The Kansas City Royals have found their new manager, choosing Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro for the job.
Quatraro was was a name that came up early and often during the Royals’ managerial search. He started his Major League coaching career in Cleveland in 2014, serving as Terry Francona’s assistant hitting coach. He then went to Tampa, where he was drafted as a player in 1996, and was named Kevin Cash’s third base coach in 2017. One season later, Quatraro was promoted to bench coach.
With those two stints came two coaching appearances in the World Series: in 2016 with the (then) Indians and in 2020 with the Rays.
Prior to his coaching career, Quatraro spent seven seasons playing in the minor leagues, all of them within the Tampa Bay system. He reached AAA before being released and retiring in 2003.
He will be the 18th manager in Kansas City history.
“I am absolutely thrilled for ‘Q,’” Cash told the Tampa Bay Times.
Quatraro replaces Mike Matheny, who managed the Royals for three seasons and was fired following Game 162 this year. In those three seasons, Matheny led the Royals to a 165-219 record, and they never finished higher than fourth place in the AL Central under his tenure.
The managerial change is just part of the overhaul the Royals have experienced between the end of the regular season and start of the offseason. Longtime executive Dayton Moore was fired in September, with J.J. Picollo assuming the lead role for all baseball operations.
Quatraro’s first season will begin with spring training in Surprise, Arizona, with the exhibition opener scheduled for Feb. 24, 2023. The Royals’ regular-season opener next year is set for March 30 at home against the Minnesota Twins.