The baseball world was stunned earlier this week when Braves General Manager John Coppolella abruptly resigned in the wake of allegations of impropriety in signing international free agents. The resignation left a vacancy, which immediately brought about rumors that Dayton Moore might bolt Kansas City to go back to Atlanta. Moore had little to say about those rumors, saying pretty much what he did in 2014, when the job was open.
“I would never comment on an opening with another organization,” Moore said. “I find it lacks integrity. Baseball is a game of constant turnover. If I commented on every opening out there, I would never do my own job.”
It seemed unlikely that Moore would leave Kansas City, where he built a franchise from the ground up, culminating in a championship in 2015. But there are increasing reports that it could be a possibility. The Braves seem to have made him their #1 target.
Industry sources say Braves GM job is Dayton Moore if he wants it. If not, Nats Dan Jennings is quality 2nd option as @DOBrienAJC reported— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) October 3, 2017
Moore did not take the job in 2014, the last time the Braves job opened up, but the Royals were in the middle of a playoff run at that time. Circumstances have changed, with the Royals on the verge of a rebuild. Could that motivate Moore to leave?
One major sticking point is that the General Manager in Atlanta would still answer to Club President John Hart, the longtime executive who ran the Indians and Rangers. In Kansas City, Moore has a direct pipeline to owner David Glass, and by most accounts, has had much autonomy in shaping the direction of the organization.
Dayton Moore is more open to leaving KC for the #Braves than any time before, but decision could rest on whether he's given full authority.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 4, 2017
Hart has repeatedly stressed he plans to stay with the organization. If this proves to be true, thoughts of Royals senior vice president and general manager Dayton Moore returning to Atlanta will likely evaporate, as Moore's best fit with the Braves would be to serve as the president of baseball operations and oversee a general manager.
Also pulling on Moore is the thought of leaving what he built. According to John Perotto at Fangraphs, Moore doesn’t want to be seen as turning his back on Kansas City.
However, those who know Moore well aren’t sure he would want to be viewed as a person jumping off a sinking sink in Kansas City.
If the Braves strike out on Moore, they could turn to Royals Assistant General Manager J.J. Picollo.
If the Braves are unable to lure Moore, the next best move might be hire his right-hand man. Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo is considered an executive on the rise and began his front-office career with the Braves until following Moore to Kansas City.
For what it’s worth, the Kansas City media seems convinced he is staying.
He's not going anywhere.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) October 2, 2017
He has invested in Kansas City. Urban Youth Academy, CYITML, etc. He loves this community.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) October 2, 2017
I haven't known Dayton for 11 years, but in the 7 years I've been here and observed everything Dayton stands for, I'd be stunned if he left.— Jeff Rosen (@jeff_rosen88) October 3, 2017