Posted on September 23, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
As we approach the end of September, managers around baseball begin to ponder their futures. But that’s not something the Kansas City Royals need to worry about. Royals manager Ned Yost said Friday that there’s no doubt he’ll return to manage the team in 2018. Yost has one year left on his contract and the 62-year old skipper intends to take it.
“Was there ever a question about it?” Yost said Friday. “One more year, two more years, we’ll see what happens.”
At his age, Yost isn’t in a position to make a long-term commitment. But he intends to at least finish his contract with the Royals.
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“If I didn’t want to come back (in 2018), I wouldn’t have negotiated the contract that way,” Yost said. “I don’t care. It’s no issue to me. None. Zero. I’ll gladly go year to year, and probably will go year to year. I don’t know when (GM Dayton Moore) and I will even talk about it.”
Yost took over as Kansas City’s manager a month and a half into the 2010 season. There were a few rough seasons that followed, but eventually, Yost guided the Royals to a winning season in 2013, the team’s first winning season in a decade. Kansas City reached the World Series in 2014, only to lose in seven games. The Royals returned to the Fall Classic in 2015, winning a world title for the first time since 1985.
Kansas City’s success during that time was with the same core group of players that Yost was able to most from young, developing players into quality major league players capable of winning a championship.
However, since winning the World Series two years ago, the Royals have started to part with some of those players, unable to keep all of them when they reached free agency. Players like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakis, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, and Jason Vargas are all set to hit free agency this winter. That will likely put the Royals back into rebuilding mode, a process they will begin with Yost at the helm. It will be a unique challenge for an aging manager, but one Yost is excited to undertake.
“I’m not walking away,” Yost said. “For me, I love this organization. And to be able to transition some of these young players, it’s going to be easier for me to do it than anybody else. So, yeah, I want to be a part of it for a little bit longer.”
At the moment, Yost says he isn’t worrying about what will happen this winter. The Royals may be able to re-sign one or two of their own free agents. But he also likes the team’s young talent, including players like Raul Mondesi, Cheslor Cuthbert, Jorge Soler, and Jorge Bonifacio. Yost knows those outside the organization won’t expect the Royals to compete next season, but he thinks they have a chance to be in the mix for a playoff spot.
“There’s still an aspect of development with these young players,” he said. “You’ve got young guys. We still got quality veterans.”
Of course, Yost is realistic. He knows he may not be around long enough to lead the Royals to another World Series. But he’d like to help set up his successor to reach the same heights he did in Kansas City.
“Am I going to see this thing through? No. But I want to get a firm footing and firm foundation on the ground so someone else.”