August 2009

Royals extend GM Moores contract through 2014

The Royals extended general manager Dayton Moore’s contract through 2014, the club announced on Monday.

Moore exercised his option for 2011 and the Royals added 2012, 2013 and 2014 to the deal. Terms were not disclosed.

“Although it has been a disappointing season,” said Royals president Dan Glass, “I believe we are heading in the right direction and Dayton is an important part of the process.”

The extension comes with the Royals in last place in the American League Central with a 50-80 record going into a series with Oakland A’s on Monday night. The team had been projected to possibly approach the .500 mark but has been hit by injuries and some subpar performances.

Moore was hired as senior vice president-baseball operations and general manager on May 30, 2006, succeeding Allard Baird. The 2006 team lost 100 games but improved to 69-93 in 2007 and 75-87 in 2008.

The extension makes it clear that the Glass family, headed by owner David Glass, is satisfied with the moves that Moore has made in the last three-plus years.

— Dick Kaegel

Mahay designated for assignment; Yabuta recalled

Left-hander Ron Mahay, senior member of the Royals, was designated for assignment on Monday and right-hander Yasuhiko Yabuta was called up from Triple-A Omaha to replace him.

Mahay, 38, had a 1-1 record and 4.79 ERA in 41 relief appearances this season, his second with the Royals. Last year he went 5-0 with a 3.48 ERA in 57 games.

Yabuta has spent the entire season with Omaha, going 2-1 with a 3.55 ERA in 26 games. He had 53 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings.

Yabuta was signed out of the Japan League before the 2008 season but struggled and spent part of the summer with Omaha. He was 1-3 with a 4.78 ERA in 31 games last year for Kansas City

–Dick Kaegel.

Eddie Rodriguez in global spotlight with Team USA

Good to see a good guy, Eddie Rodriguez, get the managerial job for the USA in next month’s World Cup competition.

He’s the Royals’ special assignments coach, his first year at the job but he’s been a Major League coach for a long time, including three years as Frank Robinson’s bench coach with the Montreal Expos. He’s played, coached and instructed in the Minor Leagues so he’s well qualified for the job given him by USA Baseball.

“I got a call in Boston and they wanted to know if I was interested, I was one of the finalists to be the manager,” he said.

Rodriguez was interested and USA Baseball got permission from the Royals to give him leave during September for the international competition. His team starts play on Sept. 10, playing Venezuela at Regensburg, Germany.

“It always looks good on the resume but, to me, it’s the honor. The same it was in Sydney, representing our country and representing it well and having players from different organizations and bringing them together in a short time – and bring back the medal,” he said.

Rodriguez was a coach on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal at Sydney.

He’ll have ex-Royals player and coach Jamie Quirk as his bench and third-base coach. Only players not on active Major League rosters can play in the World Cup competition. The one player from the Royals’ organization who is on the preliminary 60-man roster is infielder Tug Hulett, now with Triple-A Omaha.

— Dick Kaegel

Ponson is officially a free agent

This isn’t exactly breaking news but, officially, Sir Sidney Ponson became a free agent on Wednesday.

We reported last Sunday that he had  been released by the Royals. Now the paper work is done. General manager Dayton Moore told us that Ponson decided against considering a stint with Triple-A Omaha and will take his chances elsewhere

Ponson was just 1-7 and his ERA was 7.36 when the Royals designated him for assignment. Manager Trey Hillman liked his stuff and his work ethic was reported to be good but he just wasn’t getting the job done.

The Royals, by the way, will have to make a roster move on Thursday morning to clear the way for Gil Meche’s return off the disabled list. He’ll start Thursday afternoon at Minnesota.

–Dick Kaegel

Ponson designated, Davies recalled from Omaha

Pitcher Sidney Ponson was designated for assignment by the Royals on Sunday and Kyle Davies was being recalled to take his spot in the rotation.

Ponson had a 1-7 record and a 7.36 ERA in 14 games including nine starts for the Royals. In his last start on Friday night, he was tagged for seven runs in 4 1/3 innings by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Davies, since being optioned to Triple-A Omaha on June 20, had a 4-2 record and a 2.14 ERA in eight starts. In 46 1/3 innings, he gave up 47 hits and 14 walks with 44 strikeouts. For the Royals this season, Davies was 3-7 with a 5.76 ERA in 14 starts.

The change means that Davies will start on Wednesday night against the Seattle Mariners in Kansas City.

The Royals have 10 days in which to put Ponson on waivers, trade or release him. Manager Trey Hillman indicated that, if he clears waivers, the Royals would offer Ponson a spot at Omaha.

–Dick Kaegel