Braves' front-office search remains ongoing

Braves' front-office search remains ongoing

ATLANTA -- More than a month has passed since John Coppolella was forced to resign from his role as the Braves' general manager, and not a day has passed without some discussion about whether Dayton Moore will return to Atlanta to lead the organization that groomed him.

Both internal and external sources have described Moore as the perfect fit to guide the Braves as they attempt to move forward with their promising rebuild and distance themselves from the lingering effects of MLB's current investigation of alleged infractions involving both the international market and domestic Draft.

But because Moore has another year remaining on his contract as Kansas City's senior vice president of baseball operations, the Braves' hope to speak to him hinges on whether the Royals eventually grant permission. A request made last week was denied.

Braves president of baseball operations John Hart has essentially filled the general manager's duties since Coppolella was ousted Oct. 2. But his long-term status remains unclear while MLB and the team's owner, Liberty Media, complete their separate investigations.

Given his status and current role with the Royals, Moore would almost certainly only come to Atlanta to serve as the president of baseball operations.

If the Braves do not receive permission to talk to Moore, there is a chance they could turn to former Cubs GM Jim Hendry or former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, who has been described by agents and other team executives as "Coppolella's clone."

When the Braves parted ways with former general manager Frank Wren at the conclusion of the 2014 season, there was speculation they might fill the role with Moore, who had established himself as one of John Schuerholz's favorite apprentices while working in Atlanta's front office during an 11-season stretch that concluded when he became Kansas City's GM in 2006.

The timing just wasn't right as Moore was then in the process of guiding the Royals to the first of two consecutive World Series appearances, the last of which resulted in Kansas City celebrating its first World Series championship since Schuerholz was the Royals' GM in 1985.

Along with having proven he has the capability of building championship-caliber rosters and the kind of tight-knit environment that existed when Schuerholz was the Braves' general manager, Moore has become recognized as one of baseball's top leaders and a man who would be capable of helping Atlanta restore internal morale and regain external trust.

When the Cubs lured Theo Epstein while he was still under contract with the Red Sox after the 2011 season, they provided compensation in the form of two Minor League relievers, just one of which gained even scant time at the Major League level. The Braves would likely have to provide similar compensation for Moore.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.