Are Braves waiting for Dayton Moore?

Dayton Moore’s Royals begin play in the American League division series tonight.
(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star)

Dayton Moore's Royals begin play in the American League division series tonight. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star)

Dayton Moore’s Royals begin play in the American League division series tonight.
(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star)

If the Kansas City Royals had lost their wild card elimination game to Oakland, we might have a little more clarity about the Braves’ general manager’s opening today. Why? The Braves are believed to have some interest in Royals GM Dayton Moore, who worked his way up through the Braves system, and would have made the, “Can we talk now?” phone call soon after Tuesday night’s game.

But now they’ll have to wait a little longer to gauge Moore’s interest. The Royals open play in the American League divisional series tonight against the Los Angeles Angels. (For the record, Moore has declined comment on the Atlanta opening. But in doing so, he also has not closed the door to the job.)

I honestly have no strong feelings about who the next Braves’ general manager should be, other than a general belief that they could benefit from a fresh perspective from outside the organization. That’s not meant to be a knock on Braves assistant GM John Coppolella, who for all we know may be the best choice. I just like the idea of having an outside perspective.

Braves interim general manager John Hart said recently he’s open to the possibility of taking the GM’s job for a year or two, while a younger assistant is mentored for the job. With that said, below are some names the Braves might consider. There’s a poll to the left for you to check your favorite, and weigh in with comments below.

• Dayton Moore (Kansas City): It’s widely believed he was the one groomed to take over for John Schuerholz, not Frank Wren, but took the Royals’ job the year before Schuerholz left the job. Moore’s arrival was celebrated in Kansas City but the irony is that some fans were ready for a change at the top until the Royals finally made the playoffs this year. Moore hasn’t been perfect but he has done far more right than wrong and generally he has been forced to operate with one of the majors’ lowest payrolls.

• John Coppolella (Braves): Baseball Prospectus, the popular baseball analytics site, recently listed him atop a list of potential future general manager candidates. Quoting: “A rising star in the industry for some time, the former student manager for the Notre Dame football team has injected the characteristics of winning into his DNA through nearly 15 years experience with the two most successful franchises in the modern era (Yankees/Braves).” Coppolella is credited for having a skill set in both statistical analysis and pure scouting, which makes him both attractive and a rarity. There’s certainly no guarantee he’s ready for the general manager’s job but some believe if the Braves don’t give it to him, another team will give him a shot soon.

• Mike Girsch (St. Louis): He has been with the Cardinals since 2006, the last four as assistant general manager. The Cardinals do more things right and with more consistency than any team in the majors. So why not steal from them? Girsch, 37, was thought to be up for the San Diego job recently but withdrew his candidacy. (That job went to A.J. Preller, an assistant GM in Texas, who would’ve made this list.) Girsch has an MBA and oversees the Cardinals’ baseball operations, which includes amateur and pro scouting.

• Jason McLeod (Chicago): He also was up for the San Diego job, before withdrawing his name. He works for Chicago president Theo Epstein, who in Boston became known as one of the best general manager’s in the game, and has been with the Cubs since 2011. A key point in McLeod’s favor: He helped overhaul a minor league system that once ranked as one of baseball’s worst to one of its best.

• Mike Hazen (Boston): He was the Red Sox’ director of player development for five years and vice president of player development for one. So, yes, player development is his strength. He has been Boston’s assistant general manager since 2011. He was a candidate for the San Diego job, has a good sense for the business side of the front office and graduated from Princeton. Among the players who ascended to the majors under his watch: Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury.

 • Thad Levine (Texas): There’s an obvious connection with Braves assistant general manager John Hart, the former Rangers’ GM. I’m not sure how interested the Braves would be in Levine because his strength is said to be more on the business side than player development and there’s a stated interest in overhauling the Braves’ farm system. But Levine is certainly qualified for the job. He has been an assistant general manager since 2005 and considered by some as the heir apparent to Jon Daniels. Levine, who has an MBA from UCLA, also spent a year with the Dodgers and six with Colorado.

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Reader Comments 0

48 comments
RangeRover
RangeRover

Why on earth would Moore make a parallel move and leave Kansas City  (a really nice town if you haven't been there) to return to a city that:

1.  Has an idiot for a Mayor?

2.  Has an idiot for a Baseball Manager?

3.  Locked into a lineup of free swinging hacks and their long-term contracts?

Two Reasons:

1.  A LOT more money!

2.  The move to a higher standard of living and more more intelligent and responsible leadership in Cobb County.

If Moore's dumb enough to do it, hopefully he can bring Ned Yost with him.



beatsforrappers
beatsforrappers

I think bobby cox for three years could transform the organization, top to bottom

RangeRover
RangeRover

@beatsforrappers

No1

We need a championship caliber Manager & GM...Bobby was 1 for  17 in playoff championships (16 with Atlanta, 1 with Toronto).

58Supersports
58Supersports

Mike Girsch and Cappolella would be ok with new ideas... I like what Moore said about someone from outside Braves which I agree with. That is why my 1st pick would be Mike Girsch.  But  any one that would fire Fredi and not be a yes man to JS & BC would be ok.  BC needs to go home....enough is enough.

GSUMensBBFan
GSUMensBBFan

I'll take anyone from St. Louis or Boston (even their janitorial staff) over any candidate from the lineage who gave the Braves just one World Series Championship in 23 years.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Why would Moore want to leave KC to inherit this financially hamstrung mess further complicated by a collection of aging know-it-alls with little to no accountability? I wouldn't do it for anything less than a 5-year guaranteed contract and full control as GM.


Not so long ago KC was raiding the Braves system for players. Now, they have about five players I'd plug into center field ahead of BJ, some of them for the price of a bench warmer. Then there's the second baseman , , ,

ChopChamps95
ChopChamps95

Moore is nothing more than a Schuerholz sycophant and would be his personal pet.  As I've said before, the guy is Frank Wren with people skills. The people who voted for him either don't know Moore's background and his floundering in mediocrity during his Royals tenure or they are too stupid to care.  KC would throw a parade the next day if the good ol' boys hired Moore.  Stop picking rotten fruit off the same tree and go hire somebody else who didn't come up in the Schuerholz/Cox inner sanctum.

jdcigar
jdcigar

Nothing will change as long as JS and Bobby are in charge.  The new GM will just be their puppet just like Wren

SOB
SOB

@jdcigar Very true.The cancer is Cox and his stubborn egotistic refusal to go away. Send him away!

mdet
mdet

Am I really the only one interested in what recommendations John Coppolella submitted to Wren about BJ prior to signing him.


Jeff, can you ask John Coppolella what his analysis was of BJ before the Braves signed him?

CJNC_1963
CJNC_1963

@mdet According to what I heard Frank Wren's brother (a scout) and Jim Fregosi were the ones who REALLY touted BJ as a good fit for the Braves.

rogerpellerin
rogerpellerin

Girsch- Time to do things "The Cardinal Way".

B.J.Sanaee
B.J.Sanaee

Uh, those folks who wanted Moore out in KC still want him out. You're not going to find many Royals fans soiling themselves at the thought of Atlanta "stealing" their GM. I'm sure they'll throw in a nice set of steak knives to sweeten the deal if we haggle a little.

Nate-the-Great
Nate-the-Great

@B.J.Sanaee How nice are those steak knives?  Are they worth the 75 million that Upton makes?

96JB
96JB

Better open the check book for players or Casey Stengel can't help them

HotDawg
HotDawg

Like they opened up the checkbook for bj and uggla?

ATLBrown
ATLBrown

I don't think Fredi HAS to be fired, but that should be up to the next GM to decide, not Bob Cox.

58Supersports
58Supersports

@ATLBrown  Fredi needs to go..two times now the team has quit on him in August & Sept. Good Managers that would not happen. Three years ago stupid moves in games 8th inning cost Braves the playoff game. Remember Not putting KImbrel in. Three time you should be out unless Bobby Cox loves you?

ATLBrown
ATLBrown

Baseball Tonight is saying they are talking to many people about the job, but Bobby Cox and John S. want them to keep Fredi.  GM candidates reasonably want that to be their decision, so the best ones will probably shy away from taking the Braves job.  So basically, they are going to blow it by being control freaks.


The 'Braves Way' worked in the 90s fellas.  It's time to live in 2014 and let go.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Bingo! Cox and Scheurputz are like children who can't ever admit to a mistake. We all know that Fredi is the wrong guy for the job here but these imbeciles will blow another 5 years of this team's future trying to prove they were right. Time to run them out on a hot rail!

Hodor
Hodor

Anyone from outside the organization that will fire Fredi Gonzales is fine with me.  Also, anyone who can get Cox and Scheurholz out of the sphere of influence.

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

Who replaces Terry McGuirk, the man who signd off on the bad money spent by Wren or will he be so generous with the next guy?

TEB1
TEB1

Hire Coppy and get the hell out of the way. Otherwise, Hazen makes a lot of sense. Player development is critical with all the young Braves.

-sting-
-sting-

like how st louis does things as an organization. we might need more of that than what we have now.

tmc
tmc

Doesn't matter who is chosen to take the GM title. John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox are going to be making the decisions and reaping the rewards. And if they don't work, whoever they choose will be paying the concequences. That's "The Braves Way" nobody talks about.

I say it's beyond time to pluck someone from St. Louis and we start "The Cardinals Way" round here!

I'm sick of the acceptance of mediocrity from the Braves brass.

LakeDawg
LakeDawg

@tmc


+1 Cox and Shuerholz are a cancer that need to be resected. The last thing the Braves need is more of "The Braves Way."

BooBooBear
BooBooBear

Too bad Joe Schultz died in 1996.  He would have been the perfect hire for manager.  "Keep pumping that Budweiser!"  (That is code for "Keep shooting those steroids.")

ButtermilkTuesdays007
ButtermilkTuesdays007

Seriously, if this organization hires Dayton Moore, I'm done. I'm not purchasing any more Braves' merchandise, I'm not going to attend games, and I'm through watching them on TV. I can only take so much stupidity and blatant cronyism. It's already evident that Fredi Gonzalez will likely be retained (which is frankly unfathomable), but to have Moore AND Gonzalez... again, I cannot support such stupidity. 


Coppy or Kim Ng or GTFO. I myself would prefer Coppollela given his background in scouting and sabermetrics, but hiring either of them would be a smart, progressive move (such a thing seems impossible for the Braves, I know). Cox, Schuerholz, and Hart need to get with the times. Enough of this "Braves Way" nonsense.

hudson18
hudson18

All of the above candidates that are lauded for their teams having talented farm systems have one key thing in common, their teams spend on scouting and amateur signing bonuses. No matter how large or small those teams payrolls are, they are aggressive in drafts and internationally. Which the Braves have not been, even going back to the final years of Schuerholz tenure as GM. Hopefully who ever ends up calling the shots has the ability to allocate more money to the farm system. All the above candidates teams rarely give up an early draft pick to sign a free agent. Most of the candidates teams aggressively pursue chances to add money to their international bonus pool allotments or take calculated risk to spend beyond their international pools to maximize the talent they can bring into the system.  The Braves spending near the bottom of the league on acquiring amateur talent for so many consecutive years has lead to their farm system deteriorating. A return to investing on the farm system is just as big a key as any GM that we hire.

CJNC_1963
CJNC_1963

@hudson18 the problem is that there are now spending caps both on the draft and in the international market.  Unless a team has a top 5 pick it's really hard for them to spend much on the draft. This year I actually wouldn't mind seeing them really overspend their slot in the international market and then just suffer the consequences for a couple of years.  The Yankees did that last season and other teams have done the same thing.  The minor league system needs to add a ton of good prospects and that would be one way to do it.

hudson18
hudson18

@CJNC_1963 @hudson18 Those rules are only a few years old and the Braves cut their spending long before that. The Braves were one of the few teams that kept to slot recommendations suggested by the commissioners office. Most other teams during that period spent without limits. 

On top of that the Braves have forfeited an early draft pick in 5 of the last 7 drafts, due to signing a free agent that required draft compensation. That only further handicaps acquiring talent.

In this years draft the Braves had the third lowest draft pool to spend from and they didn't even spend all of it. You're allowed to spend up to 5% beyond your draft pool, without losing a draft pick. The only penalty for going over that extra 5% is monetary. So when your pool is near the bottom, you should attempt to squeeze every dollar you can to improve your team. Same with the international bonus pools. There are ways to acquire more pool money through trades. The Braves international scouts seem to get a pretty good return on their investments. They often pull a good prospect out each year for a mid to low six figure signing. But I would love to see the Braves give them the opportunity to spend more.

Also remember Schuerholz was on the draft reform committee that helped MLB set limits on draft and international spending. I believe Schuerholz did this out of necessity. The Braves under Ted Turner were always spending more then any team on drafts and internationally. They also invested heavily in scouting, employing more scouts then most teams. The Braves only slashed spending in those areas after AOL and later Liberty Media took over. Schuerholz was a staunch believer in player development, he only became an advocate for spending limits after ownership tied the Braves hands by cutting their budget in those areas. Schuerholz advocating for all teams to limit their spending, was the only way to keep the Braves from falling further behind. The Braves under Schuerholz has went from one spectrum to the other as far as spending and the change occurred when ownership changed.

Yes the Braves ability to spend on amateur players does have stricter limits now, but the Braves dug themselves this hole by cutting spending a long time ago. Hopefully it has become clear to ownership they can't skimp on scouting and player development. 

hudson18
hudson18

@CJNC_1963 @hudson18 My point is that I believe that ownership is responsible for the smaller amateur signing budget. I don't believe that any baseball mind would have done this. I feel Wren compounded the problem by constantly signing free agents that forfeited picks. I just hope added revenue from the new stadium and reworked TV deal, along with a new GM will reverse the trend. But simply adding a new GM with the same restraints won't fix the farm system.

Ersatz
Ersatz

Dayton Moore is waiting for the brewskis and babyback ribs that he ordered hours ago at the 28-story Applebees in barvesworld. The service here is slow and surly. Is this the really the best that cobb taxpayer dollars can buy?

J_Bird
J_Bird

I view the STL organization like the Braves, professional and classy. And if you can steal Adam Wainwright for nothing, I want that person on my team. I'm gonna say Girsch or Coppoletta but outta the two, I like Girsch.  

Calel
Calel

@J_Bird


I don't think Girsh was in charge when that Wainwright deal went down. I think Walt Jocketty was the GM then.

CJNC_1963
CJNC_1963

Anyone but Dayton Moore!!  He has been a horrible GM in KC.  John Coppolella should be the easy choice here.