Here's where the Royals' manager search stands

October 25th, 2022

KANSAS CITY -- With the end of October rapidly approaching, the Royals continue to interview managerial candidates and narrow down their list of who will replace Mike Matheny in 2023 and beyond.

Internal candidates Pedro Grifol, Vance Wilson and Scott Thorman have all gone through first-round interviews with the Royals, sources told

They are in addition to the external candidates who have interviewed, including Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, Dodgers first-base coach Clayton McCullough and Phillies third-base coach Dusty Wathan, per sources.

The Royals are not putting a timeline on their search, but they have indicated they would like to have a manager in place before free agency begins (five days after the World Series ends). That way, they can fill out the coaching staff, including hiring a new pitching coach, in November.

Grifol, who spent the past three years as Kansas City’s bench coach, has been a candidate for multiple managerial openings in the past and is again this offseason; in addition to the Royals, he has interviewed for the White Sox and Marlins’ vacancies this month.

Executive vice president/general manager J.J. Picollo named Grifol and Wilson, who has served as the Royals’ third-base coach and bullpen coach in the past, as two internal candidates early on in the search, and that list has now expanded to include Thorman. The 40-year-old Thorman was Triple-A Omaha’s manager in 2022 after two seasons with Double-A Northwest Arkansas from 2020-21. Thorman, a first-round Draft pick by the Braves in 2000, also led Class A Advanced Wilmington to the Carolina League championship in ’19 and Class A Lexington to the South Atlantic League title in ’18.

Thorman has been with the Royals’ young core of players -- both pitchers and position players -- throughout its rise in the Minor Leagues, and players rave about his ability to connect with them. The Canada native joined the big league staff during the Toronto series in July, when Kansas City was down several players and coaches in Canada because of their vaccination status.

The Royals have high interest in Quatraro, according to those with knowledge of the situation. The 48-year-old has spent the last four seasons as the Rays’ bench coach and is a candidate for the Marlins’ opening as well. Quatraro was also an assistant hitting coach in Cleveland from 2014-16, when Royals owner John Sherman was a minority owner with the Guardians.

McCullough, 42, is also a favorite after his second season on the Dodgers’ coaching staff, part of a perennial postseason contender. He has Minor League managerial experience and interviewed for the Mets’ manager opening last year -- and McCullough’s dad, Howard, is a part-time amateur scout for the Royals.

Wathan interviewed with Kansas City last week and has strong ties to the franchise; his father, John, was a longtime Royals player, manager and player development official who retired at the end of this season after 51 years in baseball, including 47 with Kansas City.

That is not the complete list of the Royals' candidates, but a finalists list should be getting nearer for the front office.