Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough has interviewed for the vacant Royals managerial post, and is considered a finalist for the job, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. It’s been previously reported that the Royals have interviewed Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan and Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro. They’ve also looked in-house as well, interviewing current bench coach Pedro Grifol, third base coach Vance Wilson and Triple-A skipper Scott Thorman. It’s not clear if any of those names are considered finalists.
McCullough was a 22nd round draft pick for Cleveland in 2002, but spent just three seasons as a catcher in the minor leagues before retiring from playing at 25. He quickly moved into coaching, and worked as a manager within the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system between 2007 and 2014. The Dodgers hired him as their minor league field coordinator after his time in Toronto, and he was promoted to first base coach for the major league team in 2021.
It’s not the first time McCullough has been linked to a big league managerial post, as he earned an interview from the Mets for their vacant position in 2021 before they ultimately went with Buck Showalter. The 42-year-old also interviewed for the Giants position prior to the team hiring Gabe Kapler.
While the list of known candidates to interview for the position continues to grow, the fact that the Royals appear to be narrowing it down to finalists does suggest that the process is getting closer to reaching a conclusion. The Royals parted ways with Mike Matheny at the end of the season after a 65-97 record in 2022.