The Royals may have already locked up their first-round pick

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Thumbnail image for royals1.jpgAccording to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Royals “are thought to be close” to a deal with University of Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal to be the fourth pick of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft on Monday.

Other outlets, including Frankie Pilere of AOL Fanhouse, are suggesting that the Royals may already have an agreement in place with the 21-year-old. Grandal batted .422/.545/.754 with 14 home runs for the Hurricanes this season. He is highly-regarded for his abilities behind the plate and is projected to arrive to the majors rather quickly.

There’s little doubt by now that the Nationals will take Bryce Harper with the No. 1 pick. The Pirates, who hold the second pick in the draft, are reportedly deciding between shortstop Manny Machado or right-hander Jameson Taillon. The Orioles, who pick third, will likely take whoever the Pirates don’t. Therefore, it’s fairly certain that Grandal will still be there when the Royals make their selection.

By the way, get ready. We’ll have plenty more coverage of the draft on Monday.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.