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Royals, Moore agree to two-year contract extension

KC's 2013 record best since 1989 under GM; new deal runs through 2016 season

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' improvement on the field has paid off for general manager Dayton Moore.

Moore has earned a two-year extension of his contract as senior vice president-baseball operations and general manager through 2016. His most recent contract ran through 2014.

The Royals this season finished with an 86-76 record, their best mark since 1989. It was their first winning record since 2003. Shortly after the season ended, manager Ned Yost received a two-year contract extension through 2015.

"When Dayton's contract was extended during the 2009 season, I felt that this franchise had begun to turn the corner and that we were pointed in the proper direction," Royals president Dan Glass said in a statement.

"It's been a challenging process, but we are now seeing tangible evidence that the process is working, thanks to the tireless efforts of Dayton and his baseball operations staff. Dayton is not only an outstanding baseball man, but he's very much a part of our family and one of the top individuals I've ever had the pleasure of working with."

Moore, 46, was hired to succeed Allard Baird as general manager on May 30, 2006. Since that time, he's devoted considerable energy to realigning the front office, scouting and coaching staffs in an effort to build up the Minor League development system as well as the Major League club.

The farm system was recognized as the best in baseball in 2011 by Baseball America.

"I'm very proud of the entire organization, especially our scouting and player development departments for their dedication and commitment to the Royals," said Moore. "It's a tremendous honor and privilege to work with Mr. [David] Glass, Dan and the entire family."

Of the 40 players on the current 40-man roster, 21 are considered "homegrown" or products of the Royals' system. That includes five in the starting lineup -- left fielder Alex Gordon, first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas, catcher Salvador Perez and designated hitter Billy Butler -- and six members of the American League's top bullpen headed by closer Greg Holland.

The 2013 season prompted different emotions for Moore.

"Professionally, it was very disappointing in that we came very close and played so well the second half of the season but couldn't get in the playoffs," Moore said.

"But personally, it was very rewarding just to see our fans excited about the team. Truthfully, what's been the most rewarding is we're growing a new generation of Royals fans that can identify with our young players."

The Royals had three All-Stars for the first time since 1988 in Gordon, Perez and Holland and three Gold Glove winners for the first time in history in Gordon, Perez and Hosmer.

Moore joined the Royals in 2006 after being in the Atlanta Braves' organization since 1994, during a period in which the team won 14 straight division titles in the National League. His last position there was assistant general manager-baseball operations. Before joining the Braves, he was an assistant baseball coach at George Mason University in Virginia, his alma mater.

He's the sixth general manager in Royals history, following Baird (2000-06), Herk Robinson (1990-2000), John Schuerholz (1981-90), Joe Burke (1974-81) and Cedric Tallis (1969-74).

Moore has hired two managers -- Yost and his predecessor, Trey Hillman. Moore brought Hillman out of Japan to take over for Buddy Bell, who resigned after the 2007 season. After a 12-23 start in 2010, Hillman was dismissed and Yost came out of a front-office advisor role to replace him.

His biggest trades have involved top starting pitchers. One arrived -- James Shields from the Tampa Bay Rays last winter in a trade that relinquished outfielder Wil Myers, who became AL Rookie of the Year for the Rays. One departed -- Zack Greinke, who was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers in a winter 2010 deal that netted four players, including current starting shortstop Alcides Escobar and center fielder Lorenzo Cain.

Major free-agent signings have included pitcher Gil Meche, for five years and $55 million prior to the 2007 season, and outfielder Jose Guillen, for three years and $36 million prior to 2008. Meche pitched for four years, then declined his salary for his fifth year and retired. Guillen was traded toward the end of his third season.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for

Kansas City Royals