With John Coppolella suddenly resigning his position as the Braves’ GM on Monday morning, current Royals GM and longtime former Braves employee Dayton Moore was repeatedly mentioned throughout the day as a logical candidate to replace Coppolella. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday afternoon that former Marlins GM (and manager for 124 games) Dan Jennings could be the top target if Atlanta can’t poach Moore away from Kansas City.
It wouldn’t seem exceptionally likely that the 50-year-old Moore, who grew up a Royals fan in Wichita, Kansas and has total control of the Royals’ baseball operations department, would want to go to Atlanta and work under veteran president of baseball operations John Hart. While Hart’s contract is set to expire, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported Monday that he will be staying with the Braves, so Moore would effectively be giving up power if he were to become the Braves’ GM.
With that said, Moore made a name for himself in Atlanta, starting as a scout in 1994 and working his way up to assistant GM before departing for Kansas City in 2006. He worked under then-GM John Schuerholz, who now serves as the organization’s vice chairman, and his loyalty to his longtime boss could play a role in his decision on whether to return to Atlanta. With Kansas City facing a rebuilding process with Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jason Vargas, and Melky Cabrera set to hit free agency this offseason, it could also be a logical time for Moore to move on to the next phase of his career.
Jennings was the Marlins’ GM from September of 2013 to May 2015, when owner Jeffrey Loria made him the team’s interim manager following the firing of Mike Redmond. Jennings, who has been working as a special assistant for the Nationals since being let go by the Marlins following the 2015 season, would likely be a much more obtainable candidate for Atlanta. As a 57-year-old graduate of Southern Miss with very little background in analytics—in a 2015 ESPN column ranking proper usage of analytics by major professional franchises, his Marlins front office ranked 115th out of 122—Jennings doesn’t really fit in with the new guard of general managers and probably isn’t going to have many opportunities to get another GM job, so he’d likely jump at the first chance he got.