In a shocking development, Braves General Manager John Coppolella has resigned today, potentially due to improprieties with acquisitions made in Latin America. Special Assistant Gordon Blakely has also resigned, and the organization is under investigation by Major League Baseball. Yahoo Sports reporter Jeff Passan reports on chaos and infighting in the Braves front office, and the investigation has gone into everything from the Braves’ domestic draft to how the organization treats employees. All signs point to it being one big mess.
So perhaps they need a white knight. Someone with ties to the organization during their glory days. Someone who has built an organization from chaos to become a champion. Someone, like Dayton Moore.
Next Braves GM will step into great situation. New ballpark, great farm system. Would be logical for Braves to reach out to Dayton Moore.— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) October 2, 2017
Dayton Moore is currently under contract with the Royals through the 2018 season. Would the Royals let him out of his contract a year early, or perhaps trade him to the Braves in exchange for a player? Or would the Braves simply keep the seat warm for him until he’s a free agent next year?
The Braves are a mess right now, and just had their fourth consecutive losing season. But they are also absolutely loaded with prospects, and now that they are in a new stadium they will be flush with cash and ready to spend on a winner. Could that be enough enticement to lure Moore back to Atlanta?
It seems rather unlikely. Moore is famously loyal, even initially turning down the Royals top job - a promotion - to stay in Atlanta as an Assistant GM. He has built something in Kansas City, whereas in Atlanta he’d be resuming a rebuilding project that was begun years ago. He has a chance to have a statue in Kansas City, be part of franchise lore, whereas in Atlanta he’d always be in the shadows of those that built the Braves dynasty of the 90s.
When the Braves job opened up in 2014, David Glass said he would not block Moore from interviewing. Later, when the Royals were in the midst of an amazing post-season run, Glass insisted Moore was not leaving. Ultimately, the Braves hired Coppolella to run the team.
Maybe Moore could jump. The rebuild process in Kansas City seems daunting with the thin farm system, and perhaps he is tired of the limited resources of a small-market club. Personalities and relationships matter too, and if there are behind-the-scenes conflicts going on, that could always spur a jump. Remember, John Schuerholz left one of the winningest clubs in baseball to join the lowly Braves in 1990 over inter-office conflicts in the Royals front office.
But my guess is Dayton Moore will spurn any advances the Braves make. Moore grew up a Royals fan, built this franchise, was given loads of patience and the highest payrolls in franchise history by ownership, and is beloved by fans. Even with a rebuild ahead, it seems like a crazy move to leave.
But no one knows what is in Dayton’s heart but Dayton.
Dayton Moore on any Atlanta rumors: "I've heard that stuff before and I'm not even going to comment on it. My focus is and always has been on the Kansas City Royals."— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) October 2, 2017