Ned Yost will return as the Royals’ manager next year following Kansas City’s poorest season since 2005.
Kansas City announced a one-year extension Sunday before the season finale against Cleveland.
“The harmony in the organization is really important,” general manager Dayton Moore said. “We’re at a point in time right now where we think continuity is even more crucial than it has been in the past. We’ve seen the improvement of a lot of the players that are on the field right now. We’re really pleased with the coaching staff.”
Yost became Royals manager on May 13, 2010, and led the team to the 2015 World Series title, the team’s first since 1985 and second ever.
“Ned’s been a huge part of the success of this organization and we feel it’s important to keep that together,” Moore said. “I enjoy working with him, personally and professionally, and I’m excited about next year.”
Yost has confidence going into next season while recognizing some big challenges.
“I think we’re making progress,” he said. “I like the fact that the kids made the big jump like they did. Still, I don’t think we’re there yet. I said all along, I want to get us in a position where we can compete. We’re getting closer. I think everybody’s excited about where we’re headed and the way we finished. That was good for everybody. We had our first winning month in September.”
Yost anticipates building on that success and working with the young Royals.
“That’s why I like coming back, because you build from the beginning,” he said. “You have to understand where you’re at and there’s a certain way you got to do it to get it right. It’s easier for me to do it because I’ve been through it. It’s easier for me to get us to that point where we’re right down the road and then let somebody else come in who can really stomp the gas and go from there, like we did in ’13 and ’14.”
Moore acknowledged that Yost’s contract status remains year to year.
“Ned and I spoke about this in spring training, we spoke about it early on in the season,” Moore said. “He was leaning towards wanting to come back. We would just see how it would develop over the course of the season, and here we are.”
Infielder Whit Merrifield is glad to have Yost return for 2019.
“We love Ned,” Merrifield said. “It was cool to see him, just like the rest of us, get re-energized with this group of guys. You could just see him walking around with a little more energy and little more pep in his step. He was positive with us all year.”
Merrifield appreciated Yost’s even keel through a season in which the Royals went 58-104, tied for the second-worst record in club history.
“Even when we were going bad, he was the guy who was telling us to relax and that this was a tough step and we’ll get through it,” he said. “And we did. We got to where we needed to and that’s going into next year having nice momentum and confidence.”
Yost also managed Milwaukee from 2003-08.
Source: The Associated Press