The Atlanta Braves’ interest in general manager Dayton Moore is a secret no longer. Royals owner David Glass denied the Braves permission to interview Moore for a job running their baseball operations department after the organization inquired this week, according to an ESPN report on Friday that cited anonymous baseball sources.
The contact between organizations was later confirmed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, though neither the Royals nor Braves have acknowledged the details. Glass declined comment on Friday afternoon.
The reported communication represented the first public evidence of the Braves’ desire to possibly lure Moore back to Atlanta, the franchise and city in which he started his career before coming to the Royals in 2006 and building a World Series champion. Yet the Royals’ refusal to allow Moore to interview may not represent the end of the story.
Moore signed an undisclosed contract extension after the Royals’ World Series championship in 2015, a deal that means opposing clubs must ask permission to speak to him about jobs. The Royals could be maintaining leverage or positioning themselves for some type of compensation before allowing Moore to interview. It remains unclear whether Moore has interest in the job. He has twice declined comment and stressed his commitment to the Royals.
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The Braves’ general manager job has been open since Oct. 2, when John Coppolella resigned in the midst of a Major League Baseball probe into the organization’s conduct in the international player market and other alleged rules violations. The results of the investigation are not expected to be made public until after the World Series. The unclear status of the probe — and the possible penalties involved — have appeared to slow the process for finding a replacement general manager.
In addition, the Braves still have a president of baseball operations in house, a position with responsibilities similar to Moore’s job as senior vice president/general manager in Kansas City.
John Hart, a former general manager with the Indians and Rangers, is currently in charge of the Braves’ baseball operations department and has spoken to Major League Baseball as part of the ongoing investigation, according to reports.
For now, the situation appears to remain fluid. To leave what he has built in Kansas City, Moore would likely need assurances that he would have full autonomy and power over all baseball decisions.
Still, Moore has been linked to the job for weeks. He spent more than a decade with the Braves as a scout and executive before taking over as Royals general manager in 2006. His ties to the organization and its current vice chairman, John Schuerholz, his former boss, make him a natural candidate for the job.
“To me, it’s really unprofessional to comment on the vacancy, the potential vacancy of another organization,” Moore said on Oct. 18, when asked about the Braves’ job at a news conference at Kauffman Stadium. “I will say this: Nobody has presented that to me at this point in time. I will say this: I’m extremely passionate about leading.”
“I’m committed to leading. Not only as a general manager, but as a citizen of this community, as a husband, as a father. As long as I get the opportunity to do that, I’m doing what I believe I’m supposed to do.”