The Atlanta Braves reached out for permission to interview General Manager Dayton Moore “about running their baseball operation”, but were denied by owner David Glass, according to ESPN writer Jerry Crasnick. Moore is under contract with the Royals through 2018. It is unclear exactly what position the Braves were interested in offering him or whether Moore would have even been open to listening to the Braves. In his end-of-the-year press conference, Moore praised the Glass family, but would not unequivocally reject a potential overture from the Braves.
Back in 2014, when the Braves job opened up before, Glass had said he wouldn’t stand in anyone’s way if they wanted to leave, but that Moore was committed to Kansas City. The Royals then went on a post-season run, part of back-to-back pennant-winning seasons that culminated in a championship in 2015.
Moore was said to be the top target for the Braves, whose General Manager John Coppolella resigned effective October 2. However, it was reported that a major sticking point was Moore potentially having to answer to Braves club president John Hart, rather than having a direct line to ownership as he does in Kansas City.
The Braves organization is currently in disarray, and is expecting Major League Baseball to conclude its investigation into illegal signings on the international market after the conclusion of the World Series. The Braves have put interviews for potential general managers on hold until after the investigation wraps up.
It is possible that the Braves have Hart or some interim general manager run the ballclub for a year until Moore becomes a free agent. However, there would be no guarantee that he would want the job then, and the Braves need someone immediately to clean up the organization, improve morale, and improve the roster around young players on the field as they continue their rebuild.
The Braves could also get rid of Hart and offer Dayton Moore a promotion as Club President. Hart and former Braves General Manager John Schuerholz have been at odds over how to run the club. Hart is also facing questions about how much he knew about the breach of MLB rules. If Dayton Moore is offered a higher position in another club, traditionally clubs do not prohibit employees from taking promotions in another organization. Crasnick’s report says the job was running baseball operations, but it is unclear whether it would be perceived as a promotion, particularly with Hart still currently in place.
Update: Braves beat writer David O’Brien doesn’t think the door is closed on Dayton leaving for Atlanta.
But there is a belief among some observers that the Royals might be positioning themselves for possible concessions from the Braves to allow Moore to interview and/or leave. And it’s possible that Moore might also be waiting for some assurances about the Braves situation and his potential role if he were to join them.
Neither the Royals nor the Braves have confirmed that permission was asked for or denied.