SATURDAY: The chances of Moore going to the Braves aren’t completely dead, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests. If Hart loses his hold on the Braves’ baseball operations, it could pave the way for the team to pursue Moore in earnest, according to O’Brien. The “belief among some observers” is that the Royals would be willing to let Moore head to Atlanta if they’re adequately compensated, O’Brien reports.
FRIDAY: Royals owner David Glass denied a request from the Braves to interview GM Dayton Moore for Atlanta’s own top front office position, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports. Moore is under contract with Kansas City through at least the 2018 season and thus permission was required for an interview. Such permission is often granted if a promotion is being offered, though that wasn’t the case here since Moore already holds a job atop a team’s baseball operations depth chart.
The exact nature of what job the Braves were offering is of particular note, as John Hart is still Atlanta’s president of baseball operations. Hart’s future, however, is up in the air due to the ongoing investigation about international signing improprieties within the Braves front office. The investigation has also now extended into looking into alleged violations regarding the amateur draft — Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan detailed some of the complaints leveled against former GM John Coppolella in regards to pre-draft agreements.
Coppolella and international scouting director Gordon Blakely both resigned their positions earlier this month, and Hart’s own contract is up after the World Series is over. It could be that Braves upper management decides to move on with an entirely new front office, regardless of what MLB’s investigation does or doesn’t report about Hart, and thus Atlanta would be able to offer Moore the full control that he has reportedly demanded if he were to change jobs. Though Moore and other names have been connected to their front office opening, the Braves have yet to conduct any interviews with candidates, perhaps due to the uncertainty over Hart. This is just my speculation, but it could also be the case that Moore was the Braves’ top choice, and they’ll now move onto secondary candidates since Glass has denied them a chance to speak to Moore.
Adding an experienced, championship-winning executive like Moore would go a long way towards settling the tumult within the Atlanta organization, particularly given Moore’s past ties to the Braves. For his part, however, Moore has stated that he is happy with the Royals, and reiterated to Crasnick that “I’m focused on what we need to do here in Kansas City.” While the Royals appear to be heading into a rebuild, Moore may also prefer the relative stability of his current position rather than join a Braves franchise that may be hit with some severe penalties, pending the results of the league’s investigation.