KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Royals and manager Ned Yost agreed to a two-year contract extension Tuesday after wrapping up an 86-76 season, the best finish for the franchise in 24 years.
Yost’s contract was set to expire after the season.
Yost has been the manager in Kansas City for the past four years, and has been instrumental in helping to bring along one of the youngest rosters in the major leagues. Progress was evident after the All-Star break this season, when the Royals went 43-27 down the stretch.
That allowed the Royals to get into playoff contention. They were eliminated from the AL wild-card race in their penultimate series of the season, but still were 14 wins better than last season.
Yost is 741-831 in 10 seasons as manager of the Brewers and Royals.
He had said he wanted to return,, especially with the franchise finally contending for the first time in decades. His team seemed to feel the same way.
“When you have something good you need to stick with it,” outfielder Alex Gordon said after the final game, “and I think that’s what we have. We have a good manager that gels well with the guys on this team and we all have a good relationship. It’s kind of hard to start over again with someone new, so it’d be nice to have him back and we’re hoping that he comes back.”
The Royals haven’t been to the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series and are not yet among the American League’s elite franchises, even if they’re trending that way.
But the fervor of late-season baseball was back in Kansas City for the first time since George Brett was at third base in the 1970s and ’80s. Kauffman Stadium was packed for the Royals’ final home series against Texas, and the team was even vying for attention with the NFL’s Chiefs, who are off to an unbeaten start.