Royals fire president of baseball operations Dayton Moore

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The Kansas City Royals have fired president of baseball operations Dayton Moore, the team announced Wednesday.

Owner John Sherman announced that general manager J.J. Picollo has been named head of baseball operations as the team's executive vice-president and GM effective immediately, according to Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star.

Moore attended the press conference announcing the move and praised the organization during a farewell address.

Moore, who rose to prominence as a member of the Atlanta Braves front office in the 1990s, was first hired as Kansas City's GM in June 2006 and promoted to president of baseball operations last year. Anchored by several stars he developed, including Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer, and Lorenzo Cain, he rebuilt the Royals from a floundering franchise into a contender during the middle of the 2010s. The Royals broke their 29-year playoff drought in 2014 and won a World Series the following year.

Things have come crashing back down since that championship run, however. Kansas City hasn't posted a winning record since 2015, a stretch that's included consecutive 100-loss campaigns in 2018 and '19. Though his teams won consecutive American League pennants, the Royals posted just three winning seasons during Moore's nearly 16 years at the helm.

Sherman, who was effusive in his praise of Moore, noted that the change was something of a mutual decision.

"Today, I think the bottom line here is that it's time for change. And Dayton actually agrees with that," Sherman said, according to Jared Koller of KCTV-5. "This has been a difficult decision (with) lots of conversations, but Dayton actually agrees that this is an appropriate time for change."

Picollo, 52, has worked hand-in-hand with Moore for most of his career and was instrumental in the last Royals rebuild. Originally a scout with the Braves, the George Mason alumnus followed Moore to Kansas City in 2006, originally as its director of player development and later working as Moore's top assistant GM.

Picollo interviewed for several top executive jobs across the league in recent years before the Royals finally promoted him to GM last September.

Kansas City enters Tuesday with a 59-89 record, placing the team fourth in the AL Central. This latest losing season may be the impetus for even more changes in the organization.

"I think there will be," Sherman said when asked if there'll be more changes, according to Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star. "I'm not ready to go into it today."

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Royals fire president of baseball operations Dayton Moore
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