10:14pm: The Braves are moving on from Moore, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports, as “hope evaporated this weekend” that Moore would be made available by the Royals. In regards to Hart’s future, Bowman notes that since both Anthopoulos and Hendry are experienced general managers, either could take over the Braves’ baseball ops department should Hart no longer continue with the organization. “The Braves likely will make a decision as soon as possible” about their new GM, and Anthopoulos looks like the favorite.
7:39pm: Dayton Moore is still the Braves’ top choice to become the club’s new general manager, though if Atlanta isn’t able to get Moore away from the Royals, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is “the preferred Plan B” option. Three sources paint Anthopoulos as the front-runner for the job, given that there still seems to be little traction to the idea of Moore leaving Kansas City for Atlanta.
The situation is far from being finalized, however, due to the Braves holding out hope that Moore could still become available, Major League Baseball’s ongoing investigation into signing violations under former Braves GM John Coppolella, and the status of Braves president of baseball operations John Hart. Sherman reports that Hart prefers Anthopoulos for the GM job, while club vice chairman John Schuerholz is thought to prefer former Cubs GM Jim Hendry. Hart’s own contract with the Braves expired after the 2017 season, and it isn’t yet clear if he will remain atop Atlanta’s baseball ops pyramid or if the team could desire a clean slate with a new name in charge of the front office. (In regards to Moore, he would reportedly want full control over the Braves’ operations if he were to join the organization.)
Anthopoulos, 40, worked as Toronto’s GM for six seasons, building the nucleus that led the Jays to consecutive runs to the ALCS in 2015-16. He somewhat surprisingly left the job after his contract was up after the 2015 season, however, the presence of new Jays president Mark Shapiro meant that Anthopoulos would’ve essentially been demoted to second-in-command on the team’s depth chart of baseball decision-makers.
Anthopoulos has worked as the Dodgers’ VP of baseball operations since January 2016, and turned down offers from the Twins and Diamondbacks last year when the two clubs were in the midst of their own GM searches. Family concerns were reportedly behind Anthopoulos’ decision to bow out of those searches, as he didn’t want to uproot his young children from the west coast so quickly. As Sherman notes, however, the Braves’ job “is viewed as attractive” around baseball due to the team’s deep well of prospects, even despite the likelihood that MLB will level some type of punishment against the franchise.