On the first day of the annual GM meetings here at the Waldorf Astoria, the Atlanta Braves hired a general manager. That the executive en route to Atlanta on Monday was not the Royals’ Dayton Moore was perhaps a surprise to some in the industry.
For weeks, Moore had surfaced as the leading candidate to take over a front office reeling from an Major League Baseball investigation into its international scouting practices. Moore had deep ties to the Braves, forged over more than a decade working for former general manager John Schuerholz. Atlanta sought stability.
Yet as Moore stood outside a resort hotel on Monday afternoon, he said he was “at peace” with how the Atlanta search had unfolded, even after owner David Glass had denied the Braves an interview in late October, leading to increased speculation.
“I simply left that in Mr. Glass’s hands,” Moore said of the Braves’ interest. “If he wanted to grant permission, then that would signal to me that he didn’t want me here. If he denied permission, that would tell me he wants me here.”
It was, in some ways, a counterintuitive read on the situation. Moore remains under contract in Kansas City after signing an extension in early 2016, and his status allowed Glass to reject overtures from other clubs.
Yet, in the days after news of the refusal surfaced, the Royals did not announce another contract extension or offer public affirmation, leading to more speculation about Moore’s future and his relationship with ownership. On Monday, Moore said he was comfortable with how the situation resolved itself.
“It was his decision,” Moore said of Glass. “It was his decision to hire me. It was his decision to extend me and give me multiple contracts during 11 years here in Kansas City. And if he felt like it was time for our family to move on, we would have had no choice, but we would have went.”
The Braves ultimately settled on Alex Anthopoulos, a former general manager in Toronto who spent the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Moore, meanwhile, remains in Kansas City, ready to embark on another possible rebuilding job as the franchise’s core of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain navigates free agency for the first time.
As he spoke on Monday afternoon, Moore declined to discuss specifics on how long he desired to remain in Kansas City. His contract runs through 2020, according to a source familiar with the deal. He did, however, say he felt emboldened to guide the organization through its next chapter. And he praised the Glass family, extolling “opportunities” and “advantages” offered by ownership.
“I would want to work here for as long as Mr. Glass wants me here,” he said. “I don’t see any deviation from that.”
As he stood outside the Waldorf on Monday, Moore appeared relieved that the speculation would cease. It had not caused a distraction, he said. The Royals carried on, hiring three coaches and retaining two others, weathering the news of manager Ned Yost’s horrific fall in Georgia.
Yet Moore had worried about how the Braves speculation might affect other members of the front office. For weeks, it would not die as the Braves job remained open. On Monday, it was filled.
“From our early part of this process on, it was very clear in my conversations with Mr. Glass that he wanted us here in Kansas City,” Moore said. “My contract was not up.
“I didn’t worry too much about it. Kansas City is where we want to be. I’m very much at peace with how everything turned out. I’m very glad that the speculation is behind us.”