have suggested that he could end up with the Kansas City organization in an advisory capacity. He’ll now join Moore and have a bit of a hand in scouting and player development efforts.
While there’s no firm indication that Matheny will be considered for managerial openings in Kansas City down the line, Goold did note in the aforementioned report that Matheny would like to manage again, and it’s worth noting that current skipper Ned Yost is only signed through the 2019 season. Fancred’s Jon Heyman suggested last month that the 2019 season could be Yost’s final as a manager, and Yost himself has hinted at a similar timeline in the past.
Certainly, there’ll be speculation about the possibility of Matheny being groomed as a successor to Yost — as was the case with Brad Ausmus after he was hired by the Angels in a similar capacity last winter — though that’s hardly a foregone conclusion. The Reds, for instance, added John Farrell to their front office last offseason, and while he was indeed considered for their managerial vacancy, that post eventually went to David Bell.