Royals finalize 2018 coaching staff

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals on Tuesday promoted from within to fill their coaching vacancies, moving Minor League hitting coordinator Terry Bradshaw to hitting coach and assistant to the general manager Cal Eldred to pitching coach.

Also, Double-A Northwest Arkansas manager Vance Wilson will take over as bullpen coach, and Pedro Grifol will continue to serve as catching coach while also stepping in as the newly created quality control coach, which will serve as a liaison between the front office and the coaching staff.

At the end of the season, Kansas City parted ways with pitching coach Dave Eiland and bench coach Don Wakamatsu. The Royals also moved hitting coach Dale Sveum to bench coach.

As expected, Mitch Maier will take over first-base coaching duties, replacing Rusty Kuntz, who will serve as a senior advisor to the general manager now. Mike Jirschele remains the third-base coach.

Manager Ned Yost will be back in 2018 in the final year of his contract.

Bradshaw, 48, who has been in the Royals' system since 2000, spent the past five seasons ('13-17) as the Royals' Minor League hitting coordinator.

"He's very well respected inside and out of our organization," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said by phone. "I know other teams wanted to hire him over the past few years, but he remained loyal to the Royals. He's very deserving."

Eldred, 49, spent the previous two seasons (2016-17) in the Royals' organization as an assistant to the general manager -- player development. He served a similar role with the Cardinals from '13-15. A 14-year Major League veteran, Eldred had a career 86-74 record in 341 games (192 starts) while pitching for the Brewers (1991-99), White Sox (2000-01) and Cardinals (2003-05). He was Milwaukee's first-round pick (17th overall) in 1989 and twice led the American League in starts (1993-94) and once in innings pitched (1993).

"He's worked for and with Dave Duncan for many years and will really bring a fresh perspective for us," Moore said of Eldred.

Wilson, 44, served as the manager for Northwest Arkansas for the previous four seasons (2014-17), and he led the Naturals to back-to-back Texas League Championship Series appearances in '15-16.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for since 2015. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.